How George Brown College is setting a fashionable (and ethical) example

For many, fast fashion is a budget-friendly option for updating their wardrobe. But unfortunately, fast fashion often benefits consumers at the expense of the environment and manufacturing workers. Recognizing the implications of this issue, George Brown College’s Fashion Exchange (FX) is working on sustainable solutions.

Local support, global impact

Located in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood, the Fashion Exchange is tackling global problems while supporting the local community with training, research, and consulting support. Focusing on end-to-end sustainable production, the FX team champions a “make what you need attitude.” They encourage — and provide — digital software that maximizes fabric usage and reduces waste.

The Fashion Exchange also helps small, local companies bring their products to market faster and for a competitive price through its professional services. For Rosa Fracassa, Chair of the School of Fashion and Jewellery at George Brown, the idea of Canadian-made is the future. “We believe in creating fashion locally. Not only does this support the environment, but it also means we’re supporting ethical production that meets Canadian labour standards.”

Fashionable research

In recent years, George Brown’s School of Fashion and Jewellery and the Fashion Exchange have collaborated with industry partners on applied research projects. The Leading Innovation in Fashion Technology lab (FX LIFT) has the potential to transform the industry.

One of the technologies available at the FX LIFT is an EPSON dye sublimation printer for custom textile printing. This partnership with EPSON is an important step toward sustainable production because the printer is waterless and maximizes fabric usage. There’s more work to be done, but with George Brown’s focus on the environment, the next generation of fashion leaders will graduate knowing sustainability is the way forward.

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