Did you know that one garbage truck full of textiles is thrown into a landfill every second around the world? Fast fashion is progressively becoming a problem in our ever-changing and demanding world. It focuses on low costs and quick production in order to provide endless new clothing collections. However, the competition to get the cheapest selling price at the fasted production rate comes with major environmental consequences. This includes water pollution, increased resource consumption, the release of toxic chemicals, and increasing levels of textile waste. Although vibrant colours and fabric finishes are appealing fashion features, textile dying is one of the top three largest polluters of clean water globally. Furthermore, this contamination can cycle back up to humans. When polyester garments are washed in home washing machines, they release plastic microfibers that are shed into the ocean. Small aquatic creatures feed on the microfibres, which then makes it way up the food chain to the fish and shellfish eaten by humans.
In response to these issues, Kaya Dorey founded her fashion label, NOVEL SUPPLY CO. After doing research, Dorey discovered that Vancouver did not offer alternatives to fast fashion that were trendy and stylish. Her mission is to create, design, and supply rad products that shift the stigma of sustainability. Dorey consistently has sustainability on her mind from the fabrics and packaging she uses, to her marketing processes. NOVEL SUPPLY CO. garments are made from sustainable fabrics, use natural thread, and are free from toxic dyes. Dorey goes one step further in eliminating fabric waste by donating her scrap fabric to Abel Wear, a Vancouver non-profit that offers textile training to women with employment barriers.
In November 2017, Dorey received the UN’s Young Champions of the Earth Prize. This accomplishment provides intensive training and high profile mentorship, attendance at a one-week entrepreneurship course in Europe, and $15,000 US in seed money. Dorey also attended the 2017 United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Africa where she was recognized for her outstanding potential to create positive environmental impact around the world.
I got a chance to ask Dorey about what her advice is for SFU students who want to take action and become more sustainable in their everyday lives. Her response:
My advice would be to educate yourselves on sustainability, support brands that are taking strides in sustainable initiatives and ask questions to the ones that aren’t because that’s the only way we’re going to see real change happen
For more information on Novel Supply Co., visit their website.