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Sustainability is a new design for the fashion industry

  • Emma Hogeterp
  • |
  • Oct 23, 2017
Sustainability is a new design for the fashion industry

Behind every piece of clothing you buy, there is a story. For some pieces, it is a story of fast fashion made and distributed around the globe. For others, it is a story of luxurious design and exclusivity. For Carmina de Young’s pieces, it was something much different.

Her story came to light at the Sustainability Certificate Launch, hosted by the Ivey Sustainability Certificate Program and the Centre for Building Sustainable Value. The event was an opportunity for Ivey fashionistas and sustainability supporters alike to purchase beautiful clothing and participate in a micro-consulting session. These activities were centred around de Young, a powerful female entrepreneur who has created a sustainable fashion line that is challenging today’s competitive garment industry.

For Ivey students, finding chic business clothes at a reasonable price is difficult enough – let alone clothes that are ethically and sustainably made. De Young completely challenged this notion. Her fashion line is sourced from eco-friendly fabrics, with not a single scrap going to waste. She also instituted hiring policies focused on empowering new immigrants to Canada who are seeking their first jobs. The clothing designs are high quality, elegant, and fluid. She has created a total package, all at an accessible price.

De Young showed Ivey students that, with commitment and passion, you can break into a competitive industry in an ethical and environmentally conscious way. However, the business still had many opportunities to grow in the London community and beyond.

The story behind the brand

Ivey students and de Young’s team put their heads together and came to one conclusion: De Young’s brand was her story. It had three key elements:

  • She immigrated to Canada and is now empowering other immigrants;
  • She motivated her son to create his own fashion line; and,
  • She has an unwavering commitment to helping the community and environment.

This story has the power to change the consumption of garments from throw-away fashion to long-lasting, ethical choices you can be proud of!

You may see me proudly walking the halls of Ivey in a beautiful vest I bought from de Young’s line. When I wear it, I remember her story and apply that same passion and commitment to the work I do. I believe Ivey students also have the power to craft their own sustainability stories in all of their future business endeavours.

Emma Hogeterp is an HBA ’19 candidate.