REMIX 2019 Finalist
Name: Alessia-Rose Legault
Country of Residence: Canada
University: Collège Marie-Victorin – School of Fashion Design (Montréal)
Inspiration: I believe designers play the most important role in ensuring and promoting responsible, ethical and environmentally-conscious practices within the fashion industry. It is not enough anymore for us to design beautiful, innovative pieces. The environmental footprint of our collections, the way they are produced and the materials we choose to use, must become an intrinsic part of our creative choices.
To reflect this, I opted to work with beaver, fox, wool and a host of other natural materials when creating my REMIX collection. Not only is beaver an abundant native fur bearing animal in Canada which often needs to be culled, as left uncontrolled they destroy ecosystems and provoke floods, but they are a source of income, food and clothing for native and distant communities. I chose to include ranched fox because I know that in Canada, fur farming is an ethical, independently and well-regulated sustainable industry that is an indispensable source of income for families in many remote areas. And in all three of my designs, the wool and fabrics I intertwined with the fur are entirely recycled, obtained from Certex – a sorting centre in Montreal specializing in the recovery, reuse and revalorisation of textiles. This is why I consider myself to be an environmentally-conscious and ethical fashion designer who promotes responsible fashion.
To illustrate the weight of responsibility I often feel as a designer to use natural and sustainable material in my creative process, I opted for heavy, loose silhouettes in my REMIX collection. The ample, excessive volumes of my designs are a metaphor for the often-difficult decisions we need to make when presented with a wide array of materials to create with: do we choose natural or synthetic, ecological or polluting, ethical or cost-effective? The answer: responsibility.
My designs are all multipurpose – one transforms into a sleeping bag and another into a knapsack – this is because I also believe the functionality, transformability and durability of garments is a responsible way of creating and selling fashion. I hope my designs convey their intended subliminal message: one of hope to fashion designers that we should work with natural, sustainable materials, and that fur is a perfect example of a responsible fabric. Sometimes we will need to fight to change perceptions, but I urge designers to never hesitate to fight for their principles, for the sake of our planet Earth.