Planet Claire promises to deliver some of the most innovative and environmentally intelligent fashions in Canada; profiling both Canadian and international designers from Vancouver to Israel, you will find fashions exclusive to Planet Claire that can be found nowhere else in the city, and even Canada.
Planet Claire is an independent small business, located in Vancouver BC. Focused on sustainable and ethically produced fashion, Planet Claire carries clothing for both men and women (in sizes 2-22!), as well as jewellery, local visual art, and home decor.
'Sustainable' and eco-friendly can be loaded terms, and there is always newer and better information and ways of doing things, so sustainability can be hard to define. To this end, Claire has always done the things that she believes in and can live with, with as much information as is available at the time.
The clothing is hand-selected by Claire herself and she buys direct from the designer. To her, "sustainable" includes eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp, organic cotton, organic wool, alpaca, linen, modal, lyocell, seaweed, silk, soy, bamboo & recycled materials as well as all the clothing is "sweatshop free".
Claire believes that even if the designer is not yet using eco-friendly fabrics, supporting the local community and independent artists, as well as designers who employ social justice standards, is still a sustainable practice and something she wants to support. Therefore, 100% of the clothing is ethically produced; the clothing is either made by the designer themselves, or they pay local people a fair wage for their work. In the instances where the clothing is not made locally (currently three designers of the 40 carried; Echo Verde, Soi Disant and Elroy Apparel) the clothing is either a) made in factories that are reviewed for fair workers' conditions and all must show proof of third party monitoring of social and environmental conditions or b) the clothing is made by small, self-run sewing cooperatives (often families that have been sewing for generations and is their only source of income), which promotes commerce and employment in areas where political conflict and war may have destroyed industry and trade and left many people unemployed.
An example of this is Soi Disant, a Montreal-based designer whose clothing is made in a factory in the Gaza Strip that employs women who are paid a fair wage, and the embroidery is done by women living in a refugee camp nearby.
Regardless of where it was made or by whom, Planet Claire can guarantee that every item of clothing was made by people that have the same rights: voluntary employment, no child labor, freedom of association, fair and equal treatment, nondiscrimination, compensation, reasonable hours of work, overtime, and health and safety. Sweatshops exist all over the world, including New York and LA - so just because you are buying a North American product, does not necessarily mean that it was produced under fair circumstances.
Because of all these reasons, and by it's very nature, the clothing cannot be mass-produced, and many of the designs are limited, if not one of it's kind.
Designers such as FiftySeven-ThirtyThree from Oakland, CA produce screen-printed and hand-stenciled/painted shirts and appliquéd hoodies that are printed and sprayed with only solvent-free, water based paints and inks. Their style draws from an urban aesthetic where multi-culturalism and pop culture merge with inner city decay, graffiti and a lo-tech DIY sensibility.
These designers are passionate about both the quality and sustainability of their clothing, including the materials, choice of fabric and suppliers, in order to ensure and understand the origins of the fabrics and the conditions of those who manufacture them.
Planet Claire also functions as a gallery for local visual artists, with rotating installations every few months:
As a 'green' business, Planet Claire uses environmentally friendly office supplies (www.frogfile.com); recycled & recyclable bags, tags, & signage; bamboo clothing hangers, second hand equipment, clothing racks & display units, and 1% of annual revenue is donated to environmental organizations (www.onepercentfortheplanet.org).