On June 16th, I attended my first conscious fashion show, Design Forward 2016. Organized by Fashion Takes Action, the show was an exercise in proving that sustainable and conscious designers create garments that are beautiful as well as ethical.
Fashion Takes Action is a non-profit organization run by volunteers, and the show they curated and presented was amazing. It was proof positive of one of my main fashion beliefs: that creating conscious fashion does not limited designers’ creativity. Rather, working within ethical constraints encourages designers’ creativity.
To see the designers’ creations presented at Design Forward, check out the video below:

The designers featured in the show were chosen from applicants across Canada and they had to work within the framework of conscious fashion. They included:
There were also three emerging designers featured. These were new grads and included:
I loved the diversity of the show, which demonstrate the breadth of styles possible in the conscious fashion genre. There were some really wearable lines such as festival ready Preloved, casual chic Miik and perfect for Canadian winter Peggy Sue Collection. And there were lines such as Katrin Leblond and Annie Thompson which drew was very district and different sources of inspiration.
I am personally obsessed with the floral prettiness of Asikere Afana, and the fact that the pieces in that line are not only affordable for designer clothes, but are accessible — ranging in sizes XS to 4X! Definitely what conscious fashion needs more of!!
But my fashionista heart was really drawn to the show stoppers: Julia Yeh’s rubber dress and Marie Copps’ formal wear and headdress combo that closed out the show. Both ensembles garnered gasps from the crowd, and they were breathtakingly beautiful.
Of course, Fashion Takes Action being a non-profit and volunteer organization, they did have some sponsors for the show. The biggest one was H&M, who are continuing their commitment to conscious fashion.
Design Forward 2016 | Sappho Organic Cosmetics | Sense of Aesthetic
Sappho Eyeshadow in Patricia. Sappho Crease, Concealer and Foundation brushes.

Sappho Organic Cosmetics was another show sponsor. My current fave liquid foundation is by Sappho (in Leisha), and I was so happy to see this Canadian green beauty brand supporting the show. Their makeup was used on all the models. Yay! As this blog can attest, I’m of the opinion that Green Beauty and Conscious Fashion belong together.

Design Forward 2016 | Kewaza | Sense of Aesthetic

Other sponsors included Kewaza (yum), Seventh Generation, as well as my local faves Harvest Kitchen, Beau’s, and worldSalon.

The night also included a “Green Carpet Challenge” in which attendees could bring unwanted clothes to donate for textile recycling. For every pound gathered, H&M donated $1 to Fashion Takes Action.

Design Forward 2016 was a successful, sold out show that was open to the public. To learn more about Fashion Takes Action and to attend future shows, check them out here and follow them on social media!

What do you think of these Canadian Conscious Fashion designers? Now that I’ve seen the show, I know I have more than a few on my list of go-to ethical designers! Which outfits were your faves?


10 thoughts on “Design Forward 2016 | Fashion Takes Action

  1. You should go for it! This was only the second fashion show I've been to, and luckily in Toronto you can purchase tickets to fashion shows like this one or even the ones during Toronto Fashion Week. If you try a smaller market like that, you could probably buy tickets to see one! 🙂


  2. It sounds like an awesome show! I've never seen a fashion show live, ever and it would be an awesome experience to be able to watch one with up and coming fashion designers!


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