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One North Vancouver designer says she’s noticing a growing environmental interest among consumers. Wendy Van Riesen line, Dahlia Drive, recycles previously worn slips and men’s shirt. She paints designs onto paper and then presses them onto the clothing. The process not only uses a small amount of water — she can complete 10 slips in one washer load — but the printing paper can be reused.

“I do see part of my job as educating,” she says.

Van Riesen recently completed a line of T-shirt for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Leonardo da Vinci exhibit, one of which was bought by the president of Finland.

It’s always the design that first attracts the customer, but the environmentally friendly aspect is a winning bonus, Van Riesen says. Although she was originally drawn to used slips because of the stories and character which accompanies the clothing, working with what you’re given also keeps the environment in mind, Van Riesen says.

“Dahlia Drive’s slogan is ‘Resurrecting the fashion wasteland,’” she notes.


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