FC EVENT: Sarah Portway Launches New Book at FC Queen!

Happy Family Day!
Family is such an important part of life, and I don’t like to stop at the people you share blood with. I think in life we create our own families, little gaggles of people that mean the world to us. I am lucky to have a  pretty amazing family, and a great extended family of friends that spreads across the world!
Of course, I am always referring to my coworkers as my FC family – and that’s not just because of the convenient alliteration, it’s because I really believe it to be true.

On that note, I’m excited to share with you that one of the members of that family has some big news: our very own Sarah Portway is publishing a book! To celebrate this awesome accomplishment, we are hosting her book launch event this Thursday at our Queen Street Store (and you’re invited)!

Learn more about this book in Sarah’s own words:

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Hello Fresh Collective fans,

This isn’t my first guest-blog, but for me this is the most exciting. Over the summer I had my Master’s thesis published and we are launching my book at the Queen Street store (692 Queen Street West) starting at 7PM on February 21st. I’m thrilled to share my years of research with you and possibly entice you to add my book to your shelves (along with some great local fashion for the closet on the same night). As a fashion academic and educator in the sustainability field, I don’t often get to nerd-out to my full capabilities; I’m saving it all for you next Thursday!

My book is entitled Regenerative Abundance: Fast and Sustainable Apparel Production in Toronto. It’s a mouthful, but sometimes great things come with long titles! What I’ve been working on for the last few years is a solution. I know this audience won’t be surprised to know that many small-scale local fashion designers are having a hard time competing in today’s retail market. I decided to look at what might be responsible for that. According to my research (and many other scholars and market strategists in the field), consumers are demanding what we currently call ‘fast fashion.’ Fast fashion pieces are generally of lower quality but are pointedly on trend, and available at a low cost. These pieces come in and out of the wardrobe quickly and not bought with the long-run in mind. These goods also cycle through stores very quickly, meaning the fashion season is being shortened. This trend in purchasing behavior and retailing shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, which means that if local design is going to thrive in Toronto, we need to negotiate new terms which meet contemporary demands.

But meeting new demands isn’t enough; there is the planet to think of! Fast fashion encourages large quantity buying, lots of the pieces will only be worn a few times before being disposed of. So my research had to dig deeper. How can we as local designers nourish the planet at the same time as our own wallets and local economy? Authors McDonough and Braungart pose some very convincing strategies in their book Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. The new terms that I have negotiated for designers bring the Cradle-to-Cradle strategies into perspective in real terms. I’ve answered the question: what would a fast and sustainable fashion industry look like in Toronto? How can we get there?


Not to toot my own horn, but people seem to like what I’ve come up with (I hope you do too!). I’ve presented this work at international conferences and am on track to continue this work at Cornell University next year as I begin my Ph.D. in apparel design and fiber science. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an acceptance letter any day now! I currently hold a Master’s degree in Fashion from Ryerson, a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Guelph and I split my time between teaching at Ryerson and helping you find fabulous local design at Fresh Collective’s Queen Street store on the weekends.

I look forward to meeting you all! Can’t wait to be my nerdy self and get down to the business of fashion.

XOXO -Sarah Portway

P.S. My book will also be available for electronic purchase that evening and after the event these print-to-order beauties will be on their way directly to your door! If you would like to pre-purchase your copy and have it signed the night of the launch, CLICK HERE to do so.

Click the RSVP button below to see all the event details and RSVP! See you Thursday!

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BONUS: We’ll also be giving away a brand new Penny Dress from Paper People Clothing’s Spring 2013 line that night! Good Luck!



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