On this Earth Day we look at three Edmonton Made makers who create products using recycling and conservation

By Alix Kemp April 22, 2018

Home-grown businesses contribute to the local economy, but they can also have a global impact by helping the planet. Here are three Edmonton Made makers creating sustainable products through recycling and conservation.

Foxy Brand / Foxy Fragrance

Foxy Fragrance 2

When Sandra Currie has down-time from her stressful full-time job with the RCMP, she needs to be able to relax. While most people might pour a bubble bath and light a few candles, Currie keeps busy with her home-based business, Foxy Brand, creating a line of soy candles and natural skincare products to help both herself and others unwind after a long day.

But Foxy Brand products aren’t just good for your skin and your stress levels. Currie wants to ensure her products are also good for the environment by using naturally derived ingredients and reducing waste. Currie’s line of Foxy Fragrance candles are made from soy wax rather than petroleum-derived paraffin. Currie will also take any used candle containers for reuse, and customers receive $2 towards their next purchase.

For Currie, it’s a move that’s as much practical as sustainable. “Jars are a significant cost for me. It costs me two dollars to buy them, so that’s what I offer people to bring them back,” she says. And it’s not just saving money – by re-using the jars, Currie is able to reduce the amount of fuel used to ship new containers to her door and further reduce the environmental impact.

It’s a move that’s good for business, good for customers, and good for the Earth.

For more information, visit orderfoxy.com.


ilex.every.day

ilex

Like many crocheters, Holly Aamot got her start in the yarn aisle at Walmart. But when she started to sell her creations, Aamot wanted to set herself apart by spinning her own yarn. Now Aamot sells a line of delicately coloured hand-dyed yarns alongside her own crocheted accessories, all made using humane and sustainable practices.

Initially, Aamot intended to use undyed wools in the range of natural colours available straight off the sheep. Textile dyeing and treatment is one of the world’s largest polluters, as it uses massive quantities of water and the resulting runoff is often contaminated with toxic dyes that aren’t easily removed by filtering. However, Aamot soon discovered that small-scale dyeing using non-toxic dyes could mitigate some of those impacts. Aamot has worked to develop processes that allow her to use less water to clean and dye her fleece, which drastically cuts down on the environmental impact.

“It’s a matter of not putting anything into the water that’s going to cause harm when it goes down the drain, but also making sure that I’m saving as much of the water as I can,” says Aamot.

The end result is luxurious yarn in stunning shades that will give knitters and crocheters that warm, fuzzy feeling.

For more information, visit ilexeveryday.com.


Pondhopper

Pondhopper

It started with a t-shirt. Lorraine Dezman’s son wore his favourite shirt from the movie Stand By Me until it began to disintegrate. The 10-year-old asked if his mother could cut the design out of the original shirt and stitch it to the front of the another. Since then, Dezman has been “upcycling” discarded clothes, keeping damaged, out-of-fashion or otherwise (whatever) items out of the landfill and giving them a new life.

“I love imperfect things, and I love older things. I love rescuing things, because it’s nice to give them a second chance and continue their story,” says Dezman.

For Dezman, upcycling can take many forms, whether that’s covering a small stain or tear with a decorate patch, or completely deconstructing an entire stack of shirts in order to create a new dress using the scraps of fabric. The single best way to reduce the pollution created by the textile industry is to reduce consumption, and by using old garments to create new ones, it’s possible to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion.

“We send billions of pounds of clothes to the landfill every year, but I can pursue something creatively that I love to do, and at the same time contribute to the environment,” she says.

A British ex-pat who’s lived in Edmonton since 1982, Dezman named her business Pondhopper to reflect her own transatlantic journey, but it’s especially apt given that she routinely sells her garments in Europe and Australia through her Etsy storefront.

For more information, visit etsy.com/ca/shop/pondhopper.

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