Part 2: Eco-Entrepreneurs Do the Right Thing

On a recent trip down to St. Henri to see what was growing on at the Delinelle Community Park and Garden, I stopped at la Gaillarde, an eco-friendly fashion boutique on Notre Dame West.

la Gaillarde

Selling vintage clothing and taking pre-existing materials to make something new and original are by no means novel. But la Gaillarde has taken this two steps further by promoting local designers who use organic and recycled materials, and by teaching the tricks of the trade to aspiring designers.

Vintage clothing

As I walked in the door with my six-year-old in tow on a sunny Saturday morning, I was immediately struck by the vibrant colours in the store. The boutique entrance leads to the neatly displayed vintage section. I was surprised by the sheer volume of the one-of-a-kind dresses, hats, skirts, shoes and jewelry they had on display.

Some 80% of la Gaillarde's clothing comes from customer donations, and the boutique has a 2 for 1 sale every Sunday to make room for new stock. In addition, on the last weekend of every month, you can fill a bag of used clothes for the price of one dollar.

Quebec designers revive the pre-loved

Adjacent to the vintage section is a showroom where 30 Quebec designers display their creations (For pictures of some of these click here). They have taken pre-loved items and turned them into super funky shirts, skirts, dresses and trousers. The prices are reasonable for original clothing, and you can feel good about paying a local designer a living wage. If you are someone who likes funky and original, but hates designer prices and the over-starched, shiny look of new clothes, then this is the place for you.

Learn How To Sew And Redesign

Wouldn't it be great if we could make our favourite dress into a great skirt? Who hasn't put learning to sew on their list of things to do. Well, la Gaillarde also gives beginner sewing classes, in addition to courses on how to recycle your wardrobe, make jewelry and revive old fabric with print-making techniques.

I found the sewing workshop area the most inspiring. Besides what you might expect, like a line of sewing machines, there were shelves of industrial spools of thread in every conceivable colour, boxes of neatly sorted buttons and remnants, and on the walls, there were vintage patterns that our mothers and grandmothers might have used. On the day we visited, there was a group of young girls excitedly looking around this treasure trove and chattering about what they wanted to make.

If you would like see some of la Gaillarde's creations, they have monthly fashion shows to showcase their work.

La Gaillarde
4019 Notre Dame West
Metro: Place Saint-Henri
Closed Mondays

For further information:

Related Posts:
Part 1: Eco-entrepreneurs Do the Right Thing


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