fashion magazine
Elroy Apparel
by ANYA GEORGIJEVIC
Photography by KYLA HEMMELGARN @ NOBASURA
Styling: DANIELLE GUICHON
Makeup: JENNA KUCHERA @ NOBASURA
Hair: REMPEL ROQUETTE @ iDaburn Salons
Model: LAURA KELL @ NEXT Canada
There is a philosophy that defines each label. For Elroy, it's the fundamental principle of sustainable living and responsible consumption. When Leanne McElroy began her semi-namesake label in 2007, she made a conscious choice to marry her eco-conscious lifestyle with her business. "I knew there were plenty of material options out there, but I wasn't seeing a lot of day-to-day clothing being made in this way," said McElroy.

Elroy's motto is a question: "What story does your clothing carry?" Among the stories carried by Elroy is that of a socially responsible production. Looking at the bigger picture and underemployment in developing countries, McElroy set out to create a truly unique business model. She began an innovative project in Indonesia, focusing on a small, self-run sewing cooperative, harkening back to the `cottage industries' of the past. A group of skilled artisans manufacture Elroy's collections from McElroy's patterns twice a year. She is on hand, with them, helping with initial samples and making sure the operation runs smoothly and up to the label's philosophical standards.

However, fashion has always been her first love, one that began in a grade nine sewing class where McElroy made her very first garment, a bright blue skirt. "Once I finished it, I never looked back," the designer reflects. She studied at the Helen Lefeaux School of Fashion Design, where she developed her skills thanks to teachings of its brilliant founder and designer Jason Matlo. She learnt her business savvy by working for several Vancouver designers and then ventured out on her own.

While Elroy's life story is a sustainable one, its spring story is based on a beachcomber. It takes the wearer on a "breezy summer vacation" by its soft, muted colours, as if faded by hours spent soaking in sunrays. Breezy little tops, skirts, shorts and dresses are fabricated in eco-friendly fabrics containing materials line pineapple silk, raw silk and organic cotton and hemp/cotton blends. With their summery shades of apricot, turquoise, cactus green and raspberry, there is an unmistakable West Coast softness and ease, one that makes us dream long and carefree days of summer.

Continuing down the sustainable path, Elroy's upcoming fall collection looks at `upcycled' fabrications, fabrics that come from end-of-rolls and leftovers from large factories. McElroy is customizing these materials with digital prints playing on the ideas of shadow plays. Rather than just being set aside to collect dust, these fabrics will began a new life as eco-chic clothing with a story all of their own.

For more information, visit Elroy's website (http://www.elroyapparel.com/) and their online shop (www.shopelroy.com)."