"High On Style - Naturally"
By Christine Stringer
Photos by Peter Jensen
When you think environmentally friendly attire, typically the vision of wide legged, itchy hemp pants with a drawstring waist comes to mind. Not any more! Socially conscious fashionistas from all over the Lower Mainland have been flocking to body politic for just over a year now. Take a little side stop from Main street next time you're on the strip and you'll see what all the fuss is about.
Store owner Nicole Ritchie-Oseen has put together a fashion forward store with timeless pieces. Focusing on designers from North America and Canada predominantly, Ritchie-Oseen works hard to keep her carbon footprint small. The body politic concept is 'Sustainable Design and Limitless Style'. "It's not sacrificing one for the other," notes the store owner as she cuddles Teeka, the adorable store dog.
Indeed there is no sacrificing and you'll notice this as soon as you open the door to this quaint boutique. Lara Miller out of Chicago has two outstanding pieces that sets the party tone for body politic; an inspiring little black dress made with organic silk organza and a gold vegan silk top that can be worn two ways. Elroy from Vancouver also makes a fantastic addition in the dress department with modern cuts that fits perfectly with the urban Vancouver lifestyle. To accessorize, Teich from New York City takes reclaimed leathers to make clutch purses that will nestle under your arm flawlessly. Other quality Vancouver designers that are featured in the store include Me & You, Dotted Loop, Lav & Kush, Nixxi and Noir Bonbon.
Ritchie-Oseen knows that all Vancouverites are experts in the art of layering, and with spring approaching body politic can have you layered up in Canadian favorites. Take a bias cut organic wool wrap, wear it over an oh so soft bamboo tank and cinch it together with a reclaimed leather belt and you have a fashion hat trick from Toronto label Thieves. With that, slip on a pair of Yoga Jeans. Yes ladies, jeans so soft and flexible that you can wear them to yoga class. This bright concept from Second ensures that your jeans keep their shape while fitting perfectly into your boots. Throw on a Parisian-inspired coat with rose petal shoulders and a flared skirt from Snoflake and you are head-to-toe Canadian clad and eco-friendly. To top it off, Ritchie-Oseen keeps her orders small so that you will never have that embarrassing moment of catching someone else in your outfit.
You can visit the store at 208 E.12 Avenue in Vancouver. If you can't make it to the store check out the website: bodypolitic.ca for online shopping. Whether you're a virtual or in-store shopper, body politic will ensure that you'll be a fashion plate while being Mother Nature's BFF.
body politic's Hot Items:
Second 'Yoga Jeans': From Montreal. They are hand cut and made with a cotton/spandex blend.
Nixxi's 'Racerback Wrap': From Vancouver. A sleeveless hooded light wrap made from Tencel-sustainable fabric that gives it an amazing drape.
Noir Bonbon's 'Clark Shirt': From Vancouver. A beautiful linen shirt with silk chiffon detail that gives it a sexy, urban cowboy feel.