Calgary: Reclaim your style

I like to think of myself as a bit of an urban hippie.  Not the rainbow flip-flop, tree-hugging, non-shaving kind; just a woman who wants to be part of the environmental solution, not the problem.  So, when I have an opportunity to make an affordable eco-chic purchase, I jump at the chance.

The green trend started with small labels around the globe and now enviro-style has trickled into the mainstream and more importantly, into the limelight.  I’m currently enjoying Calgary’s eco-fashion revolution—for a city best known for its oil and gas production, it’s refreshing to see a demand for sustainable fashion. I’m seeing local boutiques like Riva’s – The Eco Store(1534 17th Ave SW, 403-452-1001, bring more than burlap jumpers to the table. In fact, they throw the idea of scratchy hemp out the window, Riva’s offers style-driven clothing made from organic blends and materials like reclaimed cashmere.

My latest obsession is Toronto’s Jack & Marjorie bags (, currently available at Riva’s.  The bags are made from military surplus materials like tents, parachute cords, zipper, wool blankets and snaps.  I absolutely adore the rich history behind the materials used. It’s pretty amazing to think these fabrics from years ago can play a role in our lives now.

While sourcing all the elements of the bags, Jack & Marjorie work hard to minimize their impact on the environment. All bags are lined with organic cotton twill and much of the leather is either reclaimed or from eco-friendly vegetable-tanned skins.  The Boy Peter bag (shown) sells for $175, a reasonable price to tote your own little piece of history.

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