Photo by Cassandra, Twist & Shutter

There’s a certain stigma that surrounds the word “sustainability”. Some people think about patchouli, others think about not being able to drive their cars anymore, and some think “who the hell cares, we’re all going to die anyways.” My name is Kaya Dorey, Creator of NOVEL SUPPLY CO., and I am not one of those people.

"I'm on a mission to make sustainability cool."

It was learning about fast-fashion, synthetic fabrics and textiles waste that prompted me to go on a hunt for brands that were making sustainable apparel with natural fabrics. What I found (or didn't) was a bit of a downer. All the shops I walked into or found online advertised every buzz word in the books like,

“Made Locally”



but, they never had what I was looking for. I mean, they were all really interesting shops but I just couldn’t fathom adopting the patchouli-lovers' style just because I wanted to make the conscious fashion choice.

It wasn’t until a friend from school told me about Factory45, an online program that “takes sustainable apparel companies from idea to launch”, that's when I realized I could actually create what I was looking for. I registered that night before I had even graduated from the current program I was in. Although the program was based out of the USA, I still believed it would give me the knowledge that I needed to start my own sustainable apparel company locally, and it did just that. Shannon, Founder of Factory45, walked me and 30 other eager entrepreneurs through the process of sourcing fabric, brand development, pre-production, e-commerce marketing and preparing for launch. If you're passionate about the planet and conscious fashion, applications for her program open tomorrow (May 17th) and I highly recommend you sign up because if it weren't for her and this program, NOVEL wouldn't be a thing.

factory45-shannon-lohr-sustainable-fashionShannon Lohr, Founder of Factory45

Enter NOVEL SUPPLY CO., conscious apparel for the urban adventurer. My apparel is designed with the end in mind, something I learned about in my sustainability courses at CapU, during the IMPACT! Youth Sustainability Leadership Program, and then again in my Sustainable Business Leadership program at BCIT. Through some research, I found that hemp is the most sustainable fibre because it requires less water to grow than conventional cotton, it doesn’t need pesticides to grow and it biodegrades. This is why I use hemp and organic cotton as the main fabrics in my apparel. I also partner with a different local artist every few months to keep the designs fresh and support the local art scene here in Vancouver.

It hasn't been an easy journey but I can tell you that it's worth it. To know I am living with purpose and doing something for the greater good beyond myself is the most gratifying feeling. I challenge you to do the same. Grab the bull by the horns, arm yourself with a tribe of supportive people and let go of fear. You won't regret it.

Come find me next at the Eastside Flea on June 3-4 (Saturday + Sunday), snag some conscious goods and support us local folk.

I'm also conquering fears and speaking at the 2017 SYC (Sustainable Youth Canada) Vancouver Sustainability Fair. You can RSVP for the Fair here.

Keep up to date on all the NOVEL happenings by signing up for my newsletter in the top right-hand corner. 

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