Surrey resident designs zero waste clothing collection

Thu, Mar 31, 2016

Surrey, B.C. – Like slow food, the concept of slow fashion is gaining a foothold in the design industry. 

While challenging, its core set of values - quality, sustainability, ethical production - inspired Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) student Claudia Demčak to create an entire collection using zero-waste design. 

“I wasn’t sure if I could do zero waste for my KPU collection, but my teacher encouraged me to pursue my interest. I used the jigsaw method to create Thrive Zero Waste, which involves moving pieces around and adjusting measurements until they fit together, wasting no fabric," explained Demčak, who added that her approach, remarkably, does not compromise fit. "I make sure the few pieces that require a specific fit are shaped well, and all of the other pieces are subject to adjustment and a lot of fitting and puzzling."

Thrive Zero Waste is a contemporary line of womenswear that features quality, neutral pieces that outlast trends, and pair well with the wearer's existing wardrobe. 

“My clothes are humble, purposeful but still luxurious. They are high quality and well finished, and designed to be easy to wear for a variety of occasions,' said Demčak, who grew up in Surrey and will graduate from the Wilson School of Design this year.

Next week, Demčak's line will be unveiled at 2016 The Show, presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc. at the Imperial Vancouver, April 6 and 7. Thrive Zero Waste will walk the runway in five sold-out shows alongside 35 emerging designers set to graduate from KPU this May.

Demčak developed the line as part of her final project in the university's four-year fashion, design and technology program. The degree program provides students with a rigorous studio-based design education. The final capstone project involves extensive market and design research, and requires students to create garments that meet a perceived market need.

“I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I was very small, but what type of designer has been constantly changing. My four years in this program have been intense. They have drastically changed my perspective and shaped me to be the person and designer I have always wanted to be. I am so excited to present how far I have come and show my hard work to the industry,” said Demčak.

After graduation, Demčak plans to expand her beauty accessory shop on Etsy, and make every product offered a zero-waste product.

For more on Claudia Demčak, visit or follow her on Instagram at @thrivezerowaste. Her online store can be found

About 2016 The Show: 

Presented by Tamoda Apparel Inc., 2016 The Show will showcase 36 emerging designers and their collections.

The industry-grade event will take place April 6 and 7 at the Imperial Vancouver. On display will be lines for men, women and children; from eco-conscious evening wear to genderless, season-less clothing. Over five sold-out shows, everything from technical apparel to loungewear to lingerie will walk the runway at B.C.’s biggest student fashion show.

Tickets have sold out. Footage and photos from the show will be available at

More information about the fashion and design programs offered at KPU's Wilson School of Design can be found here.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at    

Photos of Thrive Zero Waste can be found on Flickr here and here.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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