KPU students' designs celebrate Earth Day at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Tue, Apr 12, 2016

Surrey, B.C. – Three students from the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) are proving that the modern fashion industry can be sustainable, relevant and rewarding without sacrificing style.

In honour of Earth Day, examples of ethically-sourced and ‘upcycled’ couture developed by final-year fashion design and technology students Claudia Demcak, Marita Paul and Jamie Dawes will be displayed at Surrey’s Semiahmoo Shopping Centre April 18 to 24.

“I noticed a need for sustainable and ethical apparel in the business casual women’s market,” said Paul, whose clothing line Shape Shifter is designed to outlast trends and seasons, championing both quality and longevity in fashion.

Purposeful fashion also underscores Demcak’s collection Thrive, which features a zero waste pattern cutting process and holistic production practices.

“I decided to work on slow, purposeful fashion,” said Demcak, a Surrey resident. “Some see working around zero waste principles as restrictive, but I see it as an exciting challenge with much potential.”

Dawes’ fashions are inspired by her time living in Australia and Tofino.

“My time spent living abroad gave me a new perspective on the fashion industry and how I could change it for the better,” she said.

Her collection is designed for eco-conscious women, and made entirely of upcycled materials sourced from vintage and thrift stores.

The featured designs will include work from 2016 The Show: KPU’s annual graduate fashion show which took place over two days and five shows last week. The display in Surrey is intended to fuel awareness about consumer waste, and to challenge the consequences of wastefulness in the modern fashion industry.

“KPU’s fashion design and technology student displays for the Earth Day celebrations at Semiahmoo always get people talking. Their creativity and mindfulness to eco-friendly designs makes this a perfect fit for this event at the shopping centre, and we are happy to feature these talented designers,” said Jeri Cox, marketing director for Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.

Items from the students’ collections will be on display during mall hours from April 18 to 24. For the location and hours of the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre, visit:

About the Wilson School of Design
The Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is a leader in design education, playing a significant role in shaping the design leaders of tomorrow. Located on Canada’s spectacular West Coast, the Wilson School of Design offers seven unique programs through certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, and post-baccalaureate qualifications. With its purposefully small class sizes, hands-on learning approaches, faculty expertise, direct connection with industry and the advanced technological resources, the School of Design instills a deep understanding of design thinking and the design process. For more information about the Wilson School of Design, please visit

About Kwantlen Polytechnic University
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 the students' designs are available on Flickr.

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

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