Edit: Stylish & Sustainable Shopping

Despite all appearances, I’m quite fashion conscious. Take this burlap sack, for instance. The weaving is so exquisite, it hardly makes my skin raw. Though I’m told red suits me…

As Spring is soon upon us, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to freshen up my wardrobe for the upcoming season. So this past weekend, I headed downtown to meet Joanne Maharaj, a talented designer and the owner of Edit.

Joanne comes to us from Toronto, where she worked as a wardrobe stylist. Prior to opening Edit in Lethbridge, she held monthly shopping parties at Crazy Cakes. Sold there were her famous Edit Bags and Mittens, made of recycled materials – wonderfully-patterned vintage fabrics and old wool sweaters.

As popularity for her merchandise increased, demand grew for other eco-friendly products, such as clothing and accessories. This momentum led Joanne to refine a business plan that she was holding onto for a few years.

Asking fellow Lethbians where they usually shopped for clothing, the resounding answer would be “Calgary.” Dissatisfied with this situation, the opportunity to open shop in downtown Lethbridge presented itself in the form of a recently-vacated sword shop (rumour has it the previous owner was killed in battle).

Opened in June 2008, Edit sells brands such as ecojot, Preloved, Simple, Edun and others. At its core is sustainability and eco-friendliness. To edit is to alter, adapt and refine, which is evident with the array of clothing and merchandise that use recycled materials and re-purposed fabrics. The results are products that are unique in themselves – not generic and mass-produced. Even the stylish Wellington boots sold there are both fashionable and recyclable.

Joanne supports local designers and brands, such as Brad Gadd’s Populess, and holds several items in-store. MADE, a recent event she held this past November, showcased local vendors such as Modern Egg, Mimi, Rice & Beans and Jaime Vedres Photography, amongst others. This event grew out of clothing swaps she would hold called “Girly Garage Sales,” which started to attract as many as 200 people. Plans for future events are in the works.

Although Edit is a relatively small shop, there is something for everyone. It has already garnered a considerable deal of attention, including write-ups in publications such as FASHION magazine, NOW, Bridge magazine (Dec. ’08) and Lethbridge Sun Times. Even my friend Ashley Ferraro featured Joanne on Citytv.

The store is located downtown at 303 6th St. South. It’s right next to the Pita Pit, which her 6-year-old son has an affinity for. I watched him devour the biggest pita ever – even I was full afterward!

If you’re looking to purchase some new apparel for this spring, I encourage you to support our local economy and stop by Edit. As a bonus for our readers, the first person who comes in store and quotes “Lethbian Love” will receive an ecojot notebook, courtesy of Joanne herself.

Edit: Stylish & Sustainable Shopping (Thanks, Joanne!)

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