Aurore Plavis is a Vancouver-based self-starter who launched her small company, Recreative Apparel, in March 2020, without either a big fashion background or much entrepreneurial knowledge—but with a lot of passion for eco-friendly and affordable clothing. All of the brand’s offerings are createrd exclusively from recycled fibres made from post-consumer water bottles (rPET). We chatted with Aurore about her love affair with sustainability, and are giving you a chance to win a bra and leggings combo from her line! —Vita Daily
Hi Aurore! When and why did you launch your brand, Recreative Apparel?
I launched precisely one week before Canada was put on lockdown due to COVID-19. The journey that led me to Recreative Apparel started in 2004 while backpacking around South America and seeing plastic waste in the most desolate of landscapes on my way to Chile from Bolivia. I’ve always loved fashion and the environment and wondered if it was possible to reconcile both. While researching a business idea, I knew I wanted to raise awareness about plastic pollution—more specifically, disposable plastic. I discovered a fabric made of a recycled polyester (rPET)/spandex blend with a high ratio of recycled fibres made from post-consumer water bottles. This fabric is perfect for activewear: it’s durable, breathable, moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, UV-protective and pill-resistant. So it was a no-brainer! In this day and age, leggings are the new denim. I wanted to offer consumers an ethical and eco-friendly alternative to the big athleisure brands out there.
What key pieces do you sell?
Our key pieces are the high-rise Avalon leggings and the Lily low-impact bra. Our leggings are squat-proof, sweat-wicking, anti-bacterial, UV-protective, pill-resistant and certified safe for the skin and the earth (Oeko-Tex). They are made from 12 recycled BPA-free plastic bottles, while our bras are made from six plastic bottles.
What makes your clothing different from other activewear brands?
Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. Recreative Apparel offers an alternative to the traditional linear business model (make, use, dispose) as we keep resources in use for as long as possible. We design timeless products that can be used all year long. They are versatile and can be worn from studio to street. We source quality fabric to ensure the durability of the garment. The material used in our activewear has a high ratio of recycled fibres made from post-consumer water bottles to keep plastics out of the landfill and the oceans—that is, until we find THE solution to our plastics problem. Manufacturing recycled polyester uses less water and energy and emits less greenhouse gas than virgin polyester. It is dyed with non-toxic dispersed dye. We produce locally to reduce our carbon footprint but also because we care about supporting our local community. Our patterns are cut to make sure as little fabric as possible is wasted. Recreative focuses on creating small, meticulous batches as we don’t believe in production waste and product wasted. We want our customers to keep their Recreative garments for as long as possible, so we share how to care for our products and minimize microplastics from entering our waterways. We also offer a take-back program to address our products’ end-of-life, turning them into something new (a bolster or kids’ clothing) once more. This is what inspired our brand name, Recreative, meaning creating anew again and again.
What’s your brand philosophy around sustainability?
Let’s ditch plastic whenever you can, and repurpose what’s already here. If a one-woman business can include sustainable practices at every step of the garment production process—from design, sourcing, manufacturing, and even afterlife—the big brands should do, too.
What’s your favourite activity to do in your Recreative Apparel?!
I usually practice Hatha in my living room in the Recreative leggings and bra set. And I love wearing the muscle tank with high-waist jeans and boots for brunch!
Win! A Recreative Apparel Bra And Leggings Combo!
We have a winner! Congrats Gloria W. of Toronto, who will receive a Recreative Apparel Bra And Leggings Combo in their size!