The eco-entrepreneur who captured our hearts: Respecterre and My deuxième chance, members of Cité Écologique

Respecterre

Photo Credit: Respecterre

 

Every month, Cascades puts the spotlight on young entrepreneurs who stand out with their responsible practices and environmental values. This month, we are delighted to present two innovative and environmentally responsible businesses, which are members of Cité Écologique: Respecterre and My deuxième chance. Interview with Ugo Dutil, Sales Representative at Respecterre, and Svetlina Charbonneau, owner of My deuxième chance.

 

Service offered

Respecterre | Eco-friendly and ethical clothing for men and women; ready-to-wear clothing, sportswear and underwear.

My deuxième chance | Environmentally responsible women’s clothing made from recycled materials: dresses, tunics, jackets, skirts, trousers and more.

 

Number of employees

Respecterre | Four partners and six employees working in design, fabric cutting, manufacture of the collections, production, inspection, sales and marketing, etc.

My deuxième chance | Only one (and yes, she does it all herself, with some help from her sister and friends).

 

Respecterre

Respecterre Workshop. Photo Credit: Respecterre

 

Did you know?

Respecterre manufactures clothing with other ethical companies in Quebec, including Message Factory, Oöm Ethikwear and Ethica by Attraction.

My deuxième chance sometimes uses unusual objects, such as ring pulls, in its creations.

 

My_deuxieme_chance_Cascades

Photo Credit: My deuxième chance

Materials

Respecterre | The clothes are made with bamboo viscose fibres, eucalyptus (Tencel), organic cotton, hemp and flax.

My deuxième chance | Clothing salvaged from second-hand clothes stores and recut from hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, flax and other environmentally responsible materials obtained from its neighbour, Respecterre.

 

 

Business and philosophy

Respecterre | The business provides a durable clothing alternative by offering clothes made from natural fibres. Respecterre’s products and philosophy are in line with those of Cité Écologique; the four partners and the majority of employees are also members of Cité Écologique.

My deuxième chance | The business offers an original and creative solution to textile waste and to practices within the fashion industry, which causes pollution and is not very ethical, as its creator explains: “I express myself through my creations, which feature an explosion of textures and colours. It’s about thinking outside the box, but with an awareness of our actions and choices; that sums up my philosophy quite well,” says Svetlina.

 

Cité Écologique is an ecovillage located in Ham-Nord, Quebec, which offers its members a range of services. As well as the employees who work there, the families who live there have access to a day-care service and an alternative school inspired by the Steiner Waldorf philosophy. As you would expect, the children at the school learn basic academic concepts, but this is combined with walks in the country, gardening, arts (music, dance, theatre) and more sport than in conventional schools. The Cité also offers an organic food buying group, a carpool service and on-site accommodation within walking distance of the workplace.

 

Photo extérieur de l'atelier

The Cité Écologique, situated in Ham Nord in Centre-du-Québec. Photos Credit: Respecterre

 

Where did the idea come from?

Respecterre | “The idea came from a need,” explains Ugo Dutil. “We have been manufacturing clothes for over 20 years. In 2005, the tax laws for manufacturing clothing abroad changed and it became cheaper to manufacture clothes in other countries (Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, etc.) […] We were no longer in a position to seek out contracts, as our prices were not competitive in comparison with prices abroad. In 2007, we therefore decided to create and sell our own collection in order to continue our business. That’s when we decided to create a business that would be in harmony with our ecological values […].”

My deuxième chance | Svetlina was born in the Cité Écologique ecovillage. She was inspired by her mother, who worked in a sewing workshop when Svetlina was very young. By experimenting with offcuts and pieces of fabric she found, she quickly caught the sewing bug. During her work experience at Respecterre, Svetlina had the opportunity to discover the various aspects of the clothing industry: sewing, cutting, inspection, dispatch, creating new models, purchasing fabric, creating collections and increasing the customer base. Having always been environmentally responsible and aware, it was a natural choice for her to start reusing residual materials from Respecterre as well as other unwanted clothes to make new creations. One thing led to another and My deuxième chance was born.

 

Ultimately, these two inspiring businesses and members of Cité Écologique offer genuine environmentally responsible treasures for you to wear at astonishingly affordable prices for original, durable and comfortable garments (I can confirm this, as I have several pieces myself) and hide invaluable efforts behind their exemplary practices.

 

Location of workshops

Respecterre and My deuxième chance
689, 8e Rang
Ham-Nord, QC, G0P 1A0
www.respecterre.com and www.mydeuxiemechance.com

 

Points of sale

My deuxième chance 

t.a.f.i. & COMPAGNIE, Sherbrooke

Point d’exclamation, Quebec

La Gaillarde and Folle Guenille, Montreal

Boutique Pour Dames, Victoriaville

Boutique Respecterre, Ham-Nord,

Online, on their website.

 

Respecterre

Respecterre workshop/boutique, Ham-Nord (Cité Écologique)

t.a.f.i. & COMPAGNIE, Sherbrooke

Les bijoux de Michèle, La Malbaie

Hemp and Company, Victoria, BC

Plateau Clothing, Prince George, BC

Boso Bamboo, Nova Scotia

 

 

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About the Author
Maude Sévigny

Maude has worked as Communications Advisor at Cascades Kingsey Falls since August 2015. Holding a bachelor’s degree in communications from Université de Sherbrooke, she is currently completing a master’s in the same field. Having grown up in a small village, she understands the importance of being involved in the community. Passionate about the environment, innovation and the popularization of science, her job is a perfect fit for the challenges she is seeking. “For me, working at Cascades is a natural step—not only does it match my values, but it’s brimming with inspiring opportunities!”

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