“Queerify” your clothes with Queer Concordia

Queer Concordia, in partnership with the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse, held an event on March 7 that allowed people to “queerify” and decorate their clothes for free

Queer Concordia held an event on March 7 in collaboration with the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) to give students the opportunity to “queerify” their old garments with free patches, pins, paint and more.

The event, made possible by one of Queer Concordia’s event coordinators Jessica Winton, was a way for Concordia’s queer community to meet, join and craft together. 

“I think a lot of queer people are afraid of showing their pride in smaller ways, so it’s an encouraging environment when you have multiple people doing it at once so you don’t feel alone, and you can meet people while doing it,” said Winton.

Queer Concordia is a resource centre on campus for queer students and allies. They host different events and parties throughout the year and even have office hours. In addition to the ‘“queerify your clothes” event, they’ve also organized movie nights, greenhouse hangouts and laser tag, to name a few.

A handful of people attended the event to decorate their clothing with an assortment of pride flag iron-on patches, colourful threads and buttons. Some of the attendees were veterans of Queer Concordia events, while others were newcomers.

Isabella Bortot, an exchange student from Italy, attended her first Queer Concordia event to fix up an old pair of jeans. “I love embroidery and I love the fact that it was a queer event because I’ve been meaning to get in touch with my community since I’ve been here a couple of months,” she said.

Queer spaces not only build community, but they can also save lives. According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth aged 13 to 24 years old report lower rates of suicide attempts when they can access LGBTQ+-affirming spaces.

These spaces can also help people feel less alone and build new connections. “I’m someone who had to abandon all of my friends when I came out as trans,” said Winton, “So, I know that if I wasn’t socialising at queer events, I probably wouldn’t have very many.”

For Bortot, even if she believes every university event should be a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community, she still finds value in queer events.

“As a minority, we find our strength in our community, in people that are like us, and so to be able to bond with people that are like us is to be stronger and to find our place in this city,” she said.

This event offers a change from alcohol-centered queer events. “It’s very important for people with anxiety, or people like myself who don’t drink, to try and have these more relaxed spaces rather than nightlife,” said Winton.

Upcoming Queer Concordia events can be found on their Instagram and other social media pages.


CFBA: The student source for all things fashion business

The CSU organization is the on-campus remedy for all your vogue cravings

The Concordia Fashion Business Association (CFBA) was founded in 2017 in order to connect student fashion enthusiasts to the industry by providing events, cocktails, talks, and mentorship involving experienced professionals in the field.  

The CFBA isn’t “just about networking with professionals, but other students as well because there aren’t any means provided by the school to do that,” mentioned CFBA co-president Sydnee Grill. 

Last year featured the first appearance of the Cocktails & Connections event held at Apt. 200, where the turnout of business-professional guests and student attendees alike surpassed expectations. The guest speaker for the night was Zach Macklovitch, co-founder of Saintwoods. 

“This year we want to do it bigger and better because we won’t have to worry about the vaxicode,” said Grill, “and we have a much higher cap on the amount of people who can attend the venue.”

Before 2021, the CFBA only held one or two of these events per year. Fashion Conversations was the recurring activity, which won an award for Best Virtual Event 2020-21 from the CSU. The fashion conference includes different events involving several speakers, workshops and a session after a cocktail event for recruiters to talk to students.

The club will also participate in Fashion Spectrum, a Quebec-wide case competition for all universities. The deadline to enter is Nov. 14 for students who want to get involved and enhance their skills in fashion and business. The competition is from Jan. 13 through 16, and the team will meet weekly with fashion mentors in order to prepare. 

As for the weekly timings, the CFBA meets once a week on Sundays for a general meeting. Closer to an event, many more meetings and a lot more work and time is put in.  

“At that point the events team is planning, the business relations team is reaching out to sponsors and speakers inviting guests and the social media team is pumping out all the content for that event,” said Grill.

“In the past, websites have been the main source to find business information. Now, Instagram is the top platform to keep consumers up to date, whether it’s student-run or professionally run,” added the co-president.

This year, the club’s new content creator Lucie Sarrazin created and posted a video on “what Concordia students are wearing” that garnered almost 50,000 views on Instagram. From that video, the club gained around 300 new followers in a matter of two weeks — more than what they gained throughout all of last year. 

“If you don’t go out and seek us out, the only other place you’re going to find us apart from going straight to our website is finding us on the CSU clubs website page. Every time someone new finds us, they’re amazed at how they’ve never heard of us,” Grill said.

Stay tuned for late April activities involving Concordia-based businesses and possible thrifting. 

This Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., students who attend the event at Apt. 200 will be able to network with each other and business-professional guests over food and drinks. The event will also feature a main guest speaker who will speak for 30 to 45 minutes.

Trend Anxiety: The interconnectedness of fashion and the world

Slow-fashion, fast-fashion, sustainable fashion, timeless fashion, upcycle, resell, in-season, out-of-season — an endless supply of words to give meaning to the clothes we choose to wear.

At first glance, they seem to be buzzwords, ultimately deeming some clothes “good,” and some clothes “bad.” But more than buzzwords, these terms provide a direct correlation between our clothes and the world around us.

Most of us have now experienced our first large trend cycle, with the return of Y2K fashion. But we are also experiencing trend cycles on a ridiculously smaller scale, one with a timespan of two months, instead of 20 years. Trends cycle so fast it actually induces my anxiety.

I went into H&M on Saint-Catherine St. for the first time in years last week, and felt completely overwhelmed. The fluorescent lights highlighting this season’s neon psychedelic trends, the seemingly infinite amount of clothes, the intensity of shoppers searching for something that will undoubtedly be out of style before they even return home. Not to mention the EDM blaring over the sound systems making me feel even more off-kilter, which only aggravated the situation. I couldn’t help but question, when we buy clothes, what are we buying?

As consumers, we must acknowledge the relation between clothes and the world around us — they don’t just represent your stature. We must understand the direct effect of the fashion industry and fast-fashion on the environment, on its involvement of child labour, and on the society in which we participate.

Once we understand the factors that go into our clothes, it’s important to buy and wear them in a way that is responsible and adheres to our beliefs and morals about the world.

As someone who has loved clothes and fashion from a young age, I have always considered my clothes as a representation of myself. My style fluctuates, which presents to the world my personal growth and changing environments. Moving to Montreal from Halifax influenced my style the most in recent years, with my wardrobe becoming more of a collection built from various trips to the thrift store and less from stops at my local Lululemon. It reflected the culture of Montreal youth and my personal endeavors, mainly that of caring for the environment.

That’s the thing with clothes. They tell others something about you which often remains unsaid. It is a signifier to the world; this is who I am because this is what I wear. But if what we are buying is an extension of ourselves, what do trends have to do with it?

In this case, maybe trends are a signifier to the world simply that we know what is trending. For lack of better terms, wearing a trend makes us cool. It’s not an inherently bad thing. Trends have been around as long as fashion itself has, and it’s not wrong to want to participate in them.

But many of us fall into the trend trap, in which we buy something only to wear it once or twice and never reach for it again. We all remember those early pandemic era trends of 2020 — namely cow and zebra print on literally everything, whether it be pants, tops, hats, shoes or furry bags. I couldn’t scroll through Pinterest without seeing some rendition of the alternative animal print trend, and now you’d be hard-pressed to find them anywhere.

Trend anxiety doesn’t just manifest itself in the chaos of fast-fashion shopping, as it also implores us to keep buying new clothes in order to retain the perception of being “trendy.” In today’s social media-driven world, trends have made fashion more about others than about ourselves.

Maybe you feel really comfortable in a certain trend, and you know you can source it in a sustainable way. You’ve already done the hard part by acknowledging how your clothes make you feel regardless of the perception of others. From here, we can wear trends in a way that respects the interconnectedness of fashion to self and the world around us.

When you’re shopping, choose pieces — regardless of their trend status — that you believe will last a long time. This means assessing the quality and durability of the garment, and questioning whether the piece will stand the test of time in your wardrobe, even when it may no longer be trending. This eradicates the disposability of clothes.

I used to go to the thrift store and purchase every trendy item I found because I thought I’d get the chance to wear them all. Realistically, so many of those pieces went unworn because they’re too hard to incorporate into my daily wardrobe. It’s helped to really consider before buying each item, how will I style this in numerous ways to really get wear out of it? If my style changes, will I no longer care for this item? Is it comfortable enough?

We should all try to buy clothes mainly out of necessity. If you actually need a new pair of jeans, think twice before buying a new skirt or dress. Realistically, clothing is an investment. Buying clothes you know you’ll wear helps the environment, and saves you money in the future.


Visuals by James Fay

Student Life

Let’s get smarter about shopping

As we’ve been told time and time again, the best way to shop sustainably and ethically is to shop at your local thrift or consignment stores. While it would be ideal for everyone to consume in this way, it isn’t always realistic, especially if your style is more in line with current designs and styles in fashion.

But, there is a way to be more eco-conscious, even if thrift store styles aren’t for you.

Shop the conscious lines retail companies have to offer

The environmental crisis caused by fast fashion is hardly avoidable at this point. This is why many popular retailers have created permanent lines in their seasonal collections that use sustainable materials and practices when producing clothes. Despite Zara being one of the many fast fashion brands with damaging practices that cause massive impacts on the environment, it has taken a small step in the right direction with the launch of their Join Life initiative in late 2016, that aims to create “contemporary designs made from sustainable materials.”

As explained in a Who What Wear article, at the forefront of Zara’s priorities is ensuring that they make as little an impact on the environment as possible. This is achieved through the use of “sustainable cotton, forest-friendly alternatives, and recycled fibres and recycled polyester” as well as working on a plan to have all of their distribution centres, offices, and stores running on clean energy by 2025.

Look at materials

As we all know, the environment that garments are created in, as well as the process used to create them, are important variables when it comes to determining whether or not they are environmentally conscious items. However, one very crucial element that most don’t think to consider is the fabrics they are made with. There are certain fabrics that are extremely damaging to the environment and require many resources to produce.

Which fabrics are these, exactly? According to another Who What Wear article, conventional cotton uses up extremely large amounts of water and pesticides to grow, which end up trickling into waterways, causing pollution. You should also avoid polyester and nylon, which are made using fossil fuels, as well as conventional viscose which requires many chemicals to break down.

Instead, opt for organic cotton, which has an all-around lower environmental impact from the time it is grown, processed and dyed. Linen is a great option, as it does not require pesticides to continue its growth, and can be easily integrated to create fabric blends. When it comes to warmer fabrics, wool would be your best bet, as it is often sourced from the animal in a highly ethical way. Another eco-conscious fabric is bamboo which, according to a document by, “is one of nature’s most sustainable resources.”

When buying from fast fashion brands, shop consciously

If you absolutely cannot abstain from buying from fast fashion brands, at the very least, make sure to shop smartly when you do. In order to avoid over-buying from these brands, make sure you’re knowledgeable about your style and your closet.

Firstly, know the general gist of your style and, through this, determine if you envision yourself reverting to a specific piece over and over again for years to come. By knowing your personal style, you’ll avoid those trendy or impulse purchases that will end up in your donation pile before the year is through. If you haven’t yet nailed your personal style, instead of buying different pieces that will potentially end up going to waste, look to inspiration websites like Pinterest so you can visually discern what you like.

Another way to avoid frequent purchasing from fast fashion websites or stores is to create a capsule wardrobe—a streamlined selection of clothes that can be combined to create multiple outfit combinations. This way, you always have the basics you need and, if you feel like you’re missing something, you know exactly what that piece is.

So, the next time you let yourself off the hook for not being more environmentally conscious when purchasing from fast fashion brands, think twice and consider these tips.

Photo by Britanny Clarke, Graphic by Kayla-Marie Turriciano


Concordia mobilizes to combat wasting unsold food and clothes

As the city of Montreal announced its new plans last week to tackle food and clothes waste, Concordia is already taking steps to do just that. 

In the city’s proposal, Mayor Valerie Plante and her team aim to ban stores from dumping unsold clothes and food, in an attempt to become zero waste by 2030. A plan released on Oct. 17 lays out their goal to reduce food waste by 50 per cent in five years, and reduce Montreal’s commercial textile waste.

According to Faisal Shennib, an environmental specialist who is managing Zero Waste Concordia (ZWC), they are already taking steps to reduce food waste.

“We’ve always aimed to reduce waste from landfills as much as possible,” said Shennib. “Organics are the top contributors of waste from our institutions, and they release a lot of methane when they go into the landfills, so it’s an easy target for us.”

ZWC plans to make compost bins accessible in each food consumption area at Concordia, and wants to figure out a program to process the organics that are composted in a sustainable way.

“But then what we realized is that we weren’t connecting usable food waste to people who could use it,” said Shennib.

Their pilot project, tentatively named Zero Waste Concordia’s Food Donation Program, was launched this September. It aims to get restaurants and cafes renting space at the university to move toward eliminating their food waste.

The project has three phases. The first is to educate the tenants, such as Subway, Java U and, Jugo Juice, about basic sustainability, like recycling and composting. The second phase is planned to launch next semester and aims to formally give them the opportunity to partner with organizations like La Tablée des Chefs. Their food recovery program redistributes surplus food to community organizations that provide food to the homeless. The third is to encourage tenants to rethink their food packaging and use of plastics in their businesses.

ZWC already informally contacted some tenants for the project, and most either expressed interest or are already involved in another food redistribution charity. Concordia as an institution already has a contract with La Tablée des Chefs. ZWC is also trying to get confirmation from the university to allow their tenants to be covered under their agreement.

“They use our landfill container at the end of the day,” said Shennib. “They actually throw out all that food, potentially, unless they have their own program.”

The project is also working to reduce food waste from university events by working with Hospitality Concordia, who organizes events at the institution. Hospitality Concordia already has a partnership with Tablée des Chefs but was targeting larger events. ZWC wants to target smaller, student-run events that may also be wasting food.

“There’s also a smaller ecosystem we want to build,” continued Shennib. “Say a student club serves food to 10 people, and then they have a lot of cookies leftover and nobody wants to take it from the group- it shouldn’t have to go to waste either. We’re trying to collaborate with health food co-op Frigo Vert to potentially use them as a place where students can bring them their leftovers, and they can offer them to the community.”

School Stores: Unsold Clothes

Melanie Burnett, the general manager for Concordia Stores, said they rarely ever throw away clothes because they almost always sell their apparel. Burnett said they have sales to sell unsold clothes and that they also recently donated their apparel to a charity.

She explained the only time they throw away clothes from their stores is if they are damaged and unsellable.

Concordia Stores also have a partnership with Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR). Burnett said they have donated some unsold art supplies to CUCCR for creative purposes in the past, and have given them wooden shelves the Stores were no longer using.

“By fixing ambitious targets and giving ourselves the means to attain them, our city will deploy the necessary efforts to make its ecological transition more concrete,” said executive committee member Laurence Lavigne Lalonde. Lalonde is responsible for the ecological transition and resilience of l’Espace pour la vie et de l’agriculture urbaine.

Concordia has several other initiatives aiming to reduce food waste, such as the Dish Project, Waste Not Want Not and the Concordia Food Coalition. 


Feature photo by Laurence B.D.

Student Life

Vintage sale gives new lease on life to old clothes

CASA Cares supports community of senior citizens

Girls sporting oxford lace-ups and guys wearing tweed blazers browsed racks of woolen coats and displays of sequined shoes. For a moment, I thought the ultra-contemporary EV building atrium had been transported to the ‘50s.

Just kidding—I knew that the hip students combing through second-hand pants and jackets were only looking to score the next unique addition to their wardrobes, at the third annual Vintage Couture Sale held by CASA Cares, the Commerce and Administration Student Association’s (CASA) not-for-profit wing, and the John Molson Sustainable Business Group.

The selection of vintage and used clothing at the sale included both high and mid-range pieces. Highlights from designer brands were a grey checked two-piece suit from Salvatore Ferragamo, strappy Manolo Blahnik sandals, and a ruffled Marc by Marc Jacobs dress. Prices were more than reasonable, with the Ferragamo suit going for $20 and pairs of pants priced at $5. Towards the end of the day, shoppers could fill a bag with as many items as they could fit in it for $40, and individual items went for $2. The shopping was guilt-free not just because of the low prices, however, but because the proceeds went to a worthy cause.

The Vintage Couture Sale benefitted the New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre. Harpal Dasord, CASA Cares’ director of fashion sponsorship, said that the student group tries “to benefit various different organizations.” This year, the volunteer association had already hosted a terrasse party in support of ONEXONE’s First Nations School Breakfast Program and a fashion show to benefit the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and will also hold a gala to raise money for Movember on Nov. 21. The vintage clothing sale helped CASA Cares to target different age groups, accordint to Dasord.

All of the clothes in the sale were donated by members of New Hope Senior Citizens’ Centre, “ladies who don’t wear [the clothes] anymore,” CASA Cares’ first-year representative Frédérique Morrissette explained. “That’s why we get really high brands like Prada or Dolce and Gabbana.”

New Hope is a day centre that promotes civic involvement, and provides social activities and meal plans to senior citizens in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Its mission statement is “to provide a friendly environment where seniors can thrive through a variety of social and community-based services and activities.” It seems fitting that the members’ clothes should be given new life, by matching them with new owners who will prolong their wear. The sale aligns well with the aims of an organization that brings, well, new hope to a demographic of the population that often struggles with isolation.

Morrissette said the student group would like to add even more high-end clothing in the coming iterations of the annual event. Her advice to those who missed this year’s shopping opportunity? “Come early to get the best stuff because it’s going really fast!”

The Vintage Couture Sale was held in the EV Building’s atrium, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14. CASA Cares will be hosting other events in the coming months, and the Vintage Couture Sale will return next year. For more information on the New Hope Senior Citizen Centre, visit

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