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March 2008


Montreal Fashion Week runway show March 25 - link to photos

video of Montreal Fashion Week - Thieves - video link

The National Post - Thieves at Montreal Fashion Week - MFW Fashion show review - Japanese online fashion magazine - link to interview

+ flashfilm is the online magazine
for international fashion and lifestyle +


February 2008 - Alive Magazine Spring Editorial


Video interview from L'oreal Toronto Fashion Week- interview video link

November 2007

Treehugger - article by Lloyd Alter

October 19, 2007 - Greenlivingonline Magazine

(Oct 19, 2007) Without hemp sandal or hoodie in sight, Fashion Takes Action produce a totally green runway show this month in Toronto.

Ten Canadian designers unveiled mini-collections of eco-couture, featuring sustainable fabrics, low-impact dye, and cruelty-free methods of production. The designs were showcased during a runway show and gala which boasted the "lightest eco-footprint possible" and benefited Environmental Defense. The show was such a success that Robin Kay, President of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (FDCC) invited Fashion Takes Action to show on October 25th at the L’Oreal Fashion Week.

Wide range
The collections ranged from avant-garde to entirely accessible; five designs were sold at live auction from the runway immediately following the show. Models walked barefoot on a sod runway under LED lights; an open wall behind them displayed the sunset over the lush green belt and allowed guests to enjoy fresh air. Farley Chatto, Annie Thompson, Thien LE, Damzels in this Dress, Thieves and Juma were only a few of the designers involved. Each designer was asked to use sustainable fabric when creating their designs.

Recycled and sustainable style
It began with Annie Thompson’s recycled, almost gothic collection set to grinding, bass-heavy music. Trademark green and black stripes marked this collection, which seemed to play off the apathy and strength of a mainstream green movement. Damzels in this Dress and Thieves offered a more upbeat picture of eco-awareness. Set to remixed hip hop and pop music, the shapes were longer and more playful. Whether it was the stunning ballgowns down up in brightly coloured bamboo from Thien LE, or the sleek, stylish organic cotton suit from Farley Chatto, the materials were immensely versatile in shape, colour, and texture.

Great care was taken at every stage of the event to ensure its green-ness, including offsetting the entire event with BullFrog Power and CarbonZero. The food was locally grown and organic, served with biodegradable plates and cutlery. No electricity was used to style the model’s hair and the stylists chose natural make-up from Aveda. Like the green movement itself, there are aspects of eco-couture that remain far from reach for the general public; a Thien LE gown sold at the gala for $900 but has a retail value of $6000. And of course, like the flirty, enviro-friendly designs from Thieves, (already available online) or the LED lights -- there are many options already at our fingertips.

Catch it all again at the L’Oreal Fashion Week on Thursday October 25th at 2:00pm. Tickets are available online.

Jessica deMello is a Toronto based fashion writer.

August 9,2007 Toronto Now Magazine - Ecoholic

Designers like Thieves sew all kinds of crafty fashions from organic fibres.

How to dress green without drenching yourself in chemicals

Saving the earth, one question at a time


Q Where can I find cool organic clothes suitable for someone with chemical sensitivities?

A When I first got your question I thought, no problem! It's 2007, baby, and Canada's teeming with clothing that would make any green fashionista weak in the knees, stuff by the likes of Thieves, Passenger Pigeon, Lilikoi, Salts Organic, Grace & Cello and Twice Shy.

Those are just a few of my favourite Canadian companies making funky duds out of organic cotton, linen, hemp, soy, bamboo and Tencel/Lyocell (wood pulp). At sites south of the border like you'll find even more.

Fab, right? Well, not so much if you're chemically sensitive. One problem is that some organic cottons are blended with small proportions of petroleum-based synthetic Lycra to give them some stretch.

Some people with multiple chemical sensitives (MCS) can handle a little Lycra. But if you're really sensitive your biggest beef may be with the dyes. Nearly all of these companies use low-impact synthetic fibre-reactive dyes (as do Patagonia and MEC's organic lines). That means they don't get their hues from heavy metals or toxic dye fixers (mordants) and generally use less energy and water in the dying process, but they're still petroleum-based. It's tough to get really punchy reds, blues, purples and other great colours from nature – sorry.

The bad news is that if your reactions are more severe, you might have to stay away from this stuff. Only you can know for sure by testing it out. At least these companies, unlike mainstream clothiers, don't usually apply formaldehyde as an anti-wrinkling agent, or other finishing chems.

Although natural (aka plant-, mineral- or insect, yes, insect-based) dyes are generally easier for those with sensitivities to handle, granola-heads would be surprised to learn some natural dying techniques sometimes employ not-so-eco heavy metals as mordants. You might or might not have a problem with them.

Fabrics that have been simmered with onion skins, tea, mud or walnut husks are the most benign. carries some organic cotton plant-dyed clothes. Just ask. Jules & Annie make some lovely wrap skirts with natural pigments in organic cotton and hemp (available at Nathalie-Roze & Co. on Queen East).

The ideal option would be colour-grown cotton, from plants cultivated for thousands of years to grow in earthen shades of red, green, yellow and brown. is a decent source for organic clothing made from these fibres as well as others, offering more conservative styles with a looser fit if that's your thang.

Then, of course, there are the recycled and reconstructed vintage options I absolutely love (reduce, reuse!) by hot Canuck collagers like Preloved, On & On, Susan Harris, Myco Anna, Paper People Clothing and Precocious.

But – and this is a big one – vintage fibres can be a nightmare for the chem-sensitive, since you can't know whether the last person who wore it was a perfume hound and what synthetic softeners it was washed with. Still, I know plenty of people with mild chemical sensitivities who sport vintage clothes. You just might want to wash them a few times in baking soda and borax, or soak them for a few hours before you wear them.

If that's too risky for you, there is one other way to get that cool reconstructed look: either get crafty with a sewing machine and scissors or hand your old wardrobe over to the creative cats at On & On, who'll do it for you ( Sewers can buy all sorts of undyed, colourgrown and low-impact dyed fabric by the yard at

Also, many hyper-allergenic types have had good luck with bamboo textiles. The ultra-soft fibre is generally boiled, not chemically treated, though making bamboo thread can be pretty energy-intensive. Stay away from viscose bamboo, which is definitely chemically processed.

Otherwise, my dear, you're stuck with beige. Luckily, offers most of its organic hemp styles in "natural." Salts Organic's hoodies and tops in natural hues are unbleached and undyed. BGreen, Blue Canoe and carry a couple of all-natural, undyed, Lycra-free organic items. American Apparel makes some plain beige 100 per cent organic cotton tanks, girly Ts and even thongs. Naturally, you can always go commando. It's easier than joining a nudist colony and giving up clothes entirely.   the end


May 9, 2007

May 1, 2007

Canadian designer Sonja den Elzen cultivated Thieves with respect to her love of high end street fashion and art; the ever changing landscape was an inspiration to explore raw materials and construction methods that would be respectful of the environment. With this modern collection, Thieves gives back a bit of what we have stolen, using organic and sustainable fabrics such as bamboo, soy, and lycocell.

write up

April 26, 2007

December 22, 2006's

I found Sonja Den Elzen's Thieves line tonight on StyleHive.  What I like most is that she's thinking about the guys.  How come girls get all the attention??!!  OK, I'm being a prima donna.  But seriously, this shirt just rules.  I tried to zoom in on the shoulder screen from her web page, but couldn't make out exactly what it is.

Nonetheless, it looks cool from here.  I also like the tapering.  If I wasn't dead broke from Xmas shopping (and building this damn site), I'd drop the $100.  For those of you feeling the Iguana love this holiday season:  I'm a medium :)

Here's Sonja's hooded blazer -- $400.

These pants aren't my style.  I'm a suit and tie guy Mon-Fri and jeans on weekends.  But, I gotta love the flares.  An Iguana thumbs up.


Daily Poetics - 2006

The opposite of courage is not cowardice; it is conformity. -Rollo May

Thieves by Sonja den Elzen.Sowear_1879_23989460

Toronto-based fashion designer, Sonja den Elzen, has launched an exclusive line for this season’s new wares called Thieves. The Thieves’ line is a unique blend of art and fashion and retains Sonja's trademark attention to detail and quality fabrics. Sonja seeks to draw attention to clothing as an art form rather than a mass produced, poorly developed product and explains, "Throughout the fashion industry's lifespan, clothing has been a terrific visual outlet for personal expression and identification... and the mass consumption of today's society removes the importance of uniqueness the individual can offer." The Thieves line is specifically created to fulfill this need and is a limited run edition bringing street wear to a couture level.

Help seek to make our visual landscape diverse and beautiful; be an individual.

Like thieves in the night we move,
We have outlawed ourselves from
Societies deep sleep,
We move with a lightness of step
So no one hears as we stealthily
Reclaim our identity of self.







251 Sorauren Ave. Studio 406, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (416) 823.0700