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Up-Cycling Fashion PowTown Style: A Review of Eunoia

assorted-color clothes lot

Picture by Photo by Shanna Camilleri on Unsplash

Visiting Powell River this past weekend, I was stunned to find up-cycling in the heart of the town site where the pulp and paper mill has been the dominant industry since 1912.

Walking into the new Townsite Market, freshly opened on December 9th 2018, I came upon Eunoia, a fibre studio and gallery filled with up cycled fashion and ideas for the home.

In a society driven by the economics of mass production like the town’s local mill, time slowed down as we walked the a gallery of beautiful items, rescued and re purposed from clothing castoffs. One of a kind hats, shirts and jackets hung among the hand made felted jackets and aprons. A favourite that stood out were pop can earrings: literal pop art! Circular discs of aluminum cans with patterns from bright craft beer designs and well-known logos like Coco-cola sparkled on the shelves.

I found myself re-thinking the idea of simply donating clothes to thrift stores and imagining what could be when older clothes, sheets and hangings come to the end of their original lives. The textile artists at Eunoia, embracing “beautiful thinking,” have gone beyond simple re purposing, and created an entirely unique fashion line.

The closest I’ve come to up cycling clothing is beginning work on a t-shirt quilt, an idea first seen in our house on the first Twilight movie (a guilty pleasure for sick days spent on the couch with broth based soups in hand!). We’ve also used old textiles as cleaning rags at home and in the studio, and taken some to be recycled at H&M.

For now Moon Snail Creative is content to up cycle old pillow cases into reusable shopping bags. We don’t have the sewing skills to work on clothing…yet! For now we’ll leave the wearable up cycling to the professionals, some of whom you can find in Powell River at Eunoia.

Dementors and Moon Snails

What the heck, our garbage recycling room looks like one of the floating islands in the Pacific Ocean! Garbage and plastic everywhere, no pick-ups and a provider refusing to take the bins unless they are properly sorted. Who puts a loaf of bread in a glass bin?!?

Up to my ears in refuse, I ask myself “how did it come to this?” We waded through garbage and recycling for a little over and hour before stopping, covered in filth and sweat, we reflected both on the inability of our building to properly sort trash, and also how much was in the dumpster that could have been up-cycled and reused.

That night we fixed three chairs, 2 lamps and a kid’s swing and gave them away on craigslist.

Sipping a cold one in our apartment we looked around and tried to list the stuff we have duplicates of. Can openers, pizza slices, and a couple of craft beer books. Appliances we don’t use and don’t need. It became clear that we are drowning in clutter which is weird because we’re not materialistic people. I am guilty of hording items that “might be useful” at some point in the future, but no one needs two can openers!

By drink three we were determined that we were going to change all this and purge, donate, fix, up cycle and learn how to live more cleanly. I was also determined to have a shower, the stench of the garbage room lingered like a dementor in a playground, and dinner was on the horizon.

We’re both creative people, and we like to work together. There is something satisfying about working with your own hands creatively in this age of screens and keyboards. We are one of those couples who are always talking about the changes we should be making to live clean, but we go to work in offices where we sit in a cubical trying to make the world a better place from behind a screen, while increasing the chances of carpel tunnel.

The following night over supper outside, I carved my first spoon from a piece of firewood and voila! Moon Snail Creative launched with gusto. By gusto, I mean we opened an Instagram account, and by launched, I mean we had no plan other than to be creative, research cleaner living and eat less meat. It may sound like no plan at all, but true to the “creative” part of our partnerships title, it gave us the freedom to fashion a plan from our experiments and mistakes.