On a warm June day, we headed out to Saskatoon Street to visit another local business aimed at sustainability and fashion here in London, Ontario.
Carmina de Young is a fashion designer who immigrated to Canada from Mexico over twenty years ago. Here in Canada she built on the dream of working in fashion, and in 2015 she became the face of her new brand Carmina de Young. The business has focused on high-end women’s fashion made entirely in Canada from luxurious and sustainable fabrics.
Then when Covid-19 struck the world, it meant businesses could either sink or swim by adapting to the tumultuous changes and restrictions. Carmina jumped onto mask production with her team and eventually made the decision in 2020 to move over to PPE production with her line CY Health. They sold as much of their fashion line as possible and made room for equipment and development of disposable gowns.
Not only were they making PPE for hospitals and other medical offices, they are now working to repurpose and recycle the same material from the PPE they are producing, thus providing both safety and sustainability for the community. Business partner Lina Bowden says they are working to recycle 1000 pounds of waste a week that comes from producing their disposable gowns.
From this project, Carmina came upon having more scraps from their products, but could not let them go to landfills. When brainstorming how to repurpose the extra scraps, she contacted Kay Habib to work together with Skilled Accents who also values sustainability and the environment. Carmina feels that businesses gain more by collaborating, saying “you can always compliment the differences and the different skills you have. And that’s what’s happened with Skilled Accents.”
Kay jumped at the chance, and together Skilled Accents and Carmina de Young are developing new, exciting products using recycled material from both businesses.
With the PPE production going steadily, Carmina and Lina are aiming even further. They are currently in the early stages of developing a new business called Life Cycle PPE that hopes to create recycled textiles from the scraps they have, providing sustainability for our environment and employment for the community in a fully self-sustaining supply chain.
Essentially, the project reclaims the disposable gowns they sell to hospitals and medical offices, gets them reprocessed into post-consumer pellets, and turns those pellets back into textiles for more gowns to use over and over again.
They were able to receive a lot of funding to get the needed equipment for this project, which is the first of its kind in Canada.
Now, Skilled Accents and Carmina de Young are working to provide even more sustainable options for local communities, together.
“It’s with a good purpose. And that’s the important thing.” - Carmina
To find out more about Carmina de Young and CY Health, visit carminadeyoung.com
Don’t miss out on new products and announcements coming soon!