Par Angèle Simon

Reading time: 3 minutes

Comfortably settled in her all-pink living room, Olivia, the founder of the upcycling brand Avenir Vert, tells us the story of her journey as a designer and entrepreneur. Just beside her, her sewing space along with a few garments and pieces of fabric reveal the future pieces that Montreal's cool girls will proudly wear.

The Starting Point

Originating from Boston, it was in 2019, at the age of 17, that Olivia launched Avenir Vert as part of an entrepreneurship course. Vegan since the age of 12, it was clear to her that sustainability had to be at the core of her company. Between moving to Montreal and a global pandemic, she decided to take her project more seriously and finally fulfill her dream: to combine fashion and sustainability. And this is something Olivia is not willing to give up anytime soon.

"Sustainability is the starting and ending point of the brand."

With a strong interest in fashion from a young age and rather limited resources, the entrepreneur had to learn from scratch how to sew, create a brand, market products, do photography, build a website, participate in pop-ups, fashion shows, and so much more. But her ideas and keen eye for finding the most beautiful vintage pieces and fabrics are already shaping the success of her brand. While millions of tons of textiles are discarded each year by a single country*, Olivia decides to save a tiny fraction and turn it into something incredible.

When we think of recycled fabric, we often believe that the garment is outdated and somewhat damaged. But with Avenir Vert, the young entrepreneur proves us wrong. She transforms a vintage nightgown into a trendy mini dress, men's trousers into a mini skirt, and reuses tablecloths, curtains, and other fabrics that likely belonged to a grandmother in the neighborhood.

“This was the neckline of a prom dress, and I made it into a mini skirt.”

The Hyper-Feminine

In line with its sustainable approach, Avenir Vert doesn't offer seasonal collections but rather clothing capsules that tell a story. This is more authentic for Olivia to create. This way, she can imagine her pieces freely and create a scenario that will determine the theme of her capsule. For Valentine's Day, the designer drew inspiration from dollhouses, combining glamour and innocence. The collection features mostly pearly white, blush pink, lots of bows and lace, corsets, micro-skirts, and mini-dresses. Of course, everything is recycled, ultra-feminine, fun, and boosts confidence like no other!

"I don't party, but I make clothes for the girls who do."

"But also for the girls who like to dress up and stay in their apartment," she adds later. So Avenir Vert is therefore also a safe space where circular fashion lovers find their happiness.

Now holding a marketing degree from Concordia University, Olivia wants to continue living in Montreal and fully dedicate herself to her business. She also aims to raise awareness among her current and future community about consumption habits that are more respectful of the planet and humans. Because yes, all cool girls are also responsible consumers!



*According to the University of Waterloo, Canadians discard nearly 500 million kilograms of textile items each year (2023).