BY LEAH MORROW
The world is going green and where better to launch an eco-friendly business than at a flower-powered music festival?
For three young entrepreneurial graduates, that’s exactly what they did.
Ezzy Lynn is a lifestyle brand of trend-setting apparel and accessories, founded by Samantha Laliberte, Bianca Lopes and Sonja Fernandes.
“Our first music festival was where we launched Ezzy Lynn. It was at Electric Elements in May 2014 in Wasaga Beach. We sold all of our scrunchies and flower crowns and had time to party,” said Laliberte. “By the time we were driving back at the end of the weekend, we had friends wanting to support us after seeing pictures on Instagram. We came back from that festival feeling like we had a real business.”
All of their products are handcrafted from vegan and upcycled materials. Each item represents a different endangered animal adopted through the World Wildlife Fund of Canada. The funds (10 per cent of the gross profit) go toward helping species at risk. So far, Ezzy Lynn has symbolically adopted 146 endangered animals, including grey wolves, tigers and gorillas.
The scrunchies that got them noticed cost $20 each.
With the world headed in an eco-friendly direction, Diana Jaramilol, a first-year paralegal studies student at Conestoga College, said she would be willing to pay more for a product she really believed in.
“I think it is a really good cause,” said Jaramilol.
“Having this big picture view of how to ultimately conserve our beloved species at risk was the major driver for our sustainable processes,” said Laliberte.
Ezzy Lynn also partners with vintage boutiques in the Queen’s West area of Toronto.
Laliberte said they use premium scrap fabrics that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Ezzy Lynn saves them.
“If you look in your own closet, sometimes you don’t want stuff and you just throw it out,” said Jaramilol. “It is definitely better to be doing something like upcycling with them.”
Goodwill has also given Ezzy Lynn access to their excess textile materials.
By repurposing fabric, the company reduces demand for new textiles, which helps to decrease gas emissions that come from the industrial process of manufacturing them.
“We strive to be socially and environmentally responsible from inception to delivery of our products,” said Laliberte. “We want to prove you can be a profitable company without making sacrifices towards our environment.”
Ezzy Lynn’s commitment to the environment and an eco-friendly future doesn’t stop there, all of their print materials, including business cards and shipping mailers, are composed of 100 per cent recycled materials, approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
“As part of our due diligence process with the WWF, they coached us on our production model,” said Laliberte. “It would have been ironic if the way we made our products had a negative effect on our environment that was greater than the positive impact we were making with our donations.”
As the company grows, the creators of Ezzy Lynn realize that staying green may be harder than it sounds, but they are up for the challenge.
“It’s an ongoing conversation with our team as we scale up,” said Laliberte. “We’re committed to finding a solution. Our partnership with the WWF gives us a lot of great coaching.”
Ezzy Lynn’s trend-setting style and eye for design prove that you do not have to choose between the environment and fashion. For more information on their company, visit ezzylynn.com.