|AN EXOTIC FIND - GREEN SAPPHIRE IMPORTS|
|Written by Erda Schnarr - Wednesday, 10 November 2010|
JARINA WOOD AND COCONUT NECKLACE By Patricia Moura
Adorn yourself in exotic one-of-a-kind sustainable eco jewels from the Amazon rainforest.
Regina Landim Noppe is a Brazilian Canadian now living in Canada who has a degree in international trade and ever since moving to Canada has wanted to import exotic and sassy Brazilian fashion into the Canadian fashion market.
Noppe, founder of Green Sapphire Imports, currently represents 3 brands; Green Sapphire Jewellery by Patricia Moura, Eden Organics and a new line of clutches made from palm tree bark.
Regina explains that in Brazil, close relationships even of a business nature are very important as it results in long term relationship building with the brands she represents.
ACAI AND COCONUT NECKLACE By Patricia Moura
Green Sapphire Jewellery is designed by Patricia Moura, a well known designer from the North of Brazil. Every piece is hand-crafted with variances in colour and shape contributing to one-of-a-kind pieces, several styles being exclusive to Green Sapphire. These exotic pieces promote ecologically sound harvesting and sustainability. One of the primary materials used in Green Sapphire jewelry is Jarina seeds, which originate from palm trees and are collected from the soil of the forests without harming the environment. Other materials used include semiprecious stones, acai berry, coconut, wood, mother-of- pearl, sea shells, abalone, ceramics and bamboo. These exotic fair trade accessories tell a story. Celebrities such as Alicia Silverstone, celebrity television stylist Tracy Richardson, and Gisele Bundchen all own Green Sapphire pieces.
SISAL FLOWER NECKLACE - Rendarte Project
Patricia Moura is also an instructor in a social project and therapeutic program called "Rendarte," in which cancer patients learn how to make jewelry. Moura's specialty is teaching patients how to make sisal flowers out of rami, a natural, sustainable fibre. One patient, Marliene, became so good at making the jewelry that the Moura enlisted her as a teaching assistant and in her recovery Marliene has become a supplier. She thanks the program for changing her life.
EDEN ORGANICS MENSWEAR - Eco Fashion Week
Eden Organics Menswear took the runway this year at Eco Fashion Week Vancouver. Eden items are made from 100% organic cotton grown on their own farm, where they also do their own natural fabric dying. Eden's NOW (Natural Organic World) stamp guarantees that all the raw materials used in the production of organic cotton comply with international organic standards. Without exception, all Eden finished products are manufactured using small scale practices and using dyes with vegetable extracts and natural pigments. EDEN garments are free of agro-toxics that damage our environment.
EDEN ORGANICS MENSWEAR - Eco Fashion Week
EDEN's production cycles from the plant to distribution to the retail market are inspected and certified by IBD. In Brazil, the IBD (Biodynamic Institute) is one of the few international institutions that certifies and inspects organic products and all aspects of the production chain. Since 2004, the Coexis Organic Program in partnership with IBD, have been building commercially ethical relations with all production players. In this way the legitimacy of the organic label is guaranteed.
PALM TREE BARK CLUTCH
Green Sapphire now also carries a unique line of clutches made with palm tree bark. A perfect choice for a Christmas gift this season!
I had the chance to interview Regina recently. Here is what she had to share with us:
EFW: So nice to meet you at the first Eco Fashion Week here in Vancouver this fall. What part of the event really stood out to you?
RLN: I loved every single moment of it! I definitely can point out two special moments for me. One was to see all the people applauding after the EDEN runway show; that was a big dream for me... Also, to see how the industry/media reacted right after the show, congratulating me and wanting to know where they could find the products. It reassured me that I am doing the right thing and Canadians love the Brazilian fashion! Green Sapphire just sent Gisele Bundchen a thank you package for being involved with Eco Fashion Week.
EFW: I know you mentioned that you often hear people talking about "shop local." How can Canadians best support international brands like the type of Brazilian businesses you represent?
RLN: I think that buying local is awesome! Canada is such a multicultural country where most of us come from somewhere else; it's important to open the eco-market to the world. I think the focus shouldn't be on WHERE the product is made, but HOW it's made. In this way, we encourage people around the world to do it right! We are still supporting our local community by buying from merchants here. Most importantly, we are telling the world how beautiful and conscientious eco-fashion can be.
EFW: Currently you represent 3 Brazilian brands. Do you plan on expanding to represent more lines?
RLN: I want to bring more lines to Canada for sure as I find that Canadians love Brazilian fashion, it's just a question of finding the best lines and suppliers as we have a lot of diversity and this process takes a lot of time. The Brazilian designers are so creative and there's always something new. I can't wait to go to Brazil at the end of November to search for new lines!
EFW: When we met, you mentioned Green Sapphire designer Patricia Moura is an instructor for Rendarte, a social project and therapeutic program in which cancer patients in Brazil can learn how to make jewellery. You said that you would like to get involved in supporting cancer projects in Canada as well. What sort of ideas do you have in mind?
RLN: I intend to contribute to The Canadian Cancer Society by donating part of my sales to their cause. I plan on having events where the focal point is to raise money for them. Unfortunately, I don't have the design skills that Patricia Moura has to teach others! We also want to help the David Suzuki Foundation. In the past, we have been a part of events like "shop for a cause" at Body Politic, where they donated part of the sales to the foundation. The main idea is that we want to be involved as much as possible in everything related to make our world a better place.
EFW: Are you involved in any upcoming events or projects?
RLN: Green Sapphire just donated an item to the Gala Sea of Possibilities silent auction for the Women In Leadership Foundation and hope to get involved somehow with the Earth Summit in Vancouver.
EFW: Thanks for sharing Regina!
If you are in Vancouver, check out the Holiday Shopping Extravaganza on November 18. Part of profits will go to chosen charities. Green Sapphire will be donating 5% of all sales to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
You can buy one-of-a-kind Green Sapphire items online at or in select Vancouver stores.
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