Fantasy and ingenuity are tucked, pleated, fused and sewn into every handcrafted garment that goes into the White Cashmere Collection – the world’s first and only couture collection featuring designs fashioned from bathroom tissue.
But there’s something else that makes these creations worthy of a standing ovation: the collection, which features original work by Canada’s top and up-and-coming designers, raises funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) and helps boost public awareness of breast cancer.
“We are committed to a future without breast cancer – a disease that affects all of us,” says Nancy Marcus, corporate vice president, consumer marketing for Kruger Products L.P., the Montreal paper products company behind the unique program. “Through the White Cashmere Collection, we’re inspiring Canadians to support research and education initiatives that will someday make breast cancer a thing of the past.”
Kruger launched the White Cashmere Collection in 2004 to promote Canadian designers. The collection featured white cashmere fabric until 2006, when Kruger decided that the designs should be fashioned instead with Cashmere bathroom tissue.
It was a brilliant move that caught the attention of Canadians and earned Cashmere accolades from the marketing community. Another brilliant move was yet to come: in 2008, the White Cashmere Collection staged its first campaign in support of breast cancer research and education.
Aptly titled A Touch of Pink, the show united Canada’s fashion community in the fight against breast cancer. It also highlighted “Fashion with Compassion” in support of the CBCF, as well as the launch of limited edition pink Cashmere bathroom tissue – the first coloured bathroom tissue Canadians had seen in 10 years.
Since 2008, the CBCF has received 25 cents from the sale of every package of this pink tissue.
“Kruger has been an incredible partner,” says Sandra Palmaro, CBCF’s CEO for Ontario, noting that her organization’s partnership with Kruger dates back to 2005, through programs with the company’s other brands. “And of course, the event itself and the White Cashmere Collection are just really amazing. They generate such energy and excitement, and allow us to reach out to a much broader audience.”
This year’s event marks an important milestone: the White Cashmere Collection’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate a decade of extraordinary designs and achievements, the collection will showcase 20 designers – about double the number of designers in past years – in a September 25 runway show at Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.
What’s also notable about this year’s collection is that it will feature a design inspired by Kruger’s new Cashmere UltraLuxe, which Marcus describes as “our softest, most luxurious Cashmere bathroom tissue ever.”
The runway show will be part of a “Pink and White” themed gala. All Canadians can take part in this historic occasion – and support a worthy cause – by joining Cashmere’s Vote Couture For the Cure™ campaign at Facebook.com/Cashmere, voting for their favourite design from September 25 to November 1. Cashmere will give the CBCF $1 per vote, up to $10,000, in the name of the winning designer. Voters will also be entered in a draw to win a shopping spree worth $10,000.
Farley Chatto, a Toronto designer who is curating and designing for the 10th anniversary White Cashmere Collection, promises a stellar show that will amaze not only because of its creativity, but also because of the technical prowess required to turn bathroom tissue into haute-couture garments.
What makes the designs most beautiful, says Chatto, is the inspiration behind them.
“When you’re designing for the White Cashmere Collection, ultimately what inspires you is the knowledge that you’re doing it for all those women – our mothers, sisters and aunts – who are living with breast cancer,” he says. “It’s because of them that I want to make sure we have the best show this year, and the most amazing garments.”
WHITE CASHMERE COLLECTION
This year, more than 40 models will dazzle in designs by 20 top Canadian designers at a fashion show set for September 25 at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario.