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Michelle Larsen launched Fortiv Fabric Shop, a custom clothing shop exclusively on Instagram stories and highlights.Alia Youssef/The Globe and Mail

When Vancouver designer Michelle Larsen was looking to make her three-year-old clothing label, Fortiv, more economically and environmentally sustainable, she turned to the idea of custom clothing.

Ms. Larsen already designed handmade clothes using reclaimed materials, but realized she could create custom pieces for the same price as her existing clothing lines, reducing textile waste and saving her the uncertainty of making clothes that may not sell.

Her custom clothing venture, Fortiv Fabric Shop, launched Oct. 5 – exclusively on Instagram. There, she shares photos and videos of fabric and design options and collaborates with clients to create bespoke items using the mix of discontinued and reused fabrics she has on hand.

The slow fashion movement – which encourages consumers to buy fewer items, but invest in higher-quality pieces that are made to last – is already celebrated for its environmental sustainability. But custom clothing using reclaimed materials takes the idea a step further, with Ms. Larsen’s process designed to create as little fabric waste as possible.

Designs and fabrics are displayed in Ms. Larsen's studio.Alia Youssef/The Globe and Mail

Ms. Larsen already designed handmade clothes using reclaimed materials, but realized she could create custom pieces for the same price as her existing clothing lines.Alia Youssef/The Globe and Mail

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