Handmade festival promotes local entrepreneurs

Pet it Dog Apparel

KITCHENER — Local businesses promoted their handmade, environmentally-conscious products at an Earth Day inspired event Saturday.

The Bloomin Earth festival, set up in front of Kitchener City Hall, featured a handmade market, fashion show and entertainment giving the region’s entrepreneurs and craftspeople an opportunity to promote their work.

Organizer Meg Goos said she had the idea to start up the festival seven years ago.

“I started sewing my own product… but the only place I had to sell it was in Toronto,” she said. “I wanted the same atmosphere in Toronto at their handmade market where it was so popular… I wanted us to have that here, too.”

The outdoor handmade festival also encouraged the community to come together, connecting residents and businesses.

“It’s basically to revive the downtown, to bring energy back to downtown Kitchener,” Goos added.

Recycled or re-purposed products were one of the themes of the festival.

“It’s a way to inspire others that things can be re-used, not everything has to be bought brand new,” Goos said.

The fashion show required designers to use non-traditional material — like bottle caps or garbage bags — to make clothing. An electronics recycling depot was also set up for the public to drop off their unwanted devices for free.

The owners of Pet it Dog Apparel, a Kitchener-based company that designs clothing and accessories for small dogs, said they use recycled and organic material fabrics for their products.

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