An Interview with Melissa Ferreira of Adhesif Clothing

Melissa Ferreira-Adhesif Clothing trusted clothes interview

Tell us about yourself – familial/personal story, education, and prior work.

My mother worked in garment production factories in Montreal throughout my childhood. I grew up with her sewing at the kitchen table after work, doing alterations for extra income.

Naturally I learned how to sew from her. I taught myself how to design from taking apart vintage garments and seeing how they were put together, after spending many years as a vintage clothing buyer right out of high
school. I love everything vintage and it remains to this day my main source of inspiration.

Vintage clothing, music, historic & modern architecture, vintage cars, vintage appliances…they have all withstood the test of time because things were built to last and because they’ve lasted the pieces leave behind a legacy with abundant stories to tell.

I have always been an extremely independent, resourceful and creative individual. Since childhood I’ve always been dreaming, inventing, creating, drawing, imagining, making imaginary worlds to live inside of.

With never ending ideas brewing, it was a natural direction in my life to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. It was only after I completed a Self Employment program at Douglas College many years ago that I was able to
start a business as an independent artist/designer.

Melissa Ferreira-Adhesif Clothing trusted clothes interview

I started Adhesif Clothing in 2003, opened my own boutique in 2010 and never looked back. Adhesif Clothing is a Vancouver, BC clothing company that produces handmade memorable one-of-a-kind garments.

Every article of clothing has its very own distinctive personality with a visual array of eclectic prints & color compositions. The result brings a striking presentation of polished yet playful pieces that are also Eco friendly

What is the importance of ethical fashion and sustainable fashion to you?

As we are all well aware of, today’s global situation concerning the environment and the commercial fashion industry is one of the major causes of waste and exploitation of poor third world conditions often
providing unfair low wages and thus a low quality of living conditions for the millions of garment factory workers.

The low quality garments distributed for sale in the more wealthy western societies like H&M and Joe Fresh are bought up because of the low retail price points and often discarded only after a wear or two. The implications of manufacturing fast fashion/disposable textile items leave
a huge impact not only of the consumption of the worlds precious natural resources but this way of doing things also taxes the lives of the impoverished.

Melissa Ferreira-Adhesif Clothing trusted clothes interview

Said all this, much of the driving force and underlining
passion for hand producing the garments for my clothing label, Adhesif Clothing, come from an endless desire to create cherished high quality pieces that will be worn and loved for many seasons while also literally reducing textile waste from the landfills. This thoughtful process is part
of the slow fashion movement and I believe up cycling is the way of the future.

Fun fact, for every 1 pound of fabric that is recycled 70 gallons of fresh water is saved in the environment. Over the course of the last 12 years we at Adhesif Clothing have helped save a minimum of 20K pounds of discarded textiles for the landfill that probably counts for at least a
lake or two!

What is Adhesif Clothing?

Handmade with up to 95% vintage + reclaimed materials + 100% HEART Adhesif Clothing produces locally made one-of-a-kind garments in Vancouver, BC
Every article of clothing has its very own distinctive personality with a visual array of eclectic prints & color compositions, a truly well thought out process. The result brings a striking presentation of polished yet playful pieces
that are also Eco friendly. This way you not only look good but feel great

Melissa Ferreira-Adhesif Clothing trusted clothes interview

What makes the company unique?

Everything we create is made by hand with up to 95% reclaimed materials, and is one-of-a-kind. There is literally no way for us to duplicate the same fabric composition of our designs within our collections. I always tell my clients that our garments have a heart beat and a story to tell with their own little unique personalities and they agree.

What other work are you involved in at this point in time?

I just completed the photo shoot for our Spring-Summer 2017 Collection and now I’m working on our Fall-Winter 2017 photo shoot taking place in Germany this holiday season with an amazing creative team I’ve had the
pleasure of working with several times already.

I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Microsoft on character development on a TBA video game coming out this December 2016.

In the community, I am currently helping to co-ordinate group of 30 local artisans called the Coastal Creatives artisan group for the 1st annual Vancouver Mural Arts Festival. I’m also the main organizer for the Nifty for Fifty Sale now in its 10th year running by 2017 which promotes and supports the handmade work of 30 local artists and designers from the West coast

Aside from hand producing my own pieces by hand and running my boutique 6 days a week, I also participate as a vendor at least a dozen artisan markets annually like this past Filberg Festival and the upcoming Circle Craft Christmas Market to name a few.

I’m working on my 5th publication with a US publication called Belle Armoire Magazine.

What meaning or personal fulfillment does this work bring for you?
I always say there’s a fine line between brilliance and insanity. Doing this type of work requires an insurmountable amount of perseverance, hard work, confidence, foresight, genuine vision, passion and above all else love.

Melissa Ferreira-Adhesif Clothing trusted clothes interview

With regard to ethical and sustainable fashion companies, what’s the importance of them now?

Funny enough when I started my company well over a decade ago the term “upcyling” or “repurposing” didn’t even exist. Now everywhere I look be it social media or at art markets I see many designers implementing a
reclaimed element to their work. Sometimes I get asked if I feel threatened by the new completion but personally I think it’s wonderful to see slow fashion becoming a global movement. It’s not a passing trend by any means and I’m proud to be one of the founders for future generations
to follow in the foot prints of.

Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion?

We have an amazing Etsy shop that we post new pieces onto bi-weekly with currently 200 OOAK items to choose from.

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About the Author

Scott Douglas Jacobsen researches and presents independent panels, papers, and posters, and with varied research labs and groups, and part-time in landscaping and gardening, and runs In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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