Eco-Fashion Startup Ecova Is Educating Shoppers One Textile At A Time – Forbes

Founder and CEO of ecova Stephanie Beaulieu
Stephanie Ricci contributed to this story.
Not many can say they have juggled modeling in Milan with securing a degree in law, unlike Stephanie Beaulieu, who managed to appear in fashion photoshoots while providing legal advice for over five years.
Her lived experience allowed the Montrealer to develop a complex understanding of the fashion world, its social and environmental costs, and how to counter greenwashing in the textile industry.
“I wanted to do something meaningful, and that would change something that I didn’t like about the world,” says Beaulieu.
Equipped with an MBA from McGill University with a Specialization in Retail and a Certificate in Sustainable Fashion from Parsons School of Fashion, she quit the legal field to found ecova, a sustainable fashion label tying responsible fashion with storytelling.
Beaulieu believes that it is through positive storytelling that consumers can make better, eco-conscious choices.
Ecova’s first collection—and story— is all about cashmere winter accessories and presents a detailed account of the recycling process behind its eco cashmere, which is certified by Global Recycled Standard and Cardato Recycled.
“We truly explain the steps behind our process,” says Beaulieu. “We went to Tuscany and made a video of the entire steps of the production process, from the recycling mill to the knitwear factory.”
The produced cashmere is 65% recycled cashmere and 35% virgin cashmere.
While 100% recycled cashmere may seem more environmentally friendly, durability is a crucial factor to consider when it comes to assuring sustainability.
“After multiple discussions and sample testings, our weaver demonstrated that mixing recycled cashmere with virgin cashmere would ensure greater quality and longevity for our products, which we consider to be better for the environment in the long term,” reads the company’s website.
It’s the culture of overproduction and excessive buying that goes against clothing sustainability, whether the textiles are recycled or not.
To be waste-conscious, then, is to invest in long-lasting, high-quality pieces that prevent one from needing to replace the said garment in the near future.
“We provide the full explanation of why [our products] are sustainable so that consumers can develop those reflexes when they go shopping elsewhere,” says Beaulieu. “They can start asking themselves those same questions.”
Shopping patterns in recent years reveal a greener attitude to purchase decisions. Sustainability is rated as an important purchase criterion for 61% of U.S. consumers, and over a third of global consumers are inclined to pay more for environmentally friendly products, according to the Global Sustainability Study 2021.
Over time, the brand aims to offer a full range of transparently made clothing and accessories.
Ecova products are now available for purchase online at In the next year, Beaulieu says she hopes to display her products at the Canadian luxury department store Holt Renfrew.