Photo Contributed Janine McAughren, a Wellington Secondary School grad and Kwantlen Polytechnic University student, created a socially responsible and eco-friendly fashion company called Ghren.

Designer with Nanaimo roots unveils fashion collection

Janine McAughren debuts Indigo Shores collection in Vancouver

Up and coming fashion designer Janine McAughren unveiled her eco-conscious hand-dyed fashion collection Indigo Shores in Vancouver earlier this month.

The Nanaimo born, Wellington Secondary School graduate, was one of 28 emerging designers featured during the Kwantlen Polytechnic University fashion show, simply called The Show, at the Imperial Vancouver April 5-6.

McAughren’s fashion line is called Ghren, the last five letters of her last name. The Indigo Shores collection was part of her final project to complete her four-year degree in fashion design and technology at the university.

“It is so exciting. This is something I have been dreaming of for the last four years,” said McAughren, adding she is looking forward to the next step in her career.

McAughren’s Indigo Shores collection was inspired by the ocean. She chose to use the traditional Japanese shibori dyeing technique. It was a technique she was introduced to during her studies. McAughren said her class only spent two days learning about the method, but it intrigued her.

The fabric is folded in specific ways to create patterns. McAughren said even if the entire piece of fabric is submerged in the dye it only puts it in the places chosen by the designer if the fabric is folded correctly.

“I just really loved to experiment and play with it,” said McAughren.

McAughren said she wanted to create a brand that was “local, socially responsible and eco-conscious.” She said using natural dye and organic materials means there is no pesticides used in the process and it eliminates chemicals going into water sources.

McAughren became interested in fashion growing up in Nanaimo.

“My love for fashion began when I was 11. My mom would teach sewing in the dining room to a bunch of neighbourhood kids and I would sit in on the lessons,” said McAughren.

While attending Wellington Secondary School, McAughren would create her own clothes.

“It was one way to set myself apart from everybody else. One way to express how I felt that day,” she said. “I found Wellington very creative. I felt it was definitely the right school to be at.”

Something she learned while studying at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is that while designs may be wonderful concepts on the page, they don’t always translate perfectly to the creation phase. Fabrics can hang differently, impacting the original design.

McAughren said she created her garments with longevity in mind. She said many clothes produced now have a short lifespan in terms of durability.

McAughren plans to move back to Vancouver Island and settle in Victoria. She is going to start with online sales and then plans to work with a local boutique to sell her clothing.

For more information about McAughren’s fashion line, please visit http://ghren.ca.

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