Eden Power Corp Is Here to Fight For a Very Stylish Hippie Utopia

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pIsaac Larose and Florence Provencher Proulxp

As the fashion world grapples with the finding that the apparel and footwear industries account for more than 8% of humans’ global climate impact per year, brands are racing to position themselves as “green.” Steps vary: Burberry, for one, announced it will no longer burn piles of unsold goods. Adidas launched a sneaker woven out of recycled ocean plastic. The Silicon Valley basics evangelists at Everlane are trying to strip virgin plastic out of their supply chain and company headquarters entirely.

But even the most passionate sustainability project has its limits: the best intentions are often spoiled by a profit margin. Unless, that is, your brand itself is a platform for radical environmental responsibility. “When your project is already started, it’s hard to pivot, it’s hard to change things,” says Quebecois designer Isaac Larose, whose new brand, Eden Power Corp, is launching next month with the New Age-y motto “Alternatives for a Better Future.” “When you start from scratch,” Larose continues, “the whole business is built around your core values. All your decisions are going to be centered around that.”

Isaac Larose and Florence Provencher Proulx

Celia Spenard-Ko

To get an idea of what Eden is all about, it helps to list a few things Larose and his partner, the designer Florence Provencher Proulx, are into: utopian lifestyles, permaculture, waste management, Dune, solar energy, Buckminster Fuller, natural wines, and capital-F fashion. So it makes sense when Larose says that Eden’s brand identity is modeled after a made-up energy utility in an imagined future where “the hippies had won.”

If it’s hard to picture how that translates into fashion, the first product drop (May 23 at Union LA) is pleasantly simple: 100% recycled cotton tees; caps, bucket hats, and bags made of fabric woven from recycled plastic bottles and bio-cotton; custom Nalgenes; huge hand-poured candles. Jackets, pants, and flight suits made of the same recycled plastic fabric—uniforms for a sci-fi utility worker—will release in the next few months.

Eden cast Jericho and other musicians from the Montreal electronic music scene for its first lookbook

Jerry Pigeon

Jerry Pigeon

In fashion circles, Larose’s name is synonymous with something slightly less fantastical than futuristic hippie communes: hats. The 33-year-old launched his first brand, Larose Paris, in 2012, with a collection of luxurious, French-made 5-panel caps. Larose eventually became known for its chic, side-zipped fedoras (Beyonce wore one!) and an excellent run of bucket hats made in collaboration with Missoni. But Larose is ready to move on from millinery. “[Eden] is what we’ve always wanted to do,” he says, speaking on the phone from Montreal. “To work on something where every part of it is consistent with your real lifestyle. Larose [Paris] was more of an exercise. With Eden, it’s really the way [Florence and I] live.”

For someone who has been so closely associated with a specific, gentlemanly kind of menswear, Larose has always marched to his own beat (while wearing Visvim Christos). Rather than move to a fashion capital, he’s kept his flag planted in Quebec province, where he’s become the creative director of a Quebec City natural wine bar. As best as we know, he and Provencher Proulx are the only bona fide street style stars who insist on staying at youth hostels at fashion weeks the world over. And over the years he’s traded his Raf Simons for upcycled silk shirts and jackets of Provencher Proulx’s design. The couple’s personal style sets Eden apart from crunchy-granola brands that hoist the same eco-warrior sword. “If you look at Tesla,” Larose says, “a lot of people don’t care that it’s eco friendly. It’s just a really cool car.”

Mind Bath

Jerry Pigeon

Mansa

Jerry Pigeon

Varfalvy

Jerry Pigeon

Though some eco-conscious designers argue that the goal of any “sustainable” brand should be to make people buy less product, Eden’s goal is educational. The first collection is about solar energy, the second themed around permaculture. Every product comes with what might be the world’s first plantable hang tags—they’re biodegradable and studded with wildflower seeds. If something as simple as a hang tag gets you excited about gardening, or a solar panel-covered Eden sticker makes you investigate getting off the traditional power grid, then Larose and Provencher Proulx have done their job. “We don’t want to have a brand for people that are already part of our team. We want to speak to other people that don’t care by making cool shit,” Larose says. “Then you realize there are other layers to it.”

The Union launch includes an installation showing off the latest in solar panel technology. (Obviously, natural wine will be served.) A full Eden collection lands in October. Though Larose is coy on what other products will fit in the Eden Power Corp structure, he and Provencher Proulx are exploring recycled nylons and new regenerative hemp fabrics. But they’re thinking even bigger. Larose’s dream Eden product? “Shoes,” he says, before repeating the question to Provencher Proulx in French. “And chairs.”

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