Dorothy’s Presentation Experience!

My name is Dorothy Ng and I am a first-year student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Simon Fraser University with an intended major in Political Science and a minor in French. I joined Banner Bags as an Education Coordinator because it was the perfect opportunity for me to tap into my creative side while being sustainable and economical. Until becoming involved with Enactus, I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. Banner Bags has introduced me to like-minded people and provided me with outstanding examples of social ventures. When I’m not volunteering with Enactus, you can usually find me around SFU carrying my Banner Bag and sipping hot chocolate.

Dorothy Ng, Banner Bags Education Coordinator

I had a wonderful experience at my first Banner Bags presentation on November 1, 2013 at Britannia Secondary. Michael, our Co-Education Manager, was an excellent partner to present with and Raymond, a fellow Education Coordinator, joined us as our PowerPoint clicker and cheerleader. We presented to a class of eight Home Economic students who were taught by Ms. Denise Isomura.

Prior to the presentation, I did not expect to speak to the students one-on-one and to get to know each of them individually. I thought that we would enter the classroom, stand in front of students, and simply speak about sustainability and the Banner Bags program. In reality, we had the opportunity to mingle with the students during our two games, as well as answer their questions about Banner Bags and university-life. As it was our first presentation, I knew that it would be a little rough, especially because we didn’t rehearse ahead of time; however, it went very smoothly! I’m confident that we will improve as we have numerous presentations to follow and many chances to perfect our presentation skills.

I also realized that I did not know the presentation as well as I should have, as Maddie and Michael, our Education Managers,  had created a script for us ahead of time. I have definitely learned that it is better to put my own twist on things and learn the information using my own words, rather than simply memorizing some else’s words.

During our upcycling activity, a student suggested creating guitar picks from an expired credit card. As a musician, that idea had never occurred to me, though the more I thought about it, the more practical it seemed.  With minds as creative as these, I know that Ms. Ismoura’s students will have an awesome time generating ideas for Banner Bags’ Go Green Challenge!

In addition, I was genuinely surprised by the excitement on the students’ faces when we gave their classroom banners at the end of our presentation. They were eager to see the designs and even asked us where we got the banners from. Some students liked identical patterns so they were elated to learn that one nylon banner could actually be shared between two individuals. Seeing the smiles on their faces made everything worthwhile.

As for Banner Bags this year, I’m excited to learn more about sustainability and to teach others about the same topic. I hope to spend some time watching textiles students sew bags and other garments as their dedication inspires me to pursue my own passions as well. I’m extremely excited for the Banner Bags Showcase in March and I look forward to supporting the entire team as they plan this remarkable event.

Photo by: Sukhraj Bhattal Photography

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week 2013

It is that time of the year again, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year for all of the fashion obsessed – it’s Fashion Week.  Making an appearance only twice a year, Fashion Week showcases trends from a multitude of diverse designers for the up and coming seasons.  The first of the runway series began in New York; though, it has now taken over cities all across the globe, including Milan, Tokyo, and our beloved, Vancouver.

In addition to Fashion Week, Vancouver holds an event that tailors to the fashion-conscious and more sustainable-minded, branded Eco Fashion Week, and will be welcoming it back this year for it’s seventh edition.  With environmental awareness and eco-sustainability becoming increasingly dominant, it makes perfect sense to combine such with the billion-dollar fashion industry.  Eco Fashion Week is a three-day experience filled with seminars, industry panels, and, of course, fashion shows.  Through these events, Eco Fashion Week strives to educate and inspire those in a way that unifies fashion and environmental sustainability.

The series of runway shows begin on Sunday, October 6th in Robson Square with designer Nicole Bridger and her You are not Alone Collection.  Alongside Nicole Bridger, other designers include Tammy Joe with Young Oak+Park, My Sister’s Closet.  The complete and detailed schedule of all designers and featured shows can be found on the Eco Fashion Week website.

Among the spectacular, award-winning shows, Eco Fashion Week also holds unique initiatives that challenge designers to upcycle unwanted garments into an entirely new collection.  Presented by Value Village, the 68 Pound Challenge’s purpose is to educate us on the practice and benefits of upcycling and refurbishing unwanted apparel, as 68 pounds is the average amount of clothing that people discard each year.  This year, designer Evan Ducharme, will brave the challenge of sifting through Value Village’s heap of unwanted items, select 68 pounds of material, and create a collection of runway-ready, high fashion looks.

Alike the 68 Pound Challenge, Banner Bags also promotes similar practices with our annual Beyond the Bag Showcase.  Banner Bags provides high school students, aspiring to be fashion designers, with banners and other resources to help them create fashionable garments and accessories.  They are then able to showcase their designs at our Beyond the Bag event where they are judged and critiqued by fashion industry professionals.  The winner receives a design internship and scholarship to aid them as they further delve themselves into the world of fashion.  By reusing nylon banners as the material for their creations, Banner Bags helps educate students on the importance of recycling and reducing waste, as well as the significance of turning something of no value into something of value.


It is encouraging to see other organizations like Eco Fashion Week participate in initiatives such as the 68 Pound Challenge.  As a not-for-profit and student-run program, Banner Bags always looks for opportunities to grow and various new methods of educating our audience on sustainable practices.  By seeing Eco Fashion Week’s grand presence in our community, it is inspiring to note the success and growth of the eco-fashion industry within Vancouver.


Meet the 2013/2014 Core Team!

Program Manager

Winona is currently a third year business student at SFU and the Program Manager this year.  She previously took part in organizing fundraisers and other events for different organizations.  After seven years of event planning experience, she found HUG (Helping Underprivileged Girls) Canada to raise a voice for the millions of children in third world countries that are deprived of necessary needs.  She planned a banquet fundraiser that raised $14,000 in revenue to build a school in Guinea, North Africa.  After a successful event she decided to indulge herself into other community initiatives, which paved the way for her journey with Enactus.  She got involved as the Fundraising Manager for Axis, one of Enactus’ many other programs.  Following that, she was a presenter for EcoLiving Green at the Enactus Regional Exposition.  She is now back as Program Manager and is passionate about making a positive impact through all that she has planned.

Education Managers

As a second year business student, Madeline is thrilled to be a part of Banner Bags as this year’s co-Education Manager.  In addition to volunteering with Banner Bags, she is also a member of the SFU Women’s Varsity Wrestling Team, and the founder of a student sustainability program at her local salmon hatchery.  In her spare time, she is an avid ocean kayaker and outdoor enthusiast, and has recently acquired an affinity for long-distance cycling.  This year she hopes to help Banner Bags reach new heights in it’s ability to educate as many students as possible in environmental sustainability, with the implementation of a re-designed curriculum and distance education program.  Madeline is ecstatic about the opportunities that her Banner Bags experience will bring this year and looks forward to working with and learning from the other members of the Banner Bags and Enactus teams!

 Michael is pursuing his Masters in Urban Studies at SFU and is the co-Education Manager this year.  He also holds two B.A.’s in Political Science and Environmental Studies, which he obtained from San Diego State University.  Alongside Madeline, he is responsible for developing a new Banner Bags curriculum and coordinating among education stakeholders.  Michael is looking forward to working with students from the Metro Vancouver area and ensuring that they learn the importance of environmental sustainability.  He hopes to build upon the success from last year’s Banner Bags team by reaching out to more students than ever before.  Michael is passionate about protecting the environment and hopes to use his degree to work towards creating healthy, livable, and economically sound communities.  In his free time, he enjoys cooking at home, spending time outdoors hiking, and travelling.

Showcase Manager

Moni is in her second year at SFU as a business student and is also the Showcase Manager this year!  She has a background in competitive dancing and cheerleading, and enjoys choreographing dances with friends in her spare time.  With her past event management experience, both on and off campus, she hopes to carry her previous knowledge and skills to execute a highly successful Showcase.  Her goals are to lead and develop a highly motivated team to support the learning and growth of high school students.  She hopes to inspire these aspiring fashion students to pursue their passion and showcase their talents on a larger scale by giving them the opportunity to work closely with industry professionals.

Marketing and Social Media Manager

As a third year business student at SFU, Hannah is enthusiastic about her opportunity as the Marketing and Social Media Manager.  As well as being involved within Enactus, she is also the Project Manager for the Student Marketing Association’s blog, SMArt TALK.  Working with this medium allows her to connect and share opinions and experiences with others regarding topics that she is passionate about.  In her free time, Hannah enjoys playing soccer as a stress reliever and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as indulging in fashion magazines to keep up with recent fashion and marketing trends.  This year, Hannah has made it her goal to expand Banner Bags through various social media platforms by connecting and interacting with the audience.  Additionally, she is looking forward to working with each member of the team in developing new, creative marketing strategies for all events, and the Banner Bags program overall.  By combining her passions for fashion marketing and making connections with others, Hannah hopes to motivate the participants in pursuing their goals and being confident in all that they are able to achieve.


Helen is a third year SIAT student, and the designer this year.  She is very excited to be given the opportunity to produce new and fresh visual works for the Showcase event and Banner Bags, itself.  She is hopeful that her designs will be influential in delivering the message of environmental sustainability that Banner Bags practices.  In addition to being involved with Enactus, Helen also manages finances for IATSU – the SIAT Student Union.  As a design student, she really enjoys typography and working with Photoshop.  In her spare time, you will be able to find her listening to indie bands or watching and reading The Phantom of the Opera.  The mystery behind theatre intrigues her, which could explain her quirky personality!

Say Hello to our New PM!

Banner Bags Program Manager 2013-2014

Winona Bhatti,
Banner Bags Program Manager

Congratulations to Winona Bhatti as our new Program Manager!

Yet another successful year has passed for Banner Bags and we look on to a bright future with Winona. She is an enthusiastic young girl who is driven by her passion to take that one step that will change the life of numerous individuals.

Winona’s journey began when she took part in organizing fundraisers and other events for different organization. After 7 years of event planning experience she founded HUG (Helping Underprivileged Girls) Canada to raise a voice for the millions of children in third world countries that are deprived of necessary needs we take for granted. She planned a dinner and dance that raised $14,000 in revenue to build a school in Guinea, North Africa. After a successful event she decided to indulge herself into other community initiatives and that is when her Enactus journey began. Following her position as Fundraising Manager in Axis, Winona continued her journey in Enactus as a presenter for Eco-living Green at the Regional Exposition in Calgary. She built a connection with the Banner Bags program as a presenter and thus is back as the project manager of Banner Bags for 2013/2014.

Winona has big plans for Banner Bags, so keep your eyes peeled for our news in the coming year!

The Business of Fast Fashion

The Business of Fast Fashion

The Business of Fast Fashion

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since out last post, but we’re eager to share this new video that recently came to our attention. It focuses on fast fashion and its impact on the environment. For those of you not familiar with this concept, fast fashion is basically mass produced clothing that brings the newest, trendiest styles to the public quickly. The problem with this is that in order to get as much product to stores as fast as possible, clothing is cheaply made and is discarded in a matter of months when the product tears or the style isn’t trendy anymore. Mass clothing production contributes to large amounts of pollution and uses valuable resources, while thrown out clothing produces huge waste.

You can easily understand why this subject concerns Banner Bags greatly. While we are advocates of fashion and creativity, we aim to encourage people to be sustainable about their fashion choices. Below is a link to a video created by that explains fast fashion more in depth. You’ll be surprised to find out about the business behind the clothes you wear!

Click here to watch The Business of Fast Fashion.

Thanks for Your Support!

From left to right: Tiffany Pham (Junior Runner-up), Erin Wong (Junior Winner), Olivia Bickerstaff (Senior Winner), Sharon Chuang (Senior Runner-Up)

From left to right: Tiffany Pham (Junior Runner-up), Erin Wong (Junior Winner), Olivia Bickerstaff (Senior Winner), Sharon Chuang (Senior Runner-Up)

Two weeks ago, we held out 2nd annual Beyond the Banner Bags Eco-fashion Showcase, and we are pleased to announce it was a success! With over a hundred people in attendance, ten students showcased their wonderful pieces on the runway in front of family, friends, judges, and the community.

Raffles prizes including Starbucks gift baskets, printers, a $200 grand prize shopping spree and more were all given out to showcase attendees, and we thank them for their donations towards the Banner Bags program and David Suzuki Foundation.

We also want to thank our sponsors , judges, and speakers, with whom this event would not have been possible. A special thanks to our host, Aaron Cruikshank, as well as our guest judges Katherine Soucie, Tovah Paglaro, and Shannon Oehlschlager. We would also like to thank Shannon for judging and guest speaking during the evening. We would like to give an additional thank you to our program founder, Ashish Gurung, for speaking at the event.

Lastly, we would like to congratulate this year’s grand prize senior winner, Olivia Bickerstaff, from Eric Hamber Secondary. Olivia has won a summer internship at Sans Soucie to learn more about what really goes on in the fashion industry. Our junior winner, Erin Wong, has won a job shadowing opportunity with Sans Soucie as well! Our runner ups, Sharon Chuang and Tiffany Pham will be learning a few tricks of the trade from Katherine Soucie too. Congratulations to all contestants at this year’s Showcase!

Once again, thank you for supporting our program’s green intitiatives and celebrating our wonderful student contestants. We hope to see your lovely faces at next year’s Showcase!

Beyond the Bag

showcase2012 promo

Tomorrow, Banner Bags will be holding its 2nd Annual Beyond the Bag Eco-Fashion Showcase! 

Registration begins at 5:00pm, with our host, Aaron Cruikshank, introducing this year’s judges and participating schools. Our 13 contestants will show off their pieces on the runway, which will be followed by an exhibition of their work. Throughout the evening, 5 rounds of raffle prizes will be drawn amongst the lucky donors of the event!

Our guest speakers for the event are Ashish Gurung, the founder of Banner Bags, who will be telling you the story of Banner Bags, and Shannon Oehlschlanger, an Engineering Technician at Arc’teryx and co-founder of Artemis Design Collective. Shannon will share her personal story about her experience in the local and international fashion industry.

Join us in an evening of celebration, awards, and prizes tomorrow at SFU Surrey. Don’t miss out:

Please visit for our event program book.

“Can You Spot the Banner?”

"Spot the Banner" Contest

Can you spot the banner?

This year we are holding a new contest called, “Spot the Banner.” The rules are simple. Throughout the week we will be posting photos of our favourite Banner Bags on our Facebook page. (We’ve already posted two!) All you have to do is “spot the Banner Bag” seen in the posted photos at our Beyond the Bag Eco-Fashion Showcase this Friday, March 1, and you could win a prize! In order to claim your prize, you have to show the person with the Banner Bag that you have liked us on Facebook.

Easy, right? Get your spotting skills ready and good luck!

If you haven’t already, Like us on Facebook to be able to participate in the contest:

Be sure to reserve your seat at the showcase as well:

13 Finalists for Beyond the Bag 2013

Showcase 2013

From left to right: Melody Young (mentor), Olivia Bickerstaff, Olivia Hayward (mentor), Emily Jiang, Tiffany Pham.

Hello Everyone!

With our 2nd annual Banner Bags Showcase fast approaching (this Friday!), we thought it’d be a good idea to introduce you to this year’s participants. They’ve worked really hard over the past few months in preparation for this Showcase and we’re so excited for you to see what they’ve come up with!

Here are our thirteen finalists:

Camille Huang – Grade 11, Seaquam Secondary
Connie Cheng – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Emily Jiang – Grade 11, Windemere Secondary
Erin Wong – Grade 11, Erin Hamber Secondary
Hannah Valeriano – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Kitty Li – Grade 11, Eric Hamber Secondary
Kristina Almazan Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Lilly Truong – Grade 12, Guildford Park Secondary
Olivia Bickerstaff – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Ronally Maranon – Grade 12, Guildford Park
Sharon Chuang – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Tina Yu – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary
Tiffany Pham – Grade 12, Eric Hamber Secondary

We wanted to know what inspired these wonderful students to join our competition, so we asked them: Why Banner Bags? You can find out their answers by watching the video here.

On that note, don’t forget to reserve your ticket for the Showcase at: We hope to see you there!

2nd Annual Beyond the Bag Eco-Fashion Showcase!

Beyond the Bag 2013 E-vite

RSVP for this Friday’s Beyond the Bag Eco-fashion Showcase:

Save a spot for us on your calendar this Friday because we would like to cordially invite you to our 2nd Annual:

‘Beyond the Bag’
Eco-Fashion Showcase
By going beyond the limitations of street banners and recyclable materials, our 13 contestants have spent the last 6-months to create unique pieces of clothing and accessories while giving a whole new perspective on the term ‘reusing’. The eco-friendly fashion showcase will be the final stage of our competition, encapsulating the creativity and passion of these young artists.
Our guest judges for this year are:
Katherine Soucie: Sans Soucie CEO
Tovah PaglaroDavid Suzuki’s Queen of Green
Shannon Oehlschlager: Arc’teryx Engineering Technician & Founder of Artemis Design Collection
Come join us for a night of creation, speakers, food, and the opportunity to mingle with fashion students, teachers, and individuals from the Vancouver fashion industry! Everyone is welcome.

Date | Friday, March 1st, 2013

Time | 5:30 – 8:00 pm
Doors open at 5:15 pm

Location | Mezzanine @ SFU Surrey
Suite 250-13450 102 Ave, Surrey, BC  V3T 5X3

Cost | Entrance by Donation
Half of the proceeds from the event will go to The David Sazuki Foundation.

Make sure you RSVP on Eventbrite:

There will be door prizes to be drawn as a raffle, with the grand prize shopping spree valued at $120. Refreshments provided at the event as well, so don’t miss out!