$1,800 – $3,500


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Vancouver, B.C


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I regret to inform everyone that the next Leverage Lab COLLABORATIVE originally set on September 5th, 2018 has been postponed due to lack of funding.

We apoligize for the inconvenience but we are excitied for creating an even better event for January in light of hopes for more funding.

The actual date in January is TBD.


Sara Blenkhorn & Leverage Lab Team

Please don't heistate to Contact me with any Concerns or questions!

The apparel industry, from the production of fibres through to the management of apparel waste, is a complex, multi‐stakeholder system. Complex systems can leave individual stakeholders feeling stuck when faced with solving the problem on their own. Therefore, stakeholders from both but apparel industry and waste management industry together to solve their shared challenge of apparel waste.

Businesses tend to approach sustainability challenges individually and miss out on the benefits of cooperation - specifically the shared cost opportunities. Some are working with The Sustainable Apparel Coalition to collaborate around upstream issues (pre-competitive collaboration such as supply chain transparency + certification), however, no one seems to be working together on the downstream issues (post-competitive collaboration, such as apparel waste and policy around waste). This is both a problem and a major opportunity! Let us explain why:

Regulatory Risk

There is growing pressure for regulators to enact policies that reduce the volume of apparel going to disposal in order to meet their waste reduction and recycling goals. Such policies and programs are being contemplated and implemented at both senior and local levels of government. In October 2009, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment identified textiles and carpet as a “phase 2” priority product category as part of its Canada‐wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility. The aim of the action plan was to have the phase 2 category addressed by 2017. To date, no provinces have implemented extended producer responsibility for textiles or carpet. However, since these products are part of the action plan, it is expected that provincial governments will consider how EPR for these products could be addressed in the future. It is advisable for the industry to take measures to reduce waste before regulators intervene.

Economic Opportunity

We bring these stakeholders together to generate shared ownership and unified action towards lasting impact. We prepare businesses for the future, helping them understand and mitigate risks of a changing economy. We help them with the transformation of our economy from one defined by continuous growth to one that functions within the limits of a finite planet. In doing so, they benefit from maintaining their competitive edge, reducing turnover, retaining and recruiting top talent. They get what they need to become industry leaders, and to amplify their potential to create meaningful impact, all at a fraction of what it would cost them to do it alone.

Globally, only 0.1% of collected textile waste is made into new garments. While 95% of what is found in our local landfills, that 20,000 tonnes a year, can be reused, repaired or recycled. Our White Paper show's that consumers would pay a premium of 12.5% for recycled clothing verses virgin equivalents. Apparel waste diversion creates green jobs. On a per tonne bases, diverting textile waste creates seven times more jobs than sending textiles to disposal.

It's an economic win-win-win for industry players, the local landfill and the Provinces' economic development.

Please join Leverage Lab to help us solve this problem together!


We'd like to acknowledge our Partners who play a role in funding us, hosting workshops in their space and assist with outreach.

partners .001.jpeg

How Leverage Lab COLLABORATIVE works?

Leverage COLLABORATIVE, a year-long program where progressive organizations gather 3 times aprox. once every second month for a full-day facilitated workshop to build collective action and prototype solutions to the problem.

Our partners and co-conveners will work between meetings to offer:

  • 1500 facilitation and administration hours throughout valued at $60,000 dollars

  • 1100 Research and Development hours with leading academic institutions valued at $45,000

There will be a Debrief celebration at the end where participants share progress, celebrate solutions, and discuss lessons learned as well as next steps.


  • Learn to mitigate risk in your enterprise due to increased knowledge and connections pertaining to circular design.

  • Demonstrate leadership in the apparel industry, and to signal to customers that your company is “walking the talk” in adopting sustainable practices.

  • Show shareholders follow-through on strategic commitments to R&D, greener business practices, and innovation at a fraction of what it would cost you to do it alone.

  • Have access to leading thinking and resources around issues of sustainability in the apparel industry particularly with take-back programs and circular economy models.

  • Gain leadership in shaping a solution that works for Vancouver's textile economy.

  • A continued sense of camaraderie and deepening of relationships with like-minded individuals.

Schedule (dates are pending and depend upon funding support):


Participants will also need to meet a set of criteria demonstrating their willingness to put some skin in the game. We are looking for progressive organizations who are willing to either trial innovative recycled product in their store, lend us their R&D assets, share their waste stream products or survey their customers. This Lab is for those willing to test, and push boundaries to trial new opportunities pertaining to circular fibers economy. No spectators welcome! Past Participants

Here are a few testimonials to give you more of an idea of what we are about:

“The Leverage Lab allowed me to collaborate in ways rarely found within my industry. With the guidance of Sara and her team, I discovered the areas in our business making the biggest environmental impact – sparking our initiative to address them as part of our corporate sustainability plan. Now, we are working towards a greener business.” - Sarah Cumming - C.O.O. at GENTLE FAWN

“Through facilitated networking sessions, the Leverage Lab helped us reinforce and develop new business relationships. We’re a service organization, and the process allowed us to better see our business as inputs and outputs; allowing us to see new opportunities to be more sustainable.- Darla Simpson - Engagement Specialist at SES Consulting Inc.

“The Leverage Lab is a great resource for sharing industry perspectives and promoting future collaborative change. As it keeps growing key partnerships, these sessions have the potential to create large-scale change through an effective platform of open discussion. I was pleased to see a good mix of industry representatives in attendance at the sessions I participated in.- Kemp Edwards - President at Ethical Profiling


How do I get the Discount? Email: sara@theleveragelab.com for the code

What is the benefit of participating in Leverage Lab COLLABORATIVE? Leverage Lab COLLABORATIVE gives you the opportunity to address problems your business and industry face on a systemic level with other industry partners. It gives you the opportunity to partner up with other key stakeholders to identify the key challenges and construct solutions that accurately address these problems. In this case, you and your peers in this workshop will work towards building a solution that addresses the lack of regional end markets for apparel waste that otherwise goes to the landfill.

What if I cannot make a meeting? Each candidate commits to participating in all 3 sessions - no exceptions. Meetings are selected based on the results of an online Doodle poll to best accommodate everyone's different schedules.

What if I have more questions? Feel free to reach out with questions by email to sara@theleveragelab.com

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