Music

Rxchelle rebuilds her life that leads to new music

After a fire erupted in her family home, Rxchelle had to rebuild her life. All her belongings were destroyed, and the music she spent months creating were all gone.

But, Elle did not let that stop her dream of becoming a musician. “After the fire, I realized that I needed to get my shit together a create a full project,” Rxchelle said. After the fire, her family, mom, and younger siblings had to stay in a hotel room for a bit all during the Christmas holiday.

The upbeat pop style music resembles EDM but, Rxchelle is not pinned down to one particular genre. The young artist is exploring different genres like pop and R&B.

Rxchelle turned to arts and poetry at a young age to cope with the fact that her family moved around a lot and it was hard to make friends. “I did a lot of poetry which was weird why would a little 7-year-old do poetry,” Rxchelle said.

She spent time at Seneca College for independent song writing but, Rxchelle took some time away. She still kept in touch with the teachers that help build her confidence to create and perform songs.

The stress of the fire lead to some serious side effects for Rxchelle. Suffering from a mild heart attack all before the age of 25. All that lead to the latest extended play (EP) that will come out this summer.

PlaidZebra

RiverBlue exposes how the denim industry is ruining fresh water

Flashy sale signs hang on the window of a retail store while customers browse through new pairs of jeans. But, little do they know that the new pair of blue washed denim jeans they’re checking out is contributing to water pollution.

The documentary, RiverBlue, highlights the importance of reducing waste. It focuses on the fashion industry changing the way jeans are made by raising awareness.

“Those [jeans and leather] sectors I knew from my own experience were having a huge impact on the river,” said river conservationist Mark Angelo in an interview with Common Sense Canadian. “But, as an industry, they don’t nearly get enough coverage.”

The film is narrated by Jason Priestly. While Angelo explores the rivers of Bangladesh, Indonesia and China. The jean and leather industry, “accounts for 20 per cent of the fresh water pollution that happens globally,” said Angelo.

One of the towns that produces leather smelt so bad that it took Angelo off guard. About 40,000 to 100,000 residents are negatively affected by the town’s leather production. The tainted waters affect the food supply, which means even the seafood is toxic.

North Americans should be more interested in the fashion industry pollution of the river since one day it will trickle into the water we use every day. The water knows no borders.

@ThePlaidZebra

PlaidZebra

Kniterate digital machine can make anyone a clothing designer

For the most part, clothing stores are one in the same. Most stores still only carry clothes in a range of sizes and styles that are advertised to fit the “average” size. So what happens to the people that are wider, smaller, or bigger than the average; they have to look elsewhere. While numerous specialty stores aim to meet the needs of those who identify as plus size, petite, or even those who are tall, often these specialty stores are harder to access and more expensive.

Enter Kniterate. Kniterate is a digital knitwear company that is allowing everyday people to make their own clothes by entering their designs into a computer. People can either choose their own designs or choose from the hundreds of designs from the web app. The machine does the real work.

“We come in all sizes but our clothing is still mass produced,” said Gerard Rubio, co-founder of Kniterate.

The machine takes these designs and spits out a new knitted scarf, sweater or pair of shoes; whatever your desires are. The company wants to be interactive as well. Allowing people to share their unique designs on the website to share with others.

The company was formed out of a frustration with knits. The four-year company is a solution to easy access clothes. Sometimes people just do not have the time to go to the mall after a busy work day and even busier weekend. We’ve all bought a sweater or shoes and waited days to get it in the mail.

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Rubio watched students struggle to produce good knitwear during fashion school. He created the first prototype in 2013 in Barcelona. Fashion students or early fashion designers can use the machine to bring their idea to life. They can use the preexisting design they made or create a brand new line of knits for sale. Doing each piece knit by knit can be too time-consuming and difficult.

The big knitting machine has hundreds of tiny needles that are controlled by the computer. The colours are interchangeable, as is the fabric it can be made with – options include cotton, wool, acrylic or silk.

Kniterate has started raising money to mass distribute

The machine raised over $300,000 on Kickstarter, and within one hour it already reached its goal of $100,000. The fundraiser has less than 25 days to go on Kickstarter.

For a $5 dollar pledge, the company can throw lunches and the backer will be included. For a $50 pledge the backer will get a Kniterate scarf. They are also offering discounts on the design machine.

@ThePlaidZebra

PlaidZebra

Cancer-free girls recreate viral photo three years later

Lora Scantling photographed three brave girls that fought cancer; the hardest battles of their lives. Three years later they’re back with grace, smiles and good health.

Rylie,3, Rheann, 6, and Ainsley, 4, gracefully hold on to each other while smiling into the camera. The girls were once strangers but, “bonded instantly,” when the darkness of cancer brought them together.

Scantling was inspired to photograph children after watching her step-dad losing his battle with lung cancer and her friend’s son passed away from cancer. “I decided I wanted to take a portrait that would speak a thousand words at a glance and would draw emotion,” said Scantling.

She wrote a post on Facebook three years ago asking if anyone was interested in getting photographed and “these 3 little miracles show up!” said Scantling.

The portraits started to be an annual event celebrating the girls fighting another year.

“At the 1-year mark we just decided to go ahead and do another picture just so people could see that they were still cancer-free,” said Scantling. “It went crazy like the first ones did so it just kind of became an annual thing!”

The girls hold the original photo taken in 2014 when they were still fighting cancer

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“Rheann was still very ill with an unsure future,” said Scantling. “She was declared cancer-free just a few short months later to the today.”

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All three girls had different types of cancer, but they are all now cancer free.

The most recent picture of the girls, now in 2017

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“Cancer is like a dragon,” Rheann said.

“Yeah, and chemo is the prince,” Ainsley responded.

“Cancer messed with the wrong princesses!” said Rylie.

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@ThePlaidZebra

Fashion

Gender neutral clothing challenge the norms of modern outfits

Gender neutral clothes are more than fabric sewn together. These clothes express the values and personality of gender-fluid individuals. Shuffling through the clothes at a retail store, seeing the racks hold hope in the form of an oversized sweater, denim jeans and structured t-shirts.

Retail stores like H&M and Zara have made the move to ditch male and female labelled clothing. They’re incorporating clothing that is gender-fluid with neutral colours like grey, black and beige.

“It is very natural for us to launch a unisex collection as fashion is constantly evolving and intersecting and today we see there are no boundaries in democratic style,” said Marybeth Schmitt, H&M Spokesperson in a press release. “Fashion should always be inclusive.”

Gender neutral clothing has always looked too feminine, too masculine or too basic. Retailers have struggled for years creating unisex clothing that was not boring. Retailers have also struggled to make gender-neutral clothing that is form fitting and sophisticated.

Zara’s “ungendered” line includes graphic t-shirts, oversized sweaters and trousers. While, H&M’s clothing line has jumpers, dresses, t-shirts and jeans that can be tailored and sized accordingly.

“With this collection, his and hers clothing are one in the same, blurring borders and challenging norms,” said H&M in a news release.

Over the last year, people have also wanted to see skirts and dresses added to the genderless line since both men and women wear them, and Zara and H&M have listened.

@ThePlaidZebra