Nam Hee Kim showcases some of the garments from her animal-friendly collection VEO.

Designer taps into niche market

Former Hope residents debuts animal-friendly clothing line

Nam Hee Kim is trying to raise awareness about animal cruelty with her debut collection VEO.

The 24-year-old Hope Secondary School graduate recently showcased her vegan line at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University grad fashion show on April 3 in Richmond. VEO is made with organic fabrics and recycled materials, including buttons made from nuts. Kim also made sure that the thread used in her clothing was free of animal byproducts.

“My garments are very fashion forward and still functional,” said Kim, who now lives in Burnaby. “People need to know there’s alternatives for them to wear and they don’t have to kill an innocent animal to wear something luxurious. There’s definitely interest in it and there’s a market out there. Eco-friendly is just blooming. It’s an area that’s not really touched in Vancouver.”

Kim immigrated to Canada with her family from South Korea in 1996, and lived in Langley for a couple years prior to moving to Hope. She decided to pursue her love for fashion after high school and obtained a fashion design diploma from the University of the Fraser Valley. She is now graduating this year from Kwantlen with a degree in fashion design and technology.

Kim hopes to get a job at Lululemon, a company she says shares her values. If that doesn’t work out, she plans on moving to New York for six months to gain work experience. Kim also dreams of eventually starting her own business with her designs.

“Even though it’s hard work, it’s something that I love and enjoy,” she said. “Even when I’m stressed out, I enjoy every moment of it. It’s so rewarding.”

For more information, visit namheekim.com.

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