Interview By: Leanne Cusack
Air date: Jan 24, 2022
InFocus Canada is a Canadian-based company that specializes in making beautiful fashion scarves, made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles that display images from renowned professional photographers.
Michelle Valberg, one of WPC Team Canada’s Top 10 finalists is one of these photographers.
Valberg’s iconic image, of ‘Boss’, a rare spirit bear, taken in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, is featured on one of the wraps.
Clare Hodgetts, is the co-founder and the fashion force behind printing the glorious landscapes and breathtakingly beautiful wildlife images into “wearable art”. “The Mission is to raise money for important charities through sustainable fashion and to spread awareness of the exceptional and beautiful work being done by professional photographers,” says Hodgetts.
A portion of each scarf sale goes to the charities or conservation organizations of each photographer’s choice. Valberg is supporting the BC Raincoast Conservation Foundation (protecting the home of the Spirit Bear, his sleuth, and countless other species).
“In the Great Bear Rainforest, they call him ‘Boss’”
Michelle’s stunning image which features a Spirit Bear shaking the water from his fur after fishing for salmon roe on the bottom of the river is Top 10 in the World and a Best of Nation Award winner. “In the Great Bear Rainforest, they call him ‘Boss’. He is a rare Spirit Bear, a sub-species of the black bear (Kermode). They possess a recessive gene. The legend amongst Indigenous Peoples says that the raven made every 10 black bears white to remind the world of the ice age.”