We’re all proud of our home land, and as we should be! Our roots lie in where we are from; so much that shapes who we are and the values we hold comes not only from our family and how we were raised, but from the environment and surroundings that we were raised in.
Combined with the love I have for my home and native land, as well as my creative spirit and the ways in which I find inspiration, what better way to celebrate than by paying homage to the very things that are cultivated right in my own backyard!
Where pines and maples grow, from the farthest northern reach, through the prairies and into the mountains, there are troves of treasures just waiting to be discovered.
With a glowing heart, I welcome a new chapter into my creative blog; oh Canada! How lovely, beautiful, and inspiring you are.
I’ve been feeling a little bit of those winter blahs, and a pull towards all things warm and cozy. It’s somehow got me feeling connected to garments, not only for warmth, but for sustainability.
Living in a northern climate where winter reigns supreme, it was an incredibly uncharacteristic start to the season this year. While I wasn’t complaining about the mild temperatures that carried all the way through to the end of 2015, I also found it completely unsettling; by the time the holidays arrived, the geese had not yet departed for the deep South.
Feeling inspired by design and the clothes that I wear, I am also feeling a strong sense of urgency towards exercising the utmost of care when it comes to our environment.
Cheers to the following incredible and noteworthy Canadian designers who top my list for being purveyors of delectable, sustainable, ethical, and eco-friendly attire.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Encircled is one of those companies that just gets it right.
In addition to using only “the finest, super-premium eco-conscious fabrics & sustainable materials,” they take eco-friendly to the next level: They use non-toxic, water-based ink for their clothing labels. Their bags, tags, and postcards are made from recycled materials that are also reusable and recyclable. They source mindfully; the supplies they purchase are made in North America. Even their website is green (they are hosted on Netfirms, a green-certified hosting platform that operates 100% on wind power). And, they have fair wages and respectful treatment of employees to boot!
Top it all off with a cherry on top – their designs are innovative, functional, and beautiful. Take that one step further by giving a loving shoutout to the fact that their mission is to design clothes that are light and easy to travel with, thus helping to further reduce our impact on the planet. What’s not to love about a company like this?!
If this isn’t enough to have caught your attention yet, check out their Chrysalis Cardi (this is an eight-ways-to-wear cardigan lover’s dream come true!), and the Evolve Top, a lovely little gem of a shirt that again features eight different ways to wear. Not only are these items simple and stunning, but their mission is inspiring as well.
Two Birds Apparel
Created by husband and wife team, Daniel and Tiffany Andrew, Two Birds Apparel (born in Toronto, Ontario, and now based out of Vancouver, British Columbia) is a men’s fashion brand that is strongly rooted in sustainability. Using materials such as bamboo and organic cotton, which are sourced from certified organic and eco suppliers, this company strongly believes in minimizing our environmental impact.
Taking it up a notch, everything about them (from sourcing materials, to manufacture and distribution) is done in Canada, and they do things like offer a discount on your next purchase when you are finished with a garment and return it for recycling purposes, as well as donate 1% of sales to the David Suzuki Foundation.
Inspired by nature, their clothing line is minimalistic and classy, and avoids being trendy so as to reduce disposability.
To learn more about this dynamic company, give this article a read.
Dear Pony is an exquisite company that is all about handmade eco design. Tracy Fillion produces her clothing line from her home studio, nestled in the mountains in beautiful British Columbia.
“Dear Pony is created and produced from my home studio in Nelson, BC Canada. Using primarily sustainable and organic materials my goal is to provide consumers with a more ethical and environmental alternative. I am inspired by old cities, natural history and both vintage and contemporary design.”
~ Tracy Fillion
Often inspired by Japanese minimalism, her attire is versatile, functional, and oh-so pretty. Made from organic materials such as bamboo and Tencel, a biodegradable fabric, how can you not fall absolutely in love with not only these garments, but the fact that you are supporting fair trade clothing by making ethical purchases!
Lilikoi is an eco-friendly women’s clothing line based out of Nelson, British Columbia and boasts a commitment to the environment through their design work.
Utilizing sustainable fibres wherever possible (bamboo, and organically grown cotton and linen – yes, please!), Lilikoi takes the utmost of care to ensure that they are completely aware of the origins of the fabric that they use.
All work is handled locally by Canadian employees, and they even hand print individual designs onto their fabric for limited-edition collections.
In addition to being awesomely eco-conscious and aware, their designs are stunning and beautiful.
I’m absolutely in love with this Amelie Shrug!
Another one from the beautiful west coast, Elroy Apparel is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.
A grassroots sewing cooperative, this company stands out for having morals that are truly ethical and outstanding.
The best way to give you a glimpse into just how stellar Elroy is?
“We tend to forget how even the littlest things can have a major impact on us all. Believe it or not, clothing has the ability to connect us to places and people all over the world. Before it makes it into your closet, those garments already have a story to share. Where do they come from? How were they made, and what are they made of? Who were they made by? It is not always easy to find these answers. And there are many times when we learn the real truth behind a garment’s history, and it is a truth we would rather not know. Elroy was created with the story in mind.”
Elroy prides themselves on being open and honest in regards to the sourcing of their materials, and are dedicated to making a difference. To learn more about just how awesome they are, check out their full story here.
While Elroy has a collection of amazing pieces that I am utterly enthralled with, it’s this Tuella Jacket that is currently stealing my heart.
These inspiring eco-friendly clothing lines are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to design in Canada. There is so much to explore!
What designers/brands/clothing lines are currently tickling your eco-fashion fancy? ❤
Note that the opinions expressed in this article are entirely my own. I have no affiliation with any of these companies, nor was I solicited to write about them. My motive? Share the love and the awesome-ness! Where the words organic, ethical, and sustainable are often misused when it comes to the fashion industry, it’s nice to know that this is the exception and not the rule.
Featured image photo credit: Moraine Lake, Banff National Park / skeeze via pixabay.com