Before resorting to your favourite fast fashion brand this winter season, consider supporting local! There are tons of fashion brands based in Canada committed to eco-friendly and sustainable initiatives, while giving back to the community. Here are twelve of The Dirty Seahorse’s favourite eco-friendly Canadian brands that are doing good for the environment, our planet, and our local Canadian industry.
Based in Toronto, Ontario, Wuxley is a vegan and sustainable parka brand. All of their products are manufactured locally in Canada and produced in small batches to limit waste and overproduction. Their garments only use sustainable fabrics, including recycled and biodegradable polyester, Sorona, and Primaloft. Alongside sustainability initiatives, Huxley also gives back to the local community through their “Live Warm Trade Up Program”. In exchange for a down-filled or fur-trimmed outer garment, Wuxley will provide $100 CAD of store credit. They then donate the garments to local homeless shelters and take any fur trims to animal rehabilitation centers. Stay warm this winter by supporting a local outerwear brand that gives back!
Address: 884 Queen St. West (Upper), Toronto, ON M6J 1G3 (design house)
Kotn, based in Toronto, Ontario, is a Canadian favourite with their timeless designs and sustainability initiatives. They source their natural fibres directly from small family-run farms in Egypt and work closely with farmers. This Certified B Corporation integrates eco-friendly practices throughout their company by implementing initiatives like Oeko-Tex™ certified dyes and plastic-free packaging. Additionally, a portion of every purchase from Kotn goes towards funding and building primary schools in Egypt.
Address:754 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E9 (in-person store)
To resist the harmful trend cycles of the fast fashion industry, Franc produces high quality basics in Toronto, Ontario and the surrounding area. Franc’s garments are cut and sewn locally in Ontario, using Tencel and GOTS certified Organic Cotton fabrics from Turkey. All of their packaging is 100% compostable and reusable. To avoid waste and give back to the local community, Franc also donates all samples and overstock to the YWCA Toronto! Franc also exercises complete price transparency, and they share with consumers exactly how much it costs to produce a garment and how much they are marked up.
Inspired by pyjamas and the limited options available for workwear, Leze the Label specializes in comfortable, yet presentable workwear in Vancouver, BC. Their garments are made from recycled unconventional materials such as coffee grinds, plastic bottles, and fishing nets! The label works exclusively with Taiwanese-Canadian manufacturer Tobimax Textiles, and ensures that sewers are paid competitive living wages under permanent positions. In the age of working from home, Leze the Label is a great sustainable brand for your everyday workwear needs!
Address: #119-1951 Glen Drive, Vancouver, BC V6A 4J6 (Office)
Based in Vancouver, BC, Vitae Apparel is one of our favourite eco-friendly fitness and swimwear brands. Their garments are made for all body types, stretchable, and breathable, and use sustainable materials including Reco Tex, made from recycled water bottles, and Compresslux, made from recycled nylon. Vitae Apparel is female-owned and centres around female empowerment. They also give back to organizations such as Black Lives Matter and the Breast Cancer Foundation. The next time you’re ready for a workout, consider Vitae Apparel!
Email: N/A (contact form only)
Address: Unit 1348-20800 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC V6V 2W3
Designed and manufactured in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia, Thief and Bandit is best known for their fun and wild-spirited prints. Their patterns are printed on organic textiles by hand using non-toxic water based inks that are safe for waterways and oceans. Their eye-catching prints and patterns can be found on organic cottons, recycled linens, and ChicoSante, a 100% recycled swim fabric. All orders come in 100% compostable mailers and each garment sold is produced by a small team locally in Halifax!
Email: N/A (contact form only)
Address: 1668 Barrington St, Halifax, NS B3J 2A2
Londre is one of our go-to brands when looking for sustainable and ethical swim and bodywear! Since the brand’s conception in Vancouver, British Columbia, Londre has recycled 250,000 plastic bottles through their swimwear. Their textile factory is OEKO-Tex™ 100 certified, and produces their garments in small batches to reduce waste. The water used in production and the swimsuits themselves are able to be recycled and reused. They even offer a repair program within the first year after your purchase to extend the life cycles of their garments.
Address: 803 - 711 W Broughton St, Vancouver, BC V6K 1E9
As one of Canada’s most well-known sustainable brands, Frank & Oak strives to maintain eco-friendly practices at all levels of management, from their garments to their headquarters, and everything in between. Frank & Oak uses sustainable materials such as hemp, recycled cotton and polyester, and kapok for their garments, and powers their stores and warehouses with renewable energy where possible. They avoid plastics and polyester unless it is recycled, and use recycled materials, upcycle, or buy local for all of their in-store furnishings. Frank & Oak also calculates the amount of carbon emitted by each shipment made and plants the corresponding number of trees in Quebec to offset emissions. Next time you visit your local mall, don’t forget to visit Frank & Oak!
Address: #105 160 St Viateur St. E, Montreal, Quebec H2T 1A8
Founded in Montreal in 1995, Matt & Nat is one of our favourite eco-friendly brands for accessories. To avoid the harmful and cruel effects of leather, Matt & Nat uses polyvinyl butyral, 100% recycled windshield glass resin, as a replacement. They also utilize sustainable materials like nylon and rubber, and are constantly testing and experimenting with new types of materials that are safe for the environment, such as fruit skin fibers. Additionally, all of their linings are made from recycled plastic bottles! Matt & Nat’s products are proudly vegan, cruelty free, and recycled
Address: 333 Rue Chabanel O Suite 400, Montreal, Quebec H2N 2G1
Focusing on versatile, multi-wear essentials, Encircled is a Certified B-Corporation based in Toronto, Ontario. They utilize eco-friendly materials like Rayon from Bamboo, organic cotton, Tencel Lyocell, and linen for their garments. Their production processes include collaborating with local businesses and sewing studios, including Jill-Of-All-Trades and Core Basics Sewing. Encircled breaks down specifically which garments are made by which companies, showing absolute transparency in where your purchases come from. When you purchase from Encircled, you are supporting multiple local Toronto businesses and studios!
Address: #201 300 Campbell Ave, Toronto, Ontario M6P 3V6
Free Label, an independent family-run business based in Vancouver, offers a range of comfortable and sustainable garments with inclusive sizing. All of their garments are produced locally either in Toronto or Vancouver, and many of their organic fabrics are milled in Toronto. Free Label uses eco-friendly materials like linen and Tencel, as well as deadstock fabric from bigger fashion houses to help minimize waste. On top of their sustainability initiatives, the label also started a $5,000 mentorship program in 2020, Empowerful Incubator, to help BIPOC entrepreneurs develop their brands.
Looking for sustainable outerwear this winter? Norden, a Certified B Corporation based in Montreal, has you covered! Norden uses repurposed or recycled materials for their stylish and contemporary jackets and ships and packs all orders with reusable, biodegradable, and 100% recycled materials. Additionally, they offer two sustainability initiatives, the Full-Circle and Buy-Back Programs, to help reduce waste. Their Full-Circle Program allows you to return your Norden jacket after three or more years of use so they can repair and donate the garment or recycle it. If you have a coat from another brand, you can also participate in their Buy-Back Program, where you can trade in your coat in exchange for a $100 discount!
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