5 Canadian Fashion Brands Mastering Sustainability

Matt and Nat vegan bags and shoes Preloved dress made from deadstock Wallis Evera Emma jacket, Cassidy top, Stella skirt in their custom hemp-silk-cotton blend Miik Poppy Barley

By Vanessa Petey | Women
Posted Mar 21, 2016

Canadian fashion designers have taken great strides in minimizing their ecological footprint and changing the way consumers think about eco-fashion.  Brands are seeking ways to reduce, reuse and recycle in a new, environmentally conscious atmosphere which is quickly becoming a necessity for relevance and survival.  Here are five of the top Canadian fashion brands to look out for if you’re on the hunt for ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly fashion.

Matt & Nat

Matt & Nat are the brand that no one saw coming when they began in Montreal over a decade ago. Their dream to start a sustainable, vegan handbag line has become one that is shared by millions of consumers worldwide. The combined sleek, minimalism of the designs with the incredible variety, and their continued mission for transparency in their factories and progressive ethical practices, have made this brand into a company of the future. The brand has gone on to launch their first ever shoe collection, making every woman who wants (or needs) to match her shoes with her handbag swoon.

Preloved

Up-cycling is one of the most eco-friendly ways to manufacture clothing or anything for that matter and Toronto brand Preloved were really responsible for putting the technique on the map.  Their high quality, well-constructed, designer garments made from a combination of recycled vintage pieces, deadstock and overrun fabrics.  This method has allowed them to keep their production local and their costs low, resulting in a great price point for the consumer.

Wallis Evera

Hemp is a truly amazing fabric with a lot of misconceptions and plenty of potential for the future.  Unlike nylon, acrylic and polyester which are petroleum based, man-made fibres, Hemp is a vegetable fibre and is naturally biodegradable and renewable. Vancouver brand Wallis Evera have embraced Hemp as their main fabric of choice when creating their office friendly, well fitted garments. All of their chosen fabrics are treated with low impact, fibre reactive dyed to minimize environmental damage and are pre-shrunk in water-soluble, cationic softener.

Miik

Toronto brand Miik was founded by a husband and wife team who were intrigued by the idea of producing sustainable, vegetable-based fabrics for high quality clothing. From milling the fabrics to sewing the hems, 100% of the manufacturing process of Miik clothing is done in Canada in the Toronto area by a small team of people. Their versatile collection is complete with basic pieces like t-shirts and button-ups – all made of their signature super-soft, durable eco-friendly fabrics.

Poppy Barley

One way that designers are taking responsibility for their manufacturing processes is by offering transparency with regards to their factories and labour practices. Alberta shoe brand Poppy Barley places an emphasis on this concept by providing detailed information about their shoes styles. Learn everything from the number of employees responsible for the development of the shoes, to in depth information about the owners and the overall culture of the Mexican communities who are responsible for their production.

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