Sustainable Edmonton Business Guide – Shopping & Eating

posted in eating, travel

Trying to live more environmentally conscious in Edmonton can have it’s challenges, but this city is home to many wonderful small businesses and hidden gems. For more information on ways to reduce your waste in Edmonton, check out Waste Free Edmonton’s resources and volunteer opportunities.  

Where to Eat

Edmonton Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants

Take out from Padmanadi
Padmanadi

Features a fusion menu of Indonesian, Chinese, Thai and Indian plant-based dishes. Prior to COVID-19, their downtown location offered a monthly buffet. To reduce food waste and encourage conscious eating, Padmanadi charged buffet customers per gram for any food left uneaten on their plate and donated those proceeds to local organizations that fed people experiencing homelessness. 

An Chay

Serves vegetarian and vegan Vietnamese dishes, and offers many gluten free options. 

Cafe Mosaics

One of Edmonton’s oldest vegetarian restaurants that focuses on responsible sourcing, and earth/health conscious dishes. They also offer favorite sauces for sale in reusable glass jars.

The Moth Cafe

The sister restaurant of Cafe Mosaics, and a 100% plant-based cafe with a community focus, offering workshops, plant-swaps and events. Beyond their delicious food, The Moth Cafe offers a robust beverage menu featuring plant-based wine, beer, cocktails and more.


Edmonton Farm-to-Table and Seasonal Restaurants

Rge Road

Not only is Rge Road one of Canada’s 100 best restaurants as of 2021, but they are also one of the first restaurants in Edmonton to embrace a menu of sustainable, local and seasonal offerings. Their changing menu includes meat from ‘tip to tail’, finding unique ways to utilize the entire animal in their dishes. 

Workshop Eatery

A restaurant focused on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients when available, as well as showcasing products from across Canada. Their changing menu is small and intentional, and they also offer catering. 

The Harvest Room

An upscale restaurant located in the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, The Harvest Room focuses on seasonal, local food as well as sustainably sourced game and seafood. They offer a breakfast and dinner menu, as well as a traditional Afternoon Tea experience every weekend. 

Organic, Local, & Zero Waste Groceries

Earth’s General Store

Edmonton’s first refillery and waste-reduction focused grocery store, now in its 30th year. EGS offers an abundant selection of both packaged and bulk plant-based groceries, as well as local dairy and eggs. Customers are encouraged to refill their own containers with dry and refrigerated bulk foods, as well as a body and home goods such as dish soap, shampoo and more. Their website is a wonderful resource for those new to waste reduction and buying bulk

Spud

An online grocery service that delivers your personalized order to your door in a cardboard box or reusable bin. Spud is a certified B Corporation that focuses on providing sustainable groceries, partners with local businesses and offers a wide variety of products, including health and beauty, home products and items for pets. 

Bread made in Edmonton with jam from zero waste small business Fruits of Sherbrooke
The Organic Box

An online grocery delivery service with a focus on fresh local produce, offering curated boxes, custom boxes or a combination of the two based on the customers needs. They offer a variety of box sizes and allow customers to browse and select items based on distance in kilometers from the warehouse. Their website features clear labels that indicate whether products are organic or come from a family farm, among other categories. 

Fruits of Sherbrooke

This non-profit organization takes food waste reduction to the next level by rescuing local fruit that would otherwise not be used. They sell delicious condiments, jams and jellies as well as provide food to community members in need, teach workshops, and connect with farmers and homeowners alike to divert organics from going to waste. 

The Butchery by Rge Road

Rge Road has taken their farm to table business model beyond the restaurant, and now offers local meat in their neighboring butcher shop. Their knowledgeable staff share information about their meats, as well as how to prepare and utilize every part of the animal, spreading the word about sustainable and conscious consumption for meat lovers. 

Sustainable Shopping in Edmonton

(some affiliate links may be used in this post)
Carbon Environmental Boutique

Carbon specializes in eco-conscious and sustainable products for home, body and lifestyle. Their new location in Manchester Square features a refillery bar, where customers can refill containers of their favorite items or try small quantities of new products before making a larger purchase. 

Re:Plenish

A store dedicated to zero waste living and refilling, focused on home and body products such as cleaners, deodorant, lotion and more. Re:Plenish partners with various organizations to promote reuse and recycling, including textile and beauty recycling programs, as well as their own jar library. 

Kolya Naturals

A boutique specializing in apothecary products, beauty and skincare, and an in-house organic spa. They stock brands dedicated to ethical sourcing and sustainable practices, and now feature a refill station where customers can refill their own containers with body, home and apothecary products.  


Consignment & Thrift Shopping in Edmonton

Blenderz Garment Recyclers

One of Edmonton’s newest and most innovative organizations, Blenderz Garment Recyclers reclaims textiles that are otherwise destined for landfill and uses a mixture of solutions to ensure diversion, recycling or reuse. Their warehouse offers pay by the pound shopping, curated clothing boxes delivered to your door, as well as workshops, craft kits and upcycled items for sale. Their most recent project is a crowdfunding campaign to purchase textile recycling equipment. 

Vespucci Consignment Edmonton

A luxury consignment store committed to growing the circular economy. They work with nonprofits to provide a dignified shopping experience and gently used clothing to community members in need.

Swish Vintage

A curated boutique dedicated to vintage and couture clothing, shoes, accessories and select home items such as lamps and small furniture pieces. 

The Dress Library

This unique clothing business rents dresses, costumes and accessories. The Dress Library works with clients to curate rental items based on the event, and provide fitting appointments. Products can be rented for a week or more. 
[ Interested in learning more about how clothing rental works? Check out our post all about it! ]

Dress rented from The Dress Library
Find Edmonton

A non-profit social enterprise and thrift store that sells furniture, home and entertainment products for low prices, as well as seasonal decor items. Find’s Housing First program provides furniture and houseware at no cost to people moving out of homelessness and into safe housing. 


Sustainable Clothing & Accessory Brands in Edmonton

Unbelts

An accessories brand specializing in belts, masks, and other small items with a focus on ethical manufacturing. As a certified B Corporation, Unbelts takes sustainability into account for all parts of their business, and has a comprehensive sustainability report available on their website. (Belts fit up to 54” hips)
[ Read a review of Unbelts here. ]

Sessa Wearables

Sessa Wearables offers a spectrum of clothing services, including selling garments made of upcycled materials and fabric scraps, personal styling and shopping, closet consultations and clothing repairs. (Offers custom sizing)

Arturo Denim Jeans
Msichana

A clothing and accessory brand committed to zero waste, Msichana products are designed in Canada and produced in Africa. Check out their website for more information on their ethical production practices and profiles on the women who create each handmade garment. (Offers custom sizing)

Arturo Denim

A vegan denim store and workshop creating and repairing high quality jeans. New purchases include free alterations and fittings, and free repairs for a year after that. Denim from other brands can be repaired or altered for a fee. (Offers sizes up to 42) 

Gus Sloan

A made-to-order clothing company specializing in jumpsuits and versatile garments. Gus Sloan offers mending for their garments that have been well loved, as well as the SCRAP collection, saving fabric scraps from the landfill by turning them into beautiful accessories. (Offers custom sizing)

Poppy Barley 

A certified B Corporation creating luxury leather and vegan leather goods, including shoes and accessories. They focus on ethical production and partnerships, and have recently increased their use of sustainable materials, such as vegan leather made from cactus leaves and other organic materials. (Offers womens shoe sizes 5 to 12 and mens 6 to 13)


Eco-Friendly Local Bath & Beauty Brands

Jack59

An Indigenous-owned, vegan hair and body product company committed to plastic free hair care. They offer sulphate-free, silicone-free and gluten-free options for all hair types, and their shampoo bars can be purchased package-free at many local stockists. 

Pura Botanicals

A small batch clean beauty and skincare brand that uses plant-based ingredients and glass packaging. Their products are cruelty free, GMO-free and gluten-free. 

Soap So Co.

Soap So Co. creates handcrafted, vegan and cruelty free soaps. They offer low-waste liquid soap refills for soap dispensers and large bottle sizes. Bar soaps can be purchased in recyclable paper boxes or package free at local stockists. 

Edmonton Soap Brands
Westmount Soap Co. 

A 100% natural handmade soap company that creates bars inspired by Edmonton’s neighborhoods and events. Their soaps feature minimal paper and twine packaging. 

Wild Prairie Soap Company 

A veteran in the Edmonton soap scene, Wild Prairie Soap Company creates plant-based and cruelty free soaps and body care products. Their refillery allows customers to fill their own containers with bath salts, lotions, liquid products and package free bath bombs.


Any we missed? Please share your favourite sustainable Edmonton small businesses in the comments!

Where to Find Recycled Wool Clothing

posted in brand roundups, fabrics

Wool is an amazing, insulting material and more brands are now offering recycled wool clothing, which can be both a great sustainable option and a compromise for those concerned about the ethics of wool.

What is Recycled Wool?

Recycled wool comes from 2 sources; pre-consumer which is wool that is salvaged waste from the manufacturing process and post-consumer which is recycled from wool garments and products.

Typically recycled wool, especially post-consumer, has shorter fibres and needs to be blended with some other fibres or virgin fibres to achieve durability. This is common with almost any recycled natural fibre so you will rarely see 100% recycled natural fibre content.

Is Recycled Wool Sustainable?

Yes! By using waste and existing resources it saves a lot of the energy and pollution which would be required to produce those virgin materials. It also reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill by giving these fibres new life.

Is Recycled Wool Vegan?

Technically no. However this is a grey area for some vegans and ultimately depends on your personal values. Recycled wool (as long as it’s not blended with virgin wool) can be a good way to get the benefits of wool fibres without directly supporting wool farming. There are conversations that can be had around how much or little it may indirectly support wool farming so it is ultimately a very personal decision.

My view on wool is I won’t buy most wool, but I do support regenerative and animal welfare focused fibre farming. I think wool has some incredible properties, especially for winter clothing, and recycled wool can be a good compromise.

If you’d like to learn more about the ethics and sustainability of wool, check out this post about if wool is ethical and what to look for.

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Anian

Anian is a Canadian company making classic wool shirts, jackets and “shakets” from post-consumer wool. Their garments all have that timeless, Pacific Northwest style and are great long-lasting investment pieces.

Styles: Women, Men, Unisex
Size Range: XS – XXL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials, Made in Canada
Based In: Canada, ships international

Organic Basics recycled cashmere beanie and gloves

Organic Basics

Sustainable staple brand Organic Basics has both sweaters and winter accessories made from recycled wool – including recycled merino and recycled cashmere (both to their high demand tend to have more issues with intensive farming).

They are all classic, timeless pieces that can easily be wardrobe staples so investing in some more luxurious fibres like cashmere seems more worth it and by opting for recycled you can avoid some of the ethical issues.

Styles: Women, Men
Size Range: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials, Transparency, Carbon Neutral Shipping, B Corp
Based In: Denmark, ships international


Colorful Standard

Focusing on recycled merino wool Colorful Standard has a collection of sweaters and accessories in a wide variety of colours. They use 100% recycled merino wool which is certified by Global Recycled Standard (GRS).

Styles: Women, Men
Size Range: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials, Factory Transparency, Seasonless Collections, Low Waste Production
Based In: Denmark, ships international with many international webshops


Frank And Oak

Frank And Oak has a small collection of recycled wool coats although they don’t have much information about where the wool comes from other than it’s “recycled textile waste” – so not sure if it is pre or post consumer wool.

I have been looking for a long wool coat for ages secondhand and finally decided to go with Frank And Oak’s plaid Laurence Coat. It’s honestly beautiful and I really appreciate the added insulation for our cold Canadian winters.

Styles: Women, Men
Size Range: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials, B Corp
Based In: Canada, ships to Canada and US

Frank And Oak recycled wool coat

Patagonia

A staple brand for outdoor, active and everyday casual-wear. Patagonia uses a variety of sustainable materials and is looking to further expand their use of recycled wool. They also have a great take-back/upcycling program where you can purchase secondhand and upcycled garments.

Styles: Women, Men
Size Range: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials, Fair Trade Certified (some factories), Take Back Recycling Program, Gives Back
Based In: USA, ships international (also has international retailers)


Toad&Co

Toad&Co has some wool pieces in their recycled collection, many blended with other recycled fibres as well. They have a variety of styles including jackets, shirts, vests, sweaters, cardigans and even sweater a skirt made with recycled wool.

Styles: Women, Men
Size Range: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable Materials, Recycled Materials
Based In: USA, ships to US and Canada


Want to learn more about the types of wool and the environmental and ethical impacts of it? Read more here.

Updated Jan 18, 2022

How to Reduce Your Baby’s Microplastic Exposure

posted in family, low waste

The Best Natural and Plastic-Free Baby Toys and Products

Right from birth, babies are surrounded by plastic in many different forms: from clothing, to toys, to furniture and more. And growing evidence is showing that babies are also consuming a lot of plastic in the form of microplastics.

A recent study found babies consume 10 times more PET microplastics than adults. Yuck.

While we don’t yet know the full health or environmental effects of microplastics (although there is a possible correlation with microplastics and IBS and some worrying research about microplastics crossing the blood-brain barrier), I think we can all agree that it’s probably for the best to limit how much plastic babies are ingesting. When searching for nontoxic toys, it’s good to also keep microplastics in mind.

What is PET and where do microplastics come from?

The baby study specifically found large amounts of polyethylene terephthalate or PET microplastics. PET is likely the plastic you encounter the most and is used in packaging and many household products. It’s also very commonly found in the form of polyester fibre.

We know that synthetic clothing sheds plastic microfibres when washed. These fibres are now abundant in our ocean and water systems, and have been found all over the world — even the top of Everest. Microplastic fibres are also in the food we eat and in our bodies. Polyester and other synthetic fibres are not just in our clothing, but also in our furniture, carpets, toys and many other products we use daily.

Microplastics are also created through abrasion, and when plastics break down and degrade, such as from tires wearing down, sponges breaking apart, paints rubbing off, or… chewing. Heat can also increase the breakdown of plastic — especially important to be aware of with plastic baby bottles and other feeding products that might be heated.

Because they are so tiny and often invisible, we can easily consume microplastics — especially true for babies who are exploring the world with their mouths.

Microplastics are unfortunately all around us, but here are some common microplastic sources in the home that children frequently encounter, and some easy plastic-free swaps you can make to reduce the amount your baby encounters and consumes:


Top 5 Plastic-Free Swaps for Babies & Children

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Toys – Especially Stuffed Animals

Those sweet fluffy animals we love to give babies are unfortunately made from polyester and other synthetic fibers. With the added wear, tear, and teething/sucking they get, these snuggly friends make likely culprits for microfiber ingestion.

I’ve also noticed that similar to fast fashion, cheaply made stuffed animals fall apart way faster. We were unfortunately given a little teddy bear when my daughter was born and bits of fur would come off in my hand just picking it up (we did not give it to her). This synthetic fur is not only bad for the environment but easily ingested by babies.

Stuffed Plastic Free and Organic Baby Toys

Yes, you CAN find safe plush toys and stuffed animals for babies!

  • Apple Park – makes lovely animals and baby doll toys from 100% organic cotton and stuffed with a corn fiber stuffing. We love the Apple Park organic dolls as an alternative to plastic dolls (pictured below).
  • Under the Nile – has stuffed toys made in a fair trade certified factory from organic and bio-dynamically farmed cotton and stuffed with organic cotton too! Their organic breathable loveys make an especially good choice for babies.
  • Ouistitine – hand makes toys and stuffies from natural and reclaimed materials (such as upcycled wool sweaters).
  • Finn & Emma – has a variety of natural toys including cute crochet toys made from organic cotton yarn.
  • Tikiri Toys – makes animals and dolls from organic cotton and regular cotton.
  • Bebemoss – has adorable hand crocheted toys made with organic cotton yarn.
  • Cate & Levi – upcycles wool sweaters into lovely puppets and stuffed toys (they also have DIY kits so you can make your own!).
  • Main Sauvage – has hand-knit toys made from alpaca wool in a fair trade factory in Bolivia.

Other Natural Baby Toys, Non Toxic Baby Toys

Sticking to natural materials like wood, rubber, metal or bamboo is best for toys and also look for brands that use tested safe, non-toxic paints. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Smiling Tree Toys – sustainably harvested wood toys with organic oil finishes.
  • Once Kids – bamboo and FSC certified wooden toys – their “Eco-Bricks” are a fantastic alternative to plastic Lego!
  • Erzi – wooden toys, we especially love their play food! (German Company with international retailers)
  • Wee Gallery – bamboo and cotton toys with very cute designs (bamboo numbers pictured below).
  • LOVEVERY – while they do have some plastic products and toys in their playkits, I want to highlight LOVEVERY’s wooden block set which is incredibly well designed for endless play and development stages — we play with it almost daily.

EarthHero is also a great marketplace with lots of options for sustainable and plastic-free toys and other baby products.

Some of my daughter’s natural, non-toxic, and plastic-free toys – we got many though EarthHero

Bottles, Dishes & Utensils

A shocking study found that babies fed with plastic bottles are exposed to an average of 1.6 million microplastic particles a day compared to the 300 – 600 adults typically consume. The daily process of sterilizing, preparing, and heating all cause the plastic of the bottles and containers to wear down and release microplastics into the formula or milk.

We also know that babies, especially while teething, chew on everything and are still learning to eat so plastic utensils and feeding products get a lot of wear and tear which likely also results in microplastics being consumed.

Plastic Free Baby Bottles, Glass Baby Bottles

  • Lifefactory – both glass and stainless steel bottles with silicone baby bottle nipples and a silicone sleeve for grip – we started using these later with the sippy lid attachment and they’ve been great
  • Kleen Kanteen – stainless steel baby bottles with medical grade silicone nipples
  • HEVEA – glass bottles with natural rubber baby bottle nipples
  • Phillips Avent – glass bottles with silicone nipples. We ended up using these because we needed bottles in a pinch and while I typically would choose to support a smaller brand than Philips, these were the best rated, most accessible ones. They worked great for us as I ended up using the Philips pump as well.

Plastic Free Feeding: Baby Dishes and Baby Utensils

  • Bambu – bamboo baby utensils.
  • Avanchy – bamboo or stainless steel and silicone bowls, plates and spoons – these are what we primarily use (buy them in Canada here)
  • ezpz – silicone bowls and dish mats – great for feeding or play!

Is Silicone Safe for Babies?

Let’s chat quickly about silicone, because silicone can be considered a plastic and it is a synthetic material, although it’s also different than the plastics we’ve been discussing.

Unlike most plastics, silicone is extremely durable, stable, and non-reactive. This means that it is considered a safe, non-toxic option and it doesn’t shed microplastics. However environmentally it also means that it doesn’t biodegrade well and isn’t easily recyclable. There is also a potential issue with fillers and traces of lead, so it’s important to only use food-grade or medical-grade silicone.

My thoughts on silicone: Plastic has undeniable benefits as a flexible material and I think silicone can be a good, safer alternative in cases. We used a variety of silicone products including bottle nipples, utensils, dishes, and some teethers.


Hevea soothers – Image from EarthHero

Pacifiers & Teethers

This one seems a pretty obvious source of microplastic ingestion as it’s something babies are literally sucking and chewing on. They say to replace soothers at any sign of wear, however by the time abrasions and wear can be seen there has likely been undetectable micro abrasions and deterioration leading up to that.

Plastic Free/ Natural Rubber Pacifiers and Teething Toys for Babies

To avoid your baby ingesting micro bits of plastic pacifiers and teethers, stick to natural materials such as natural rubber (but don’t use if there’s a latex allergy), wood, and as mentioned above, medical or food-grade silicone. Some of our favourites are:

  • Hevea – natural rubber teething toys and pacifiers – these are the soothers we use (pictured above).
  • Eco Piggy – also makes natural rubber pacifiers – my daughter loves their Calmies Ecoteether and even though she’s no longer teething she still enjoys holding it while sleeping (pictured above).
  • Finn & Emma – makes cute wooden and organic cotton teething toys and pacifier holders.

Clothing

We’ve talked a lot here on MGC about microfiber pollution so we know synthetic clothing is a big culprit of microplastics. These not only pollute our oceans and rivers but can also be ingested by us and our children.

An easy way to avoid this is by sticking to natural fibre clothing such as cotton, linen, Tencel, or wool. If you do have to use synthetic materials, like for swimwear or winter coats, be sure to wash them in a Guppyfriend Bag or with a Cora Ball to help capture the plastic fibers so they can be safely disposed of.

Check out our list of organic and sustainable baby and children clothing brands for lots of natural clothing options and our tried and tested favorites.


Carpets & Rugs

A study found that homes with carpet as the main flooring had nearly double the amount of synthetic microfibers in dust samples. So it’s best to use natural fiber rugs and other natural material floor coverings where possible. Especially try to focus on bedrooms, playrooms, or areas where you baby will be crawling and playing the most.

Natural Rugs and Carpets

  • Made Trade – while not specifically designed for babies, they have a large selection of artisan made wool area rugs – we have one in my daughters room!
  • Willaby – handwoven, washable organic cotton rugs in colours perfect for a nursery or playroom.
  • Lorena Canals – very cute washable cotton rugs as well as other natural nursery decor pieces.
  • Under the Nile – handwoven rugs made from scraps of organic cotton from their clothing and toy production.
  • Novica – a variety of artisan made natural fibre rugs.
  • Hook & Loom – a large variety of recycled or organic cotton, and undyed wool rugs.
  • Under the Nile – zero waste handloomed rugs made from scrap organic cotton from their clothing and toy production.
  • Pure Earth Collection – play mats made from cork.
  • Scoria – yoga/play mats made from cork.
  • Colin Campbell “Nature’s Carpet Collection” – 100% natural wool carpets, their “dark green” options include undyed wool, no insecticides or chemical additives, and a natural latex adhesive.

For more ways to reduce your microplastic exposure check out 10 simple ways to avoid microplastics in your everyday life.

Updated July 18, 2022

Where to find Sustainable Nursing Bras

posted in brand roundups

I tried avoiding maternity-specific clothing as much as possible during my pregnancy and get things secondhand, however bras was one area where I definitely needed to get some new pieces. Of course I wanted to find sustainable and ethical bra options so here are some of the nursing and maternity bras I tried as well as some other great brands I’ve found.

Comfort and easy accessibility are obviously high priorities for nursing bras and I would recommend trying a few different styles to see what you like best. I personally found I preferred the crossover style vs the clip but glad I had both depending on what I was wearing.

So we’ve collected a variety of styles, sustainable materials and ethically made nursing bras from brands based in the USA, Canada, and Europe to help you find some good options!

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

One-Stop-Shop for Nursing Clothing

Images from Boob Designs

Boob Design is the brand to check out, they exclusively design sustainable maternity and nursing clothing! They have a full collection that transitions with you from a pregnancy to nursing. I especially loved their nursing dresses with easy-access designs!

For nursing bras they have a large variety of styles and sustainable materials to choose from; including organic cotton, Tencel, recycled nylon, and even organic merino wool. Their styles range from soft to extra firm support and they even have styles for larger cups and smaller bands! (This is my biggest issue with bralettes)

Boob Design Nursing Bra Review

I used 3 of their bras while I was nursing – the 24/7 Bra, Fast-Food Bra, and Fast-Food Sports Bra. The 24/7 bra was definitely my favourite and so comfortable (I still wear it all the time even though I’m no longer nursing) and because it’s a crossover style instead of clip it doesn’t feel or look like a nursing bra. I personally preferred Boob’s natural material bras over the recycled nylon ones and would recommend sticking with those.

Boob is fantastic if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop to get a maternity and nursing-friendly wardrobe.

Cost: €55 – €75
Values: sustainable materials, GOTS certified, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics, production transparency
Size range: S – XXL
Ordering: Based in Sweden, ships international


Sporty & Size-Inclusive Nursing Bras

Images from Girlfriend

When the designer behind Sustainable activewear brand Girlfriend became pregnant they naturally expanded their line to include a few maternity and nursing options!

They have 2 bra styles depending on your preference – the Ellie Clip Nursing Bra and the May Crossover Nursing Bra.

Girlfriend’s bras are made from a stretchy recycled nylon (from fishing nets) and the Ellie includes removable cups made from recycled plastic bottles. Both styles are designed fit fluctuating cup sizes and the Ellie also includes adjustable straps and back.

For working out, the Ellie is for low-medium impact and the May is low impact. And if you’re looking for maternity workout leggings they have an option too!

They’re also the most size-inclusive brand I’ve found with size options from XXS-6X!

Cost: $52/$48 USD
Values: recycled materials, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics, SA8000 certified factory, body-inclusive models
Size range: XXS – 6X
Ordering: based in USA, also ships to UK, Australia, and Canada


Best Variety of Styles (Including Sustainable Pumping Bras!)

Images from Bravado Designs

I wish I’d know about Bravado Designs while I was breastfeeding (and then exclusively pumping), they have so many styles and options including seamless, racerback, full cup and extended cup, both underwire and wire-free, nursing cami, and a combo nursing/pumping bra, as well as innovative pumping attachment which transforms their nursing bras into a hands-free pumping bra (this would have been exactly what I needed!)

Bravado has a sustainable collection which uses eco friendly materials such as a blend of organic cotton and Tencel Modal, and recycled nylon but not all their styles are made from these materials (however all their materials are Oeko-Tex certified). They also have a goal to transition to 100% sustainable fabrics by 2023.

Their sizing can be confusing and varies by the style so use their size calculator and check each product.

Cost: $42 – $57 CAD
Values: some sustainable materials, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified fabrics, WRAP certified factories, body-inclusive models, products are tested for longevity
Size range: S – XXL (including full cup options)
Ordering: based in Canada, has a Canadian site, US site, and UK site.


Most Beautiful – Reclaimed Lace Nursing Bra

Images from Savara

Most nursing bras are very utilitarian looking, so it’s a delight to see Savara Intimates’s stunning and sustainable Aveline Nursing Bra.

It features a soft Tencel cup with gorgeous deadstock lace, and the option of removable cup padding. The cup is detachable with a hook while the strap stays in place.

Savara Intimates has a unique sizing model and design which uses adjustable back elastics to combine the comfortable and flexibility of a bralette with the adjustability of a bra. Their bras are specifically designed to accommodate size changes and weight fluctuations – perfect for everyone, but especially maternity and nursing bras!

While I haven’t used their Aveline nursing bra, I have the Willow bra from Savara Intimates and it is such a beautiful and comfy bra. As someone with larger cups and a smaller band I really appreciate the adjustable back straps.

Cost: €69,95
Values: sustainable and reclaimed materials, production transparency, carbon offset, made in Europe
Size range: XS – XXL+
Ordering: based in the Netherlands, ships international


Most Affordable Organic Nursing Bra

Images from Pact

Sustainable clothing brand Pact also has a maternity collection which includes an organic cotton crossover nursing bralette and organic cotton nursing camisole. At just $35 each for organic cotton and fair trade certified garments these are the most budget-friendly nursing options we’ve found (besides shopping secondhand of course).

I especially like the crossover style of nursing bra since it doesn’t look or feel like a nursing bra and can easily be worn after.

Both styles look comfy and I’m a fan of Pact’s baby clothing so it could also be a good opportunity to grab some baby essentials too!

Cost: $35 USD
Values: GOTS certified organic cotton, Fair Trade certified factories, carbon offset shipping
Size range: S – XL
Ordering: based in USA, ships international.


If there are any I missed please share them in the comments!

Updated Jan 18, 2022

‘Green’ Friday Deals – 80+ Sustainable Brands with Sales

posted in brand roundups

Sustainable Black Friday Sales 2022 – If you’re shopping this Black Friday or Cyber Week instead of giving your money to the big box stores you can instead support sustainable and ethical brands! There are some great initiatives to refocus, give back, or “green” the traditional Black Friday while also helping out small businesses trying to make a difference.

There are mainly US and Canadian sustainable Black Friday deals but also a few of our favourite European brands.

Start with sustainable clothing sales or jump to:

Eco Friendly Accessories on Sale

Sustainable Baby & Kids Clothing and Products

Eco Home Goods Deals

Green Beauty Sales

Miscellaneous

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Sustainable Fashion Deals

ABLE (US) – 35% off site-wide, 40% off certain items with code ITMATTERS

Alder (CAN) – 30% off site-wide

Amour Vert (US) – spend and save 30-50% off

Ang Hill (CAN) – BOGO 50% off

ARMEDANGELS (DE) – 20% off denim and select items

Back Beat Co. (US) – 35% off site-wide with code BFBONANZA

Boody (US/AUS) – 20% off of site-wide with code GIFTBETTER plus up to 40% of select items

Christy Dawn (US) – up to 70% off

DAY/WON (US) – 50% off site-wide with code 50WON

DoneGood (US) – Ethical Marketplace. Up to 70% off

EarthHero (US) – 15% off site-wide with code MINDFULGIFTS

Encircled (CAN) – extra 20% off + daily flash sales Fri-Mon

Franc (CAN) – 40% off site-wide

Frank and Oak (CAN) – 30% off site-wide

Gaia & Dubos (CAN) – 20% off site-wide

Harvest & Mill (US) – 15% off site-wide with code HOLIDAYS

Hernest Project (CAN) – 20-50% off site-wide

Indigenous (US) – 25% off site-wide code BF25

Girlfriend Collective (US) – Swim and activewear. 35% off site-wide, up to 70% off select styles

Groceries Apparel (US) – 30% off site-wide

Knickey (US) – Organic underwear and bras. 25% off site-wide with code TOPDRAWERSWAP

LA Relaxed (US) – 40% off site-wide with code FESTIVE

Londre (CAN) Swimwear. 25% – 65% off

Made Trade (US) – 15% off with code GREENFRIDAY + up to 55% off sale items, until Nov. 30

Magic Linen (LT) – 20% off site-wide

Mary Young (CAN) – Underwear and bras. 25 – 60% site-wide

MATE (US) – up to 70% off

Outerknown (US) – 30% off site-wide

Pact (US) – 20 – 50% off

Prana (US) – up to 40% off, until Nov. 28

RE/DONE (US) – 30% off site-wide

Son de Flor (LT) – Linen dresses and skirts. Up to 35% off

Symbology (US) – 40% off site-wide

TAMGA (CAN) – up to 50% off + 20% donated to rainforest restoration

tentree (CAN) – up to 50% off

Toad & Co. (US) – up to 60% off

tonlé (US) – 15% off with code GIFTFORWARD2022 + 15% donated to LGBTQ+ organization, tonlé is also doing a buy-one-give-one with every purchase of a $100 gift card to a trans or non-binary person

Tradlands (US) – 30% off with code BF30

WAMA (US) – Underwear. 40% off site-wide

Wearwell (US) – 25% off site-wide and up to 75% off sale and secondhand

Whimsy + Row (US) – up to 80% off

Wolven (US) – Swim and activewear. 40% off site-wide

WUKA (UK) – Underwear and period underwear. 30% off

Eco Friendly Accessories on Sale

ALLTRUEIST (CAN) – Various vegan brands. Sales up to 40% off

Angela Roi (US) – Vegan handbags. Donate $1 or more to one of their selected organizations and receive a 20% off code

DoneGood (US) – Ethical Marketplace. Up to 70% off

Etsy – Various products on sale (please note: not all Etsy sellers are eco/ethical)

Genusee (US) – Sunglasses. 50% off site-wide

GOT Bag (US/EU) – Backpacks and bags. Up to 40% off

Hyer Goods (US) – Bags and wallets. 20% off with code GIVEBETTER22

Made Trade (US) – 15% off with code GREENFRIDAY + up to 55% off sale items, until Nov. 30

Nisolo (US) – Shoes. 30% off site-wide plus up to 40% off select styles with code GIFTS30

Paradigm (US) Eyewear. 30% off site-wide with code THANKFUL

Pela (US/CAN) – Phone cases. BOGO, plus buy 2 get 3 free, and buy 3 get 4 free

Svala (US) – Vegan cork purses and bags. 20% off with code HOLIDAY20

Thesus (CAN) – Boots. 25% off

Unbelts (CAN) – Stretch belts. Buy one give one + deals with holiday bundles US site or Canadian site

Veerah (US) – Vegan heels and shoes. 25-35% off

VIVAIA (US) – Recycled plastic shoes. Various sales


Eco & Organic Baby & Kids Deals

EarthHero (US) – 15% off site-wide with code MINDFULGIFTS

Finn + Emma (US) – 25% off site-wide with code VIP25

Hanna Andersson (US) – 40% off site-wide, 50% off pajamas

Mightly (US) – Spend and save 10-20%

Native Shoes (CAN) – 20-50% off site-wide

Nest Designs (CAN) – up to 50% off

Nudnik (CAN) – 50% off

Pact (US) – 20 – 50% off, Nov. 25 – 28

Q for Quinn (CAN) – Up to 40% off + 5 meals donated for every order 🍲

The Sunday Collective (US) – Up to 60% off

Sustainable Home Goods Sales

Boll & Branch (US) – Organic cotton bedding. 25% off orders $200+ with code CYBER25

Caraway (US) – Cooking and bakeware. 10 – 20% off

DoneGood (US) – Ethical Marketplace. Up to 70% off

EarthHero (US) – 15% off site-wide with code MINDFULGIFTS

Etsy – Various products on sale (please note: not all Etsy sellers are eco/ethical)

Made Trade (US) – 15% off with code GREENFRIDAY + up to 55% off sale items, until Nov. 30

Mala the Brand (CAN) – Candles. up to 40% off

Naturepedic (US/CAN) – Organic mattresses and bedding. 20% off everything + free pillow(s) with every kid or adult mattress with code BLACKFRIDAY

Magic Linen (LT) – Linen home textiles. 20% off site-wide

Obakki (CAN) – Artisan home goods. 20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY20 + $20 donated to build wells

Sijo (US) – Bedding. 20% off site-wide


Green & Cruelty-Free Beauty Deals

100% Pure (US/CAN/EU) – various product deals starting at $3

Athr Beauty (US) – up to 50% off

Attitude (CAN) – up to 50% off

The Detox Market – Spend and save + free gifts, shop the US site or Canadian site

Clove + Hallow (US) – 40% off site-wide

Pacifica (US) – 30% off site-wide

Red Apple Lipstick (US) – 25% off site-wide

RMS Beauty (US) – 30% off site-wide + free gifts

Think (US) – Sunscreen. 30% off + gift with purchase with code SALE30


Other

Beam Paints (CAN) – Handmade paints. BOGO single colours with code PAINTSTONES or 25% off site-wide with code BLACKFRIDAY (codes are not stackable, must pick only one to use)

Libro.fm (US/Int) – Audiobooks. 10% off all credit bundles and select audiobooks on sale,

Tinggly – Experience vouchers. 30% off site-wide

Wrappr (CAN) – Zero waste and reuseable gift wrap cloths. 40% off with code BLACKFRIDAY


Check back because I’ll be updating this list daily as more brands announce their sales.

You can also check out my Green Gift Guide for sustainable holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list!

8 Ways to Be a More Conscious Gift Giver

Sustainable gift giving isn’t just about what you give, but also how you give.

It’s easy to think that buying a gift made in an eco friendly way is all you need to do, however there are important things to keep in mind and ways to give presents sustainably regardless of the item.  

This post is in partnership with EarthHero which is an amazing one-stop shop for all kinds of sustainable products and an easy place to get your gift shopping done. They have everything including clothing, kitchen and home goods, zero waste items, decor, baby and kids stuff, eco friendly pet products, green beauty lines and more.

So let’s jump into my tips of how to make your gifts more sustainable and also some great conscious gift examples from EarthHero!

1. Ensure it’s a Gift that Will Get Used

I think this is the most important one: a gift that the person doesn’t want and won’t actually use and enjoy is always going to be wasteful. 61% of Americans admit to getting at least 1 unwanted gift over the holidays – that’s billions of dollars and time wasted, as well as all the unnecessary energy and resources used to make the items (plus wrapping and packaging).

An easy way to solve this is simply to ask the person what they need or could use! Or if you don’t want to ask them directly, do some sleuthing and ask close family members, partners, friends etc. Or see if there’s anything they use regularly that could use an update or replacement.

Here are some ideas of items that most people use regularly which make good, practical gifts:

2. Quality over Quantity

Something that really needs a shift is the idea that “more is better” when it comes to gifts. The reality is excessive consumption is not only incredibly harmful to our planet and people but holiday gift shopping also creates a lot of unnecessary debt, stress and pressure.

Focusing on quality over quantity not only allows you to give items that will last and won’t be trashed. It also means you can invest in responsible brands and something you know the receiver will get good use from.

3. Research 

This isn’t just for gifts, any product you buy you should try to research. Choose things that are well made and ideally from brands that align with your sustainable and ethical values. 

It can be tough to research every company though, so marketplaces like EarthHero are helpful because they curate products and also give you filters of sustainability features. They use icons so you can easily identify features such as plastic-free, Fair Trade, recycled, Black Owned businesses, compostable, vegan, climate neutral, and much more.

4. Support Small Businesses

Amazon and all the mega-corporations don’t need your money, meanwhile holiday purchases can be crucial for small businesses to keep the lights on. Small businesses not only offer more unique products but also create stronger communities and are important for advancing the sustainability movement.

Here are just a few of my favorite small brands you can find on EarthHero:

5. Give Consumable Gifts

Gifts that will be used up are fantastic for anyone who doesn’t want or need more “stuff”. You can give a gift without the lasting clutter or waste! 

Homemade baking, sauces, snacks or cooking mixes are great consumable gifts and also budget-friendly. Favorite coffees, teas, beer/wine, jam, or chocolate also are good go-tos.

When we think consumable we typically think of food. However there’s also non-food “consumable” gifts such as:

6. Reusable or Biodegradable Materials

Another way to cut down on the impact of gifts is to look for reusable or biodegradable, materials and packaging. So at the item’s end-of-life it won’t go in the landfill. Try to avoid plastic products and packaging as much as you can; sometimes it’s unavoidable but we can try our best. 🙂

Also remember that most wrapping paper comes from new resources and often isn’t recyclable so stick to sustainable gift wrap – ideally recycled or reusable options, and make sure they don’t go in the trash!

7. Gifts that Give Back 

Many conscious brands also give back to great causes, so you can multiply your gift giving! It can be especially meaningful if it’s both a gift they’ll appreciate and a cause they care about. 

Here are some great brands on EarthHero that give back:

  • Conscious Step – each pair of organic socks gives back $1 with many causes and organizations to choose from
  • Tentree – clothing brand where every item plants 10 trees
  • Terra Thread – each bag donates meals through Feeding America
  • Scoria – their cork yoga products give back to Right to Play which works with Indigenous youth in Canada

8. Give Experiences

I’ve said this many times before, but it’s always good to repeat – experiences make amazing, memorable gifts and can also be a fantastic sustainable gift!

Here are some enjoyable experience gifts depending on the receiver’s interests:

  • Meal at a favourite restaurant
  • Tickets to a concert or sports game
  • Membership to a museum or gallery
  • Spa or massage service
  • Admission to an amusement park
  • National park pass
  • Classes for something they want to learn
  • Getaway or camping trip

Happy Holidays and if you have any other tips you’d add to this list, please share them!

Check out EarthHero for lots of sustainable gifts and from now until Dec. 1st get 20% off site-wide + plant 5 trees with every order with code BF2021

Sustainable & Organic Sheets & Bedding

posted in home

Looking for new bedding? Sustainable fabrics are not only better for the environment, but natural and eco friendly sheets are also more breathable, absorbent, and comfortable – so better for your sleep too!

Here’s a guide to help you first decide what material might be the best choice for you and also a list of some great sustainable bedding brands to check out.

And before we jump into it, lets quickly clear up the thread count myth – a higher thread count does not automatically mean better quality or more comfortable. What is much more important is the type and quality of fibre used, how it’s processed, and how it’s woven! So it’s best to ignore thread counts and instead look for brands that focus on making high quality sheets.

Read below about the pros and cons of different material or jump to where to find sustainable sheets.

Cotton vs Linen vs Tencel

What’s the best material for sheets? Which is the most environmentally friendly bedding?

Cotton Sheets

The most common and easy to find sheet material.

Pros

  • Breathable & absorbent
  • Often more affordable
  • Large variety of styles, colours, and patterns

Cons

  • Cotton can have high pesticide use (look for Organic)
  • Generally requires more resources to grow
  • Wrinkles with use
  • Large range in quality

Linen Sheets

The original bedding materials and why they’re often called “linens”.

Pros

  • Breathable & absorbent
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Linen is more sustainably grown than cotton (less pesticides and water required)

Cons

  • Wrinkles easily (although that can be a pro too if you like the look)
  • Can take a while to soften
  • Typically more expensive than other sheets
  • Limited style options

Tencel (Lyocell) Sheets

Tencel is a cellulose fabric derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp. It often has a more silky feel but can come in a variety of finishes.

Pros

  • Tencel™ is closed loop and sustainably made (however generic lyocell might not be)
  • Less prone to wrinkling
  • Good “vegan silk” or “natural satin” alternative
  • Can feel cooler and be a good choice for hot sleepers

Cons

  • While it’s technically a natural material, lyocell is highly processed – ensure it is Tencel™ which is made in a sustainable closed loop process.
  • Typically less durable
  • Some Tencel sheets may require delicate washing
  • Some people don’t like the feeling

Overall the best type of material will depend on you personal preferences, style, and budget. Each have different pros and cons so ultimately it’s about which you’ll most use and enjoy.

Personally, I’m a big fan of linen sheets, I love the feeling, casual look, and sustainability. But I also know they’re not for everyone so below are a variety of options, materials, and brands to check out.

When shopping for sheets something else that is important to me is being able to buy pieces separately. We don’t use a top sheet so I hate having to get set that includes one, and my partner and I also use separate duvets and have different pillow sizes so sets never fit our needs and end up being a waste of both money and materials. So if the sets also don’t work for you, I’ve also noted who sells pieces separately.

Sustainable Bedding - Linen sheets from Magic Linen
My linen sheets from Magic Linen

Where to Find Sustainable Sheets

The best organic sheets and sustainable bedding brands.

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Price Guide (based on a Queen Set)
$ – Under 200
$$ – 200 – 250
$$$ – 251 – 300
$$$$ – 301+

Material Symbol Quick Guide
🌱 – Cotton
🌾- Linen
🌳 – Tencel

Magic Linen sheets
Image from Magic Linen

1. Magic Linen

🌾

Magic Linen’s products are made in-house in Lithuania from Oeko-Tex certified linen made from European flax. They cater to international customer and offer many sizing options.

Magic Linen Review

We have full bedding from Magic Linen and it’s been great! I love their colour options and as mentioned above I’m a huge fan of the fact that they sell the pieces both individually and as sets.

I really like the wrinkly linen look however of the linen sheets I’ve tried these have a thicker yarn and are more casual/rustic than some finer woven linen sheets. So they are definitely for those who love that “linen look”.

Price: $$$

Based in: Lithuania, ships international

Sizing: US, UK, EU, AU


organic cotton pillow cases from Boll & Branch
Image from Boll & Branch

2. Boll & Branch

🌱

Boll & Branch makes classic bedding from organic cotton. They have a variety of yarn quality and weaves for different feels and finishes. They also sell both sets and separates.

Their bedding is 100% organic cotton, they pay fair wages to cotton farmers, and their production is Fair Trade Certified.

Price: $$$

Based in: USA, also ships to Canada

Sizing: US


Sustainable sheets and duvet cover from Kotn
Image from Kotn

3. Kotn

🌱 🌾

One of our fave Canadian clothing brands – Kotn’s new home collection includes classic, neutral bedding. Their sheet sets are sold with the flat sheet separately which I appreciate! They also have cotton and linen blend sheets if you want the benefits of both fibres.

While Kotn’s cotton is not organic, they do have a unique direct-trade model where they work directly with cotton farmers and ensure quality, transparency, and fair wages at all stages of their supply chain. Kotn is also in the process of helping their farmers get organic certification. Kotn is a B Corp and uses a portion of profits to build schools in their cotton farming communities.

Price: $ – $$

Based in: Canada, ships international

Sizing: US


organic cotton bed linen from Hessnatur
Image from Hessnatur

4. Hessnatur

🌱 🌾

Hessnatur has a huge selection of organic cotton and organic linen bedding – especially good to check out if you’re looking for bright colours and prints! They have percale, sateen, jersey, and brushed options.

Their bedding is GOTS certified and made in the EU. *Flat sheets aren’t very common in Europe so they don’t include them.

Price: $

Based in: Germany, ships to most countries in Europe

Sizing: EU


Tencel sheets from Sijo
Image from Sijo

5. Sijo

🌳 🌾

Sijo makes both Tencel™ and linen bedding. Looking for something silky and cool? Tencel is a sustainable fabric to try! They sell sets with and without a flat sheet in a range of colours to choose from.

Their bedding is Oeko-Tex certified and their duvets also include corner snaps which pair with their duvet inserts to make changing the bedding easier.

Price: $$ – $$$

Based in: USA, ships

Sizing: US


Organic cotton sheets and mattress from Naturepedic
Image from Naturepedic

6. Naturepedic

🌱

Naturepedic is primarily a mattress company (and makes excellent organic mattresses!) however they also have a small and simple bedding collection. Their sheets come in natural or white and are 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.

They also have GreenGuard and other certifications, Naturepedic would be my top pick for babies or anyone with very sensitive skin or who has issues with dyes!

Price: $$

Based in: USA, also has a Canadian webshop

Sizing: US


organic cotton jersey sheets from Pact
Image from Pact

7. Pact

🌱

Pact is primarily known as a clothing brand but recently added a home collection as well. They have options in 2 materials, their “favorite tee jersey” bedding and “room service sateen”.

Pact’s sheets and bedding are 100% organic cotton and made in a Fair Trade Certified factory in India.

Price: $

Based in: USA, ships international

Sizing: US


organic cotton and linen sheets from Coyuchi
Image from Coyuchi

8. Coyuchi

🌱 🌾

Coyuchi has a variety of organic cotton and linen sheets. Their cotton options include crinkled percale, flannel, jersey, and sateen, and they have different densities depending if you’re looking for something more relaxed or crisp.

Coyuchi’s bedding is GOTS and their organic cotton is also Fair Trade Certified. They also have a take-back recycling program for used linens.

Price: $$

Based in: USA, ships US only

Sizing: US


Linen sheets from Canadian brand Maison Tess
Image from Maison Tess

9. Maison Tess

🌾 🌱 🌳

Maison Tess makes linen, cotton, cotton/Tencel blend and cotton/linen blend sheets in variety of colours. So they’re great if you’re looking to combine the benefit of different fibres.

They do not use organic cotton, but their bedding is Oeko-Tex certified. They also have very little info about their cotton sourcing, so personally I would only recommend their linen options or if you’re looking for the benefits of a blended fabric.

Price: $$$$

Based in: Canada, ships international

Sizing: US


Sweet dreams!

Last updated: June 6, 2022

Sustainable Gifts – Our Top 25 Picks for 2022

Our annual green gift guide is here – find eco friendly gifts for him, her, kids, friends, vegans, minimalists, environmentalists and more!

We have collected sustainable gift ideas so you can not only give thoughtful presents, but also have a lighter impact on the planet. There are options for everyone and at a variety of price points so you’re sure to find something perfect.

$ = under 50 *            $$ = 50-100          $$$ = 100-150          $$$$ = 150+ 

* Looking for eco friendly stocking stuffers or affordable sustainable gifts under $20? Jump here.

(please note: some affiliate links are used in this post which means we may get a small commission)

Image credit: Mala the Brand

Vegan Candle or Candle Subscription $+

Mala the Brand went viral last year with their fruity ‘Cereal’ candle, but this sustainable, small business has a lot more to offer. Their collection includes a beautiful selection of seasonal scents as well as a monthly subscription for candle lovers.

Their candles are handmade locally from a coconut and soy wax blend, with crackly wooden wicks or lead-free cotton, and scented with essential oils and phthalate-free fragrance.

Gift a single candle, or any candle lover is sure to be thrilled with a Candle Subscription which includes a full-size candle, box of matches, sample tea lights, and a surprise small gift each month for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Location: Canada, ships international


Image credit: Unbelts

“Unbelts” Stretch Belt $ – $$

I don’t say this lightly: Unbelts are a whole new world of belt-wearing! My husband says the Intrepid belt is hands down the best belt he’s ever worn. I love their belts for wearing over dresses and the recycled elastic makes them super comfortable in jeans and trousers. They also have great options for kids and helping pants fit as they grow. 

In addition to their fit and comfort, the bulk-free buckle also doesn’t look lumpy under shirts or when using to faux-crop sweaters. 

Unbelts are ethically made with a variety of sustainability initiatives. They’re also a B Corp, and give back to community programs and organizations.

Location: Canada, with online stores for Canada and the United States.


Image credit: Hanna Andersson

Organic Character or Holiday PJs $ – $$

Know a Star Wars, Pokemon, Marvel, Harry Potter, or Disney fan? Or love matching family holiday pajamas? These high quality, organic and super comfy ones from Hanna Andersson are perfect!

One question I often get is if there’s a sustainable way to still get franchise character merch and I always recommend Hanna Andersson, who licenses the designs to use on their organic clothing.

Hanna Andersson makes pajamas for adults, children and babies in a wide variety of prints including popular characters and matching family sets. We’re huge fans over here and their pjs and clothes are my daughter’s favorite.

Location: USA, ships international


Image credit: Libro.fm

Audiobook Credits $+

Libro.fm audiobooks are my favorite gift to give — it’s clutter-free, sustainable, supportive of small businesses, and enjoyable for everyone. It’s an especially excellent gift for runners, new parents, book lovers, minimalists, family/friends in another country, and hard-to-shop-for people. 

Libro.fm is unique because they partner and share profits with independent bookstores. They have a huge selection of audiobook titles, bestsellers, and curated collections. The best part is the receiver can choose whatever book they want. 

They offer gift credit bundles (1 credit = 1 audiobook) ranging from 2 to 24 so there’s options for all price points. Plus, this holiday season when you purchase a credit bundle, you’ll get a free holiday audiobook as well!

Location: Can be gifted anywhere in the world


Image credit: Salty Sea Dog

Handmade Animal Mug $$

Salty Sea Dog makes the cutest creature mugs sure to brighten anyone’s morning!

Their mugs are all hand-thrown and painted in their studio so each one is unique. They’re large to hold a good amount of tea/coffee and also made with both comfort and longevity in mind so they can be used for years. Even though they’re handmade ceramics, they’re also microwave and dishwasher safe for ease of use.

They have a regular collection of critters and also holiday and seasonal limited edition designs. I got one of their adorable mugs last year and love it. 

Location: Canada, ships international


Image credit: Oh My Bag

Half-Moon Coin Purse $

A minimal, practical, and stylish way to keep cards and cash organized.

This little semicircle coin purse is thoughtfully designed with 5 pockets and card slots and comes in both vegan apple leather (pictured) and vegetable-tanned leather options. 

Oh My Bag is a bag and accessory brand with many sustainability and ethical manufacturing initiatives. They have a strong focus on conscious sourcing, fair manufacturing, and now have a vegan, apple-leather collection. 

In the US, shop through wearwell (a fantastic marketplace for slow fashion and ethical goods).

In the EU, shop directly through Oh My Bag (ships international).


Image credit: Anne Mulaire

Cozy Winter Leggings $$ – $$$

After trying Anne Mulaire’s winter leggings for the first time last year, these fleecy, high-waist leggings have become a wardrobe-must-have and a second pair is on my wish-list for this year.

Anne Mulaire is a sustainable, size inclusive brand and their winter bamboo and organic cotton blend leggings are specifically designed to keep you cozy during cold winters. 

They have both solid and printed styles, as well as a new pocket style. To get a great fit, Anne Mulaire also does custom inseams for petite and tall customers.

You can check out a more detailed review and interview with Anne here and use code GREENCLOSET for a free headband with purchase.

Location: Canada, ships international


Image credit: Tinggly

Experience Voucher $$+

Experiences not only make a great eco friendly gift but are also perfect for minimalists and those who don’t want more stuff.

Tinggly makes it easy to give experiences and getaways all over the world. You simply select one of their packages and the recipient can choose what they’d like to do. They have everything from culinary experiences, tours, and adrenaline adventures, to weekend getaways and hotel stays.

Tinggly gives you the option of an e-voucher or a gift box including a voucher and brochure all made from recycled materials. Tinggly also carbon offsets each experience by 200% — making them a more sustainable (and often more affordable) way to purchase travel and experience gifts!

Location: International


Image credit: Astor + Orion

Crescent Hoop Earrings $$ – $$$$

You can’t go wrong with such a beautiful, timeless, jewelry piece.

These crescent hoops from Astor + Orion are the perfect goes-with-everything style and come in 3 sizes, in both gold and silver. We love the quality and a classic design like this can be worn for a lifetime.

Astor + Orion ethically makes all their jewellery from recycled materials. They have a variety of designs from intricate, detailed pieces to minimalist classics.

Location: USA, ships international


Image credit: Bearaby

Natural Body Pillow $$$$

So squishy and comfy, Bearaby’s new body pillow “The Cuddler” is a much-welcome addition to their line of sleep and sensory aids.

I wish this pillow had existed during my pregnancy, but it’s also amazing for everyone and the extra support can help with body aches, tension, comfort and sleep.  

The Cuddler pillow is made from a natural rubber foam and includes an organic cotton cover. They also have additional covers available in their core colors or recycled velvet.

Location: USA, they have both a US store and Canadian store.


Image credit: Hernest Project

Organic Fleece Sweats $$$$

100% organic cotton and super cute and cozy joggers? These brushed fleece joggers or cardigan from Hernest Project make a great wardrobe staple and gift. 

Hernest Project is all about quality over quantity and have developed a sustainable collection of lounge and sleepwear to help you relax in comfort and style.

Their pieces are all ethically made in Portugal from carefully selected eco-friendly fabrics with both sustainability and ultimate coziness in mind.

Location: Canada, ships international


Image credit: Athr Beauty

Ethical Eyeshadow Palette $ – $$

A highly pigmented palette in gorgeous matte and sparkly eyeshadow shades, perfect for any makeup lover. Athr Beauty has beautiful collections of warm and cool tones, neutrals, and both bright and pastel colours.

Athr Beauty has nailed a high-quality product made from safe and sustainable ingredients. Their vegan ingredients are ethically sourced and made — in particular, they are child labour free. You can learn more about mica and the child labour issue with makeup in our post on the topic.

I’ve been using one of their palettes for a few months and am very impressed with it. The colour is stunning and it’s definitely one of the best formulas I’ve used from a green beauty brand!

(Psst. Use coupon code GREENCLOSET for 15% off Athr Beauty!)

Location: USA, ships international or shop in Canada through The Detox Market


Image credit: Son de flor

Linen Apron $$$

A lovely gift for anyone who loves cooking or baking, although Son de flor’s aprons are not just for the kitchen, they can also be worn over a dress for a cute pinafore look!

We especially love their gorgeous fabrics and focus on heirloom quality pieces.

Son de flor is one of our favourite brands for romantic clothes and their garments and home linens are all ethically made in Lithuania from Oeko-Tex certified linen.

Location: EU, ships international


Image credit: Wrappr

Reusable Cloth Wraps / Furoshiki Gift Wrap $+

We know wrapping paper is incredibly wasteful as it can’t be recycled. Wrappr offers a great solution if you still want to give beautiful gifts with an unwrapping experience. Inspired by Japanese Furoshiki, wrapping cloths can be tied in a variety of ways to fit different shapes and create lovely zero waste gifts. 

Wrappr collaborates with artists to create a wide range of designs and styles, and offers eco-friendly materials including organic cotton and recycled polyester. 

Arguably the best part is a Wrappr cloth is a gift itself! Not only can it be reused time and time again for gift wrapping, but they can also be used as hair or bag accessories, bandanas, or the larger ones can be used as scarves, tied into bags, scarf tops, and more.

Location: Canada, ships to Canada and USA


Image credit: Caraway

Non-Toxic Bakeware $ – $$$$

Anyone who enjoys cooking and baking is sure to appreciate some new bakeware. Caraway has both individual items and baking sets in a variety of color options.

Caraway’s products have a non-stick ceramic coating and are free of Teflon and other PFAS (forever chemicals). Caraway uses certified factories with strong ethical standards and works to reduce the environmental impact of their manufacturing. 

Location: USA, ships international to some countries


Image credit: West Coast Seeds

Sprouting Jar & Seeds $

A thoughtful gift for cooks or anyone who would love easy, fresh sprouts in their kitchen. Also a great gift for kids to learn about seeds and quickly grow something they can eat!

West Coast Seed’s sprouting kit includes a jar, screen lid, 4 easy-to-grow seed varieties, and an instruction booklet to get you started.

We love West Coast Seeds‘ commitment to high-quality, non-GMO seeds and sustainable agriculture. We’ve been using West Coast Seeds in our garden the last couple years and have had amazing harvests and produce.

Location: Canada, ships to Canada and USA


Image credit: Lovevery

Baby & Toddler Play Kits $$ – $$$

Curated toys for all stages of development, Lovevery’s play kits make it so easy for parents to have engaging and skill-building toys as the child grows.

We appreciate the hand-me-down quality and sustainable materials used in Lovevery’s toys and that the play kits are so thoughtfully designed and selected to help babies and kids up to 4 years old learn through play. 

My daughter had a few play kits from Lovevery and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I recommend them to all new parents, especially those interested in Montessori.  

Location: USA, ships international to some countries


Image credit: David Suzuki Foundation

Cards that Support a Great Cause $

Many environmental organizations offer various ways to support them during the holidays, from donations to gifts available for purchase.

We love the work the David Suzuki Foundation does and they sell beautiful cards as a way to support their conservation and activism projects.

Their cards are made in collaboration with local artists, feature animals and nature pictures, and are made with 100% recycled paper.

Location: Canada, ships within Canada


Sustainable Stocking Stuffers & Gifts Under $20


Fair Trade, Organic & Regenerative Coffee

For all coffee lovers! A significant impact can be made if we switch our daily cup of coffee to more consciously sourced beans. 

Shop Fair Trade and Organic certified coffee brands here:

Plus, Grace Farm Foods (USA) has both organic and fair trade coffee and tea options.

We are also very excited to see the new ROC (Regenerative Organic Certified™) certification now available for coffee! Shop certified regenerative coffee beans from:

Learn more about what regenerative means and how it compares to organic in our blog post.


Cozy Organic Socks

Socks are something everyone can use and there are so many great sustainable options from classic cuts and colours to wacky and fun patterns. Here are our tops picks for organic sock gifts:

Socks from Knickey

Knickey – Unisex socks in staple colours. Knickey is our favorite underwear brand and we’re so excited for their new sock line.
Our Pick: Classic white crew socks. These are both on-trend and staples for everyone’s closet.
Location: USA, ships to US and Canada

Q for Quinn – Soft organic socks in cute and fun patterns for babies, kids and adults.
Our Pick: Q for Quinn’s matching socks for the whole family make a fun gift and photo op! (psst. use coupon code MYGREENCLOSET for 10% off!)
Location: Canada, ships international

Conscious Step – Comfortable organic and fair trade socks that give back to different causes.
Our Pick: Select a cause the receiver cares about for a thoughtful and practical gift.
Location: USA, ships international 

Socks from Q for Quinn

Kind Socks – Organic unisex crew and ankle socks in colourful patterns. 
Our Pick: For all the plant parents their Monstera socks make a great gift.
Location: Sweden/EU, ships international

Friday Sock Co. – Women’s and men’s organic purposely “mismatched” socks in fun patterns. 
Our Pick: Friday Sock Co. is perfect for those with a sense of humor, with many silly and cheeky styles.
Location: Canada, ships international 


Image credit: EarthHero

Plantable Pencils & Pencil Crayons

These sustainably made pencils and pencil crayons are biodegradable and the stubs can be planted to grow herbs and flowers. A lovely gift for students, kids, and gardeners alike!

Sprout’s pencils are lead-free and non-toxic, made from FSC Certified wood with a natural clay and graphite core.

Shop them through EarthHero and while you’re there, EarthHero is also a fantastic marketplace to stock up on sustainable home essentials and a great place to find eco-friendly gifts.

Location: USA, can contact for international shipping


Mocktails, Cocktail Syrup & Charcuterie Preserves

Jams, pickles, syrups, and bitters all make amazing consumable gifts. Here are some of our tried-and-tested local picks, and if you’re not from Canada I highly encourage you to look for local small businesses making preserves and syrups near you!

Token Bitters – Their mocktails are delicious, especially the Saskatoon Earl Grey Lavender Teatotaller made from local Saskatoon berries. They can be enjoyed as is or you can also add alcohol for a lovely cocktail.
(psst. use coupon code MYGREENCLOSET for 10% off!)
Location: Edmonton, ships within Canada

Mojo Jojo Pickles – Not only does she make amazing pickles but we also love her fruit butters. The Salted Caramel Pear Butter and Gingerbread Apple Butter are perfect for the holidays.
Location: Edmonton, ships within Canada through Good Goods Co. 

Fruits of Sherbrooke – A wide variety of jellies, sauces and condiments made from a minimum of 60% local rescued fruit that would otherwise go to waste. 
Location: Edmonton, only ships within Alberta


Image credit: Meow Meow Tweet

Zero Waste Lip Balm

This cute lip balm in a compostable tube is the perfect sustainable stocking stuffer!

Meow Meow Tweet not only makes lovely vegan skincare products, but they also have adorable whimsical packaging with animal illustrations. They prioritize sustainability with both ingredient sourcing and packaging. 

While you’re shopping there we also love their soaps (another great stocking stuffer) and deodorants!

Location: USA, ships international or shop in Canada through The Detox Market 


Thank you for supporting small businesses and choosing sustainable gifts with a greater impact 💚

How to Plan a Zero Waste Halloween – Costumes, Decorations, & Candy

Plastic Free & Sustainable Halloween Tips

Autumn brings the coziness of chilly days, longer nights and a changing landscape around us. That means Halloween is just around the corner. Whether you have children or are a child at heart, the spookiest holiday of the year can be great fun. Unfortunately it often means a lot of waste, but it doesn’t have to be! In this post, we’ll cover options and opportunities to have a zero waste Halloween without sacrificing the best parts of the holiday.

Eco-Friendly Halloween Costumes 

Dressing up for Halloween is a great joy for many and allows us to display our creativity and favourite characters. These days, seasonal shops and department stores tend to sell costumes that are flimsy, poor quality, polyester and plastic, and wear out quickly. While this trend is certainly disheartening, it does not mean that zero-waste costumes don’t exist. In fact, it is an opportunity for adults and children alike to use their creativity in crafting the perfect costume. 

Take Inspiration from Disneybounding

Disneybounding is a form of self expression, typically worn by visitors at Disney theme parks, to resemble characters without wearing overt costumes or cosplay outfits. Colour schemes and accessories turn a regular outfit into one that is identifiable as a favourite character, and can be subtle or overt. This concept is not restricted to Disney characters and it allows people to utilize items they already have in their closets to create an outfit or costume in a fashionable way.

For Halloween, it’s recommended to take an overt approach to this, and find colour schemes and patterns that are clearly resembling the character one is trying to portray. Adding a couple of signature accessories completes the look without excess waste or full costumes that need to be stored during the rest of the year. 

Utilize Thrift Stores

Some thrift stores have jumped on the trend of selling new fast fashion style Halloween costumes, but most still sell used costumes, along with regular inventory that could easily be used for a great costume. Try to buy used first before resorting to brand new pieces, and find creative ways to turn second hand clothing into an excellent costume. Look for pieces that can be worn year round, or if you plan to alter the item (i.e. tearing it up, covering it in fake blood, etc.), try to find items that are already stained, ripped or damaged. 

Upcycle your Recycling

Use your recycling bin as inspiration! This is an especially great way to get children involved in creating their own costumes. Look for items that can be painted, coloured and cut up such as egg cartons, cardboard, tin cans, aluminum foil, bottles and caps, and other clean or easily cleaned recyclables. A classic is the ‘cereal killer’ which utilizes cardboard cereal boxes and a plastic weapon (as appropriate depending on age). Egg cartons could be painted green to represent a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle or other animals with shells. Shredded brown paper bags or packing paper would make perfect scarecrow hair and ‘stuffing’. 

Make your Own

Making a costume yourself or for your children is another way to make your Halloween sustainable. Choose costumes and pieces that have longevity and diverse application. While a certain character or theme may be popular this year, it may no longer be relevant in a year or two. There are items that really never go out of style and can be applied to a variety of costumes, such as capes, black dresses, cloaks, vests, and hats. Some classic costumes that can be worn year after year include: 

  • Witch
  • Vampire
  • Frankenstein’s monster
  • Werewolf
  • Clown
  • Scarecrow
  • Ghost/ghoul
  • Bride
  • Pirate
  • Devil
  • Zombie
  • Skeleton
  • Mummy
  • Animals

 For children, make and choose items that have flexibility with sizing, can easily be taken in or out for height and weight changes, and can be used for multiple different iterations of a costume. 

Some easy DIY classic costume ideas with minimal materials needed

Rent, Borrow, or Swap

Many cities have high quality, locally owned costume rental shops. By renting your Halloween costume, you are supporting a local business, avoiding wasteful plastic outfits, and your look will be both high quality and comfortable. Check what’s available in your area and inquire about sizes and options for both children and adults. In the same vein, you can borrow or swap costumes from friends and family members. This is a great way to circulate children’s costumes if other people’s children have outgrown them or don’t want to wear the same thing two years in a row. 

Let makeup and accessories do the work

With an abundance of makeup tutorials available online, Halloween costumes can be as easy as a basic outfit and simple, reusable accessories plus a killer makeup look. You can never go wrong with black basics and eye-catching makeup or face paint. This applies to both adults and children (if your child is patient enough to wear it on their face all day or night).

Skip the seasonal store makeup, as it is often low quality, contains questionable materials, and is packaged in unnecessary plastic and cardboard. Use reliable, versatile products that are skin safe and easy to use, such as eyeshadow pallets and high quality bases. Ben Nye and Mehron are trusted brands used by makeup artists, but are not necessary for looks that could be completed with makeup you already own. A safe option for kids is Ecopiggy’s non-toxic face paint.

Accessories that can be used year after year or resold are another great way to try a Halloween look that may be more on trend or to zhuzh up a basic look.

Lots of costumes can be make with clothing you already own + makeup!

Sustainable Decorations

If you decide to decorate your home or work space for Halloween, look for long lasting items from quality materials. Consider your storage space, and how many decorations can be reasonably stored for eleven months of the year. Avoiding holiday waste also means only bringing things into your space that will not be thrown out or resold in a few weeks, and carefully curating the items that you want to bring out year after year. Ceramics, wood, glass, thick acrylic and high quality, thick plastic decorations will last a lifetime if cared for properly. They will be more expensive than dollar store decor, so be sure to wrap and store each item carefully in an organized container after Halloween. 

This is also an opportunity to utilize recycling bin items for hands-on crafts and homemade decorations. Paper chains from orange and black craft paper are easy for children to make and can also be stored or recycled once the holiday ends. Clever ‘grave stones’ can be made from wood, cardboard, and high quality foam. Children will love painting these and it also provides a fun opportunity to think of silly phrases to put on them. Of course a bounty of pumpkins, gourds and hay make classic outdoor decor, and can be composted at the end of the season. 

Decorations to avoid

It may be tempting to run into your local dollar store and pick up a basketful of Halloween decorations for very little money, but the plastic waste and toxic chemicals they contain are not worth it. 

Avoid novelty plastic leaf bags that are designed to look like pumpkins and ghosts. Leaves can be left as they are, raked into a compost pile, or shredded onto your lawn to provide nutrients and contribute to a healthy ecosystem. Sending these leaf bags to the landfill at the end of their life contributes to unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. 

While they make a big scene, inflatable decorations use unnecessary electricity, can contribute to noise pollution, and if not stored properly, get holes in them which lead right to the landfill. 

However minimally or excessively you like to decorate, choose each decoration intentionally and make a plant to either compost, recycle, or care for it over your lifetime. 

Candy and Halloween Treats

Halloween and trick-or-treating go hand in hand for children. Sadly, a big byproduct of trick-or-treating is millions of tiny plastic candy wrappers. While it may not be possible to completely avoid this plastic waste depending on your situation and if you have children, there are some options to reduce the amount of plastic waste your family contributes to this Halloween. 

Trick or Treat Alternatives  

Soda cans and juice boxes provide some good variety for children and are recyclable. In my neighbourhood, houses that gave out soda cans were always a big hit, as trick-or-treating can be thirsty work. Foil wrapped candy like chocolate eyeballs or mini-pumpkins, and candy in small cardboard boxes provide a plastic free option. There is no guarantee that families will recycle them, but they may be a slightly less wasteful option. 

Unless you have a very trusting neighbourhood where everyone knows each other, avoid giving out fruit, baked goods or bulk items to children you don’t know. They seem like a nice idea, but it’s very likely they will be thrown in the garbage if the parents don’t want to risk anything. However, if you have trusting relationships with families in your neighbourhood, check to see if they are comfortable giving and receiving homemade treats in lieu of plastic wrapped candy. 

Set clear expectations with your children if you take them trick-or-treating. Having a conversation beforehand about how many houses you’ll visit or how full their bag will be when you are done for the night can make coming home with a reasonable amount of candy (and it’s corresponding waste) much easier. Talk to them about the plastic waste created from Halloween candy, and let them know that while you want them to enjoy trick-or-treating, you don’t want to bring more candy and wrappers into the house than necessary. Providing alternatives and compromises is a great way to avoid meltdowns when children want to get as much candy as possible from trick-or-treating. For example, “we’re only going to trick-or-treat on this block, but when we get home you can have a cupcake and watch your favourite Halloween movie”. 

Ideas for Adults and Plastic Free Parties

If it is safe for you to host a Halloween party where you live, plastic-free treats are quite easy. Bulk stores often stock package-free chocolates and candies year round, and stores like Bulk Barn often bring in specialty holiday candy, making zero-waste Halloween treats like candy corn, gummy witches, and foil wrapped chocolate pumpkins a breeze.

Hosting 

There are so many creative treats and savoury snacks you can make as a host, or ask guests to bring themed treats potluck style. Witches fingers, ghost cookies, caramel apples, and pumpkin pie are classics.

If a Halloween party is a yearly event for your household, invest in reusable cups and plates. If they are extravagantly decorated, that’s an extra special touch, but may be expensive – purchasing a set of orange and/or black cups, plates, napkins, and cutlery is a great option to keep on theme. 

If cost and space is an issue, choose plates and napkins that are made of paper or other natural materials and provide a labelled compost receptacle. Avoid items that are labelled compostable but have linings, as they are typically meant to be commercially composted, and most waste facilities do not have the infrastructure to actually compost them. Be sure to provide reusable cups, or request that guests bring their own cups to avoid throwing away hundreds of plastic cups. For foil wrapped candies, provide a labelled bowl or container where guests can deposit the wrapper for recycling. 

Attending events

If you are attending a party or sending your child to a Halloween gathering, bring your own cup (there are lots of reusable creepy goblets available at houseware stores this time of year) and if appropriate, a zero-waste host gift, like a jar of package free candy. For adult parties and Halloween events, stick to beverages served in bottles, cans and your own reusable cup – novelty drinks like test tube shots, syringe shots and jello shots are typically served in single use plastic that cannot be recycled. 

Have a very happy, and zero-waste, Halloween! 

Behind the Brand – Interview with Free Label

posted in Behind the Brand

This is the start of a new series I’m excited to launch! Together we will learn more about the “why” driving slow fashion brands and discover some of the independent designers and makers creating beautiful clothing with a conscience.

First we have Jess Sternberg owner of Free Label, a Vancouver-based clothing brand with a focus on inclusivity, comfort, sustainability and local manufacturing. Their collection includes high quality everyday pieces, comfy bra tops and loungewear, and seasonless wardrobe staples.

Not only do they make lovely clothes, but I especially wanted to interview Jess because Free Label does many things different from your average clothing brand. With both the industry challenges they’ve tackled and initiatives they’ve started, I think Free Label is a great example and leader in the slow fashion space. So let’s hear more from Jess…

Can you describe Free Label in a sentence or two?

Free Label is a community and ethics based clothing company. Our goal is to make clothing that people feel good IN and about wearing.

All your factories are within a short drive from you, what benefits and challenges come with manufacturing locally in Canada? What does “ethically made” mean to Free Label?

The benefit is we can pop into the factories any day and see progress, ensure the working conditions meet our standards, and build genuine relationships with the folks that make our garments. We’re really lucky to work with some amazing factory partners that have also become friends. The challenge is the Canadian garment industry is a dying industry: most of the workforce is older and closer to retiring. It’s hard to attract and train young people since cutting and sewing are highly skilled manual labour jobs.

Ethically made means the people who are making the clothing are paid fairly for their work, work in environments that are safe and pleasant, and are treated with respect. In my opinion, it’s the bare minimum of what a workplace should be, but sadly it’s rare these minimums are met in the garment industry.

Your customers are big fans and your drops sell out fast! You’ve mentioned before that even with the high demand you still want to keep production runs small, can you explain why this is important to you?

I believe in sustainable growth; when I see the demand grow, we make a bit more according to demand. Most companies make huge amounts of inventory to predict future demand and then do what it takes to sell it. I’d rather wait for the demand and then produce based on real needs instead of just projections. This ensures we don’t waste any goods and the pieces we make are always loved. I’m also self-funded without any investors, so every time we grow our inventory, it’s a big risk. So slow and sustainable growth is vital to our health as a small business.

I have written before about the many benefits of seasonless fashion and love that you have a core seasonless collection! Why did you decide to go this route vs traditional seasonal collections?

Living in Vancouver, BC, we have fairly mild weather. I love the idea of keeping the majority of your closet year round and just putting away a small bin of summer or winter clothing for the off-season. This helps us to buy less when new seasons hit since we already have a fabulous seasonless base. When I look at my “core” seasonless closet, it’s almost all Free Label!

Free Label offers a great size range of XS – 4X, which is something we unfortunately don’t see from many slow fashion brands, and you can tell you put a lot of work into fit! Can you tell us more about why inclusive sizing and fit is a priority for Free Label?

I think if you want to be an ethical and sustainable business, that MUST include all bodies. We’re not there yet, but we’re working toward better inclusivity! The challenge is there are not a lot of resources available to designers and brands that want to offer more inclusive size ranges, so it requires a lot of self study and trial and error.

What has been your biggest challenge starting/running a sustainable clothing brand?

The constant pivoting. It really is exhausting always looking one step ahead, learning new platforms, growing and shifting with demand and changing consumer habits. As a small sustainable/ethical brand, you really do have to do your best at all times; there’s little room for error – which leaves very little time to relax and enjoy the journey. It’s something I’m working on 🙂

What is something you’re proud of having achieved with Free Label?

I’m really proud of a lot to be honest! I’m proud of our commitment to getting the best plus size fits in an e-commerce space. I’m proud of our production line and our special relationships with our production partners and fabric producers. I’m proud of our small but growing team that does really hard things with passion and excitement. I’m proud of our Empowerful Incubator program that helps to fund and grow BIPOC owned small businesses. I’m proud of the really kind and cool community we’ve built online (truly the nicest customers ever). There are a lot of hard days, but there are so many things to celebrate and be proud of!


Thanks so much Jess for giving us a peek behind Free Label! Check out their collection here. (Especially if you’re looking for a comfy and supporting bra/crop top, Free Label has amazing options, I wear mine all the time!)

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