Top 10 Canada Made Clothing Brands

posted in brand roundups

While Canada might not be known globally for our garment industry, a surprising amount of clothing production still happens here! By purchasing clothing made in Canada you are keeping money in the community and supporting local businesses, Canadian sewists, garment workers, and the growth of the fashion industry in Canada.

Here are our favourite sustainably-minded and made-in-Canada clothing brands from coast to coast:

(please note this roundup was created in partnership with Anne Mulaire and contains some affiliate links)

Anne Mulaire

Anne Mulaire - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Anne Mulaire

Looking for comfy, sustainable staples? Be sure to check out Anne Mulaire. Founder and designer Andréanne has successfully built an inclusive brand with deep environmental values, that celebrates her Anishinaabe/French Métis heritage.

Anne Mulaire is proudly Canadian made and has excellent transparency around their supply chain and manufacturing. They even use fabrics which are made in Canada! All their clothing is made in-house in their vertically-owned factory which allows them to produce small batches and made-to-order garments and also means they can ensure living wages for all employees.

We especially love their winter leggings (they’re the only brand we’ve found who makes sustainable leggings for Canadian winters!) and their zero waste collection which repurposes remnants and fabric scraps into new styles.

Use discount code GREENCLOSET for a free Anne Mulaire bamboo headband (printed or solid) with any purchase.

Size range: XXS – 6X
Located in: Winnipeg

Image credit: Anne Mulaire

Encircled - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Encircled

Encircled

Our go-to brand for versatile basics. Encircled has a large collection of soft and comfy essentials and convertible garments. They use a variety of sustainable materials and are one of the few B Corp Certified clothing brands in Canada.

Encircled manufactures in factories that are all within 60km of their Toronto studio.

We love their Dressy Sweatpants – the perfect combo of comfy and pulled-together style.

Size range: XS – 4X

Located in: Toronto


Nettle's Tale - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Nettle’s Tale

Nettle’s Tale

Starting out as an inclusive swimwear brand designing flattering and supportive styles for different bodies. Nettle’s Tale now has also expanded into offering a clothing line of comfy loungewear and everyday essentials.

Nettle’s Tale manufactures their clothing and swimsuits from recycled and sustainable materials in a local, Vancouver factory.

Size range: XS – 4X

Located in: Vancouver


Atelier B - Top made in Canada clothing brands

Atelier B

With over 12 years experience designing and producing slow fashion in Canada, Atelier B focuses on minimalist, timeless garments. They use natural materials and are proud to have a zero waste production process where even the smallest scraps are repurposed.

Atelier B produces their clothing either in their studio or in local workshops all within 10km of their studio. They also offer made-to-order garments as well as repairs and alterations.

Size range: XS – 4X

Located in: Montreal


Thief & Bandit - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Thief & Bandit

Thief & Bandit

Oozing artsy, cool-girl vibes Thief & Bandit‘s garments and statement prints are instantly recognizable. This Canadian brand makes unique clothing, swimwear, and childrenswear in their Halifax studio. Their garments are not only sewn in-house but their fabrics are also hand-printed with their custom silkscreen designs.

Thief & Bandit prioritizes natural and sustainable materials and non-toxic inks.

Size range: XS – 4X

Located in: Halifax


Oge Ajibe - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Oge Ajibe

Oge Ajibe

Built on a foundation of sustainability and inclusivity, Oge Ajibe‘s eponymous line features versatile pieces as well as some statement styles made from reclaimed fabrics.

Oge Ajibe produces all the clothing herself, made-to-order in her studio.

Size range: XS – 5X

Located in: Vancouver


Free Label - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Free Label

Free Label

Free Label is all about comfort and fit and after wearing one of their raved-about bras we have to agree they’ve got it down!

Free Label produces their clothing in small batches at a local factory.

Check out our interview with Free Label here.

Size range: XS – 4X

Located in: Vancouver

Image credit: Free Label

Modern Sunday - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Modern Sunday

Modern Sunday

Breezy, romantic pieces made from deadstock linen. Modern Sunday is a relatively new brand but takes sustainability seriously, incorporating many conscious practices throughout their production.

All their clothing is made to order in their Toronto studio.

Size range: XS – XL

Located in: Toronto


Harly Jae - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Harly Jae

Harly Jae

Feminine style in neutral colours made from natural materials. Harly Jae embodies a slow fashion philosophy, designing with care and intention.

Their pieces are all made locally in a Vancouver factory.

Size range: XS – 3XL

Located in: Vancouver


Preloved - Top made in Canada clothing brands
Image credit: Preloved

Preloved

One of the original upcycling brands, Preloved has been using repurposed, reclaimed, and deadstock materials for over 20 years!

Their clothing is made in-house in their Toronto studio/factory.

Size range: XS – XL

Located in: Toronto


And for more made in Canada clothing be sure to check out our huge list of Canadian Slow Fashion Brands

Why Fast Fashion Brands Steal Designs & What You Can Do

The recent Amazon series LuLaRich documents the rise and fall of the infamous multilevel marketing company LuLaRoe, which was known for its quirky, colorful printed leggings that “felt like butter” and had a cult-like following. One of the interviews is with a former designer for the company named Iliana Estarellas. Iliana was bartending before she started at LuLaRoe and saw the job as an opportunity to jump start her career as an artist. However, she describes the process of designing prints for LuLaRoe as “making art with a gun against my head.” At its height, she says, the company produced 100 new prints a day. 

This high production made it impossible for designers to come up with original ideas, so some of them resorted to googling words like “owl” and copying the resulting images without paying any mind to the original artist who made them. This led, predictably, to a flurry of designer knockoffs and lawsuits. Young designers like Iliana were not paid for fresh ideas; rather, they were paid to churn out designs as fast as possible so more product could be sold. Also predictable was the poor quality that resulted from this lightning-fast production process: customers complained of ripped leggings, moldy leggings, and prints that were cut in unfortunate (and hilarious) ways

When the behemoths of fast fashion like Zara and Forever 21 changed the traditional fashion calendar from four seasons a year to 52, it was inevitable that they were going to have to cut corners and copy the hottest trends from the runway to keep up the pace. Enter an even bigger force like Shein and those 52 seasons a year become 365 — along with a lot more copying from an ever-growing pool of sources. 

Shein produces an average of 10,000 new items a month. In order to keep up with social media microtrends, Shein resorts to copying independent designers. There are many cases of independent designers posting about their designs unceremoniously showing up for sale on Shein for fractions of what they can afford to sell them for. 

In one instance, Shein copied a design from Black-owned business Elexiay that sells crochet sweaters handmade in Nigeria. The original design cost upward of $300 due to the hours of labor required to make it, but Shein was able to sell a cheap knockoff for $17. In another, an Etsy slow fashion designer named Tracy Garcia discovered that her silk cami design had been stolen. Her piece is handmade, made out of silk, and naturally dyed. Shein was able to copy her design using polyester and sell it for $10. These are only two of dozens of stories of small designers, often women of color, who discover their designs have been stolen and don’t have much recourse.

What Can Fashion Designers Do When Their Designs Are Stolen?

Here is where many are probably thinking, “Why don’t the designers just sue?” Unfortunately, copyright law does very little to help with the copying of designs for items that are considered “useful,” such as clothing. Designers can threaten with a cease-and-desist letter and hope that leads to the knockoff being pulled from the company’s site. However, companies like Shein and LuLaRoe are hoping that the designers don’t notice or, if they do notice, that they don’t have the resources to pursue legal action. 

Often the best thing an independent designer can do is post on social media, just like Elexiay and Tracy Garcia did, to raise awareness on the issue and hope that the post goes viral. The irony in this, however, is that these independent designers are competing with influencers using the same platforms to promote companies like Shein; for every post showing how a design was stolen there is a post of a Shein unboxing video where an influencer brags about their massive haul. 

@its_mariama

So heartbroken right now. I pour my heart into @sincerelyria.xo just for huge corporations to steal and make millions. How can I even compete smh.

♬ happier – Olivia Rodrigo

This is not to say that social media cannot be a tool for activism. In 2017, Gucci included a jacket on the runway that looked eerily familiar to a 1990s design by Dapper Dan, a Harlem-based designer known for dressing some of the biggest names in Hip Hop, such as Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and Salt-N-Pepa. Dapper Dan had noticed his customers’ interest in wearing accessories with luxury brand logos on them, so he started creating clothing that incorporated these logos —something the brands themselves had never considered. Dapper Dan was forced to close his store when he was sued by Fendi in 1992 for copyright infringement. This ultimately led to Gucci “reappropriating the appropriation” decades later, according to The New York Times. As a result of the social media outcry over the stolen design, Gucci made amends by partnering with Dapper Dan to reopen his store in Harlem — a rare happy ending in a sea of drowning designers. 

What Can I Do?

As long as companies continue to make a profit by pushing production speeds to new heights, there will never be an incentive for them to create their own designs. Good design takes time — the very resource they do not have. By supporting and spreading the word about small designers and opting out of fast fashion, consumers can keep these designers in business as examples of an alternative and slower way of making clothing. 

Top Sustainable Sunglasses Brands

posted in brand roundups

As spring and summer approach and the bright sun returns from its winter nap, you might be in the market for a new pair of shades. This guide to the best eco-friendly sunglasses has you covered! 

When considering the sustainability of a pair of sunglasses, it’s helpful to think of each pair as having three distinct parts: the lenses, the hinges and the frames. Sustainable frames on the market can be made of wood, cork, bio acetate, recycled plastic, and other recycled materials. Lenses are often outsourced to specialized manufacturers and can be made from glass or plastic, but are not yet made from recycled plastic. Hinges are commonly made of metal or recycled plastic. 

With so many different components, choosing an option can be tough. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of these materials to help you with your choice, and some recommendations for sustainable shopping.

Recycled Plastic Sunglasses

Recycled plastic is a better alternative to virgin plastic, and companies like Good Citizen and Waterhaul (see brands below) have adopted new ways to repurpose discarded water bottles and fishing nets into sunglass frames. It’s important to note that recycled plastic lenses don’t exist yet, so any brand claiming their sunglasses are 100% recycled is likely just referring to the frames. 

Pros: Recycling diverts plastic out of the waste stream and repurposes it into a new product, and recycled plastic is estimated to produce roughly 70% less carbon emissions than virgin plastic.   

Cons: Recycled plastic is still petroleum based and will take eons to biodegrade. For something like sunglasses that can accidentally end up at the bottom of lakes and rivers, being biodegradable is a plus. 


Bio Acetate Sunglasses

To understand bio acetate, let’s take a look at its older cousin, regular acetate. Acetate is a thermoplastic long used in sunglasses frames, replacing real tortoiseshell when that started getting scarce in the early 1900s. It is a cellulose-based material, made from cotton seeds or wood pulp that is reacted with acids and then plasticized with a petroleum-based product containing toxic phthalates. Bio acetate is a greener take invented by the Italian company Mazzucchelli 1849, subbing the last petroleum step for a more bio-based plasticizer.

Pros: Bio acetate is petroleum free, hypoallergenic, and mimics the durability and flexibility of petrol plastic. And unlike regular acetate, or virgin/recycled plastic, bio acetate biodegrades more easily.

Cons: The plasticizer used in bio acetate is only “mostly” from renewable sources, and is only ~68% bio based. Bio acetate still takes a lot of energy and chemicals to produce, and the actual biodegradability of the material is not certain, with estimates between 1 and 10 years in a landfill or roughly 115 days in an industrial composter. 


Wood Sunglasses

Wooden sunglasses can be made from a variety of wood, most commonly walnut, ebony wood, cork, bamboo, maple or redwood. Wooden frames are very lightweight and will often float in water, which is a plus for water sport enthusiasts. Many hardwoods are very durable on their own, but cork frames are often mixed with recycled or virgin plastic to enhance strength. 

Pros: Wood from sustainably managed forests with FSC -Certification or upcycled/reclaimed wood is your best bet. 

Cons: Wood is biodegradable, but look into other ingredients used to seal the wooden frames; these can be plastic based. 


Recycled Metal Sunglasses

If you’re looking for a classic pair of aviators, chances are you’ll run into some recycled metal frames, often made from aluminum or titanium. 

Pros: Metal is durable and doesn’t release harmful phalthates when disposed of, and it can often be recycled. Aluminum and steel can be put in mainstream recycling, but titanium has to be recycled at a special facility. 

Cons: It is resource-intensive to recycle metal, much more so than plastic or glass, and only some forms can be easily recycled


Vintage or Thrifted Sunglasses

Secondhand is always the most sustainable route to go! Scout out a pair of unique frames at your local thrift shops. Or check out Peep Eyewear below, a company that refurbishes vintage and used sunglass frames with new lenses.   


Our Picks for Sustainable Sunglasses

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

Good Citizens

Sustainable sunglasses made from recycled plastic bottles - Good Citizens
Image credit: Good Citizen

Good Citizens is a Sydney, Australia based family brand — inspired by their children — dedicated to turning trash into treasure. They make stylish modular frames that can easily be repaired yourself. Each pair uses the plastic of exactly one recycled water bottle sourced from recycling centers around Australia. The frames are manufactured in their small factory in Sydney, with lenses sourced from Carl Zeiss Vision. 

💚 Our founder Erin just got a pair of their Bronte sunglasses. She loves the style and unique modular design.

Pricepoint: $99 – $139 

Values: Recycled materials, made in Sydney, transparent supply chain, built to last, easily repairable, gives back

Materials: Frames: recycled plastic bottles; Hinges: recycled plastic; Lenses: CR39 plastic. Lenses are made separately by Carl Zeiss Vision and it’s not indicated whether they are recycled.

Specs: 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized lenses, prescription lenses available

Availability: Based in Australia, ships worldwide


Genusee

Eco friendly sunglasses made from recycled plastic bottles in Flint, Michigan - Genusee
Image credit: Genusee

Genusee is a Flint, Michigan based eyewear brand using recycled water bottles from the Flint water crisis to make simple, elegant frames. They aim to provide jobs to Flint residents returning to the area. 

Pricepoint: $99

Values: Closed loop, gives back, fair wage, Flint-first hiring, recycled/plastic-free packaging, buy back program, most of supply chain within 188 miles 

Materials: Frames: recycled plastic bottles; Hinges: metal (from Italy, not recycled); Lenses: CR 39 plastic 

Specs: UVA/UVB protection, prescription lenses available 

Availability: Based in USA, ships worldwide


Peep Eyewear

Upcycled and refurbished vintage and secondhand glasses - Peep Eyewear
Image credit: Peep Eyewear

Peep Eyewear is a UK-based brand that refurbishes a wide variety of vintage and preloved frames and gives them new life with new lenses (or a new lens on life?!). Peep partners with Trees for the City to plant a tree for every purchase.

Pricepoint: £66 – £156

Values: Secondhand lenses, gives back, accepts donated frames to upcycle, FSC Certified recycled paper packaging, 100% recycled plastic cleaning cloths, family-run small business 

Materials: Frames and hinges: variety of secondhand materials; Lenses: plastic and glass (no information online about lens sourcing)

Specs: 100% UV protection, customizable lenses, prescription lenses available 

Availability: Based in the UK, ships worldwide 


Pala

Sustainable sunglasses made from bio acetate - Pala Eyewear
Image credit: Pala

Pala is a UK-based brand that makes fashionable shades from bio acetate. The company partners with TerraCycle to take back old frames for recycling, but most of their frames are made with new materials rather than recycled materials. As of now, the brand is trying to apply circular economy principles, which we applaud, but they self-admittedly have more they could do. Pala donates to eye care centers across Africa through partnering with Vision Aid Overseas.

Pricepoint: £110 – £130

Values: Circular economy, some plant-based materials, plastic- free packaging, transparent supply chain, B corp, gives back

Materials: Frames: bio acetate, 64-68% plant based; Hinges: metal; Lenses: plastic, 39% plant based 

Specs: 100% UVA/UVB protection, 39% plant resin lenses 

Availability: Based in the UK, ships free worldwide


GROWN

Sunglasses made from sustainable and reclaimed wood - GROWN
Image credit: GROWN

GROWN is a sunglasses company based in Australia that constructs their frames with sustainably managed wood — either from FSC Certified sources or fallen trees. They use a variety of woods including bamboo, zebrawood, ebony, Canadian maple and redwood. With every purchase, GROWN donates diagnostic eye examinations to 12 children or sight-restoring surgery to one person.

Pricepoint: $100 – $200

Values: Sustainable materials, gives back

Materials: Frames: FSC Certified wood; Hinges: stainless steel; Lenses: acetate

Specs: 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized lenses 

Availability: Based in Australia, ships worldwide


Waterhaul

Sustainable sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets - Waterhaul
Image credit: Waterhaul

Waterhaul, based in the UK, converts fishing net ocean pollution into sunglasses frames with scratch-resistant glass lenses. Fishing nets are sourced from waters around England and Wales.  Waterhaul donates some proceeds to mangrove restoration initiatives and directs an outreach program that teaches schools and communities about plastic pollution and recycling.

Pricepoint: £60 – £75 

Values: Recycled materials, recycle & replace guarantee, plastic-free packaging,  gives back

Materials: Frames: 100% recycled fishing net plastic; Hinges: metal; Lenses: polarized mineral glass 

Specs: 100% UVA/UVB protection, polarized lenses, prescription lenses available 

Availability: Based in the UK, ships worldwide


Where to find Sustainable Bridesmaid Dresses

So, you’ve finally picked your bridal party…congrats! Now, what are they going to wear?

Choosing a look that everyone agrees on can be hard enough. Throw sustainability into the mix and you’ve got a tough one on your hands. But with the wide variety of styles out there today, including plus size and made-to-measure bridesmaid dresses available from many brands, we’re confident your bridal party will end up with a look that perfectly fits your theme, budget, and values.

Below you’ll find our roundup of ethical bridesmaid dress options that are just as stylish as they are sustainable. 

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

Rental & Resale

First and foremost, why not explore your rental and resale options? Buying a dress that will likely only be worn once can be a big financial stress for your bridal party. With local and online rental services, however, your pals can save money while eliminating the need to produce more clothing. eCommerce sites like Rent the Runway, Beyond the Runway, and Lending Luxury (U.S. only) are great if you’re going for the mix-and-match look. Your ‘maids can pick the styles that suit them best and choose how long they want to keep them for. Brick-and-mortar rental shops like The Fitzroy in Toronto are an excellent choice if you’re looking for the in-person or help online shopping experience. Check out our article about renting dresses to learn more!

If rental isn’t your thing, try the resale route. Sites like PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com or Once Wed offer popular styles at hugely discounted rates. You can even filter your results to show only unaltered dresses, or only sellers in your area. If all else fails, try community-based platforms like Facebook Marketplace. You’d be surprised what you can find with a little patience and creativity!

Image credit: Whimsy & Row

Whimsy & Row

Designed and produced in-house in Los Angeles, Whimsy & Row is an amazing option for your laid-back nuptials. Their elegant dresses and separates are all made using low-impact fabrics like certified organic cotton, linen, Tencel and cupro, as well as deadstock and recycled materials. Best of all? They use the same colours across many different styles, meaning your bridesmaids can each pick the dress that suits them best, while still looking perfectly coordinated! 

Price point: $190 – $320

Size Range: XXS – XL

Values: Local production, low-impact fabrics, carbon neutral, minimal waste, textile waste recycled through Marimole

Availability: Based in California, ships worldwide


Image credit: Bastet Noir

Bastet Noir

Bastet Noir is a style-forward brand on a mission to celebrate both the women who wear and make their clothes. Produced exclusively in northern Macedonia, Bastet Noir supports female entrepreneurs by providing them with fair wages and reinvesting their profits to help fund the growth of these women-owned businesses. Each piece is created using deadstock materials sourced from local factories and is created on a made-to-order, made-to-measure basis. This helps minimize waste caused by overproduction and ensures that your bridesmaids end up with dresses they truly love. Talk about a win-win!

Price point: $125 – $250+

Size Range: Made-to-measure

Values: Local production, deadstock materials, supports social causes, made-to-order, carbon neutral delivery

Availability: Based in Macedonia, ships worldwide


Image credit: LOUDBODIES

LOUDBODIES

If you’re on the hunt for vintage-inspired bridesmaids dresses with a tailor-made experience, LOUDBODIES is for you. These made-to-order pieces come in a wide range of colours and styles that can be fit to your bridal party’s specific measurements at no extra cost. All of their clothing is made from OEKO-TEX 100 certified fabrics. Once you place an order, your custom piece is cut and sewn at their atelier in Romania, and shipped to you in their recycled packaging.

Price point: $115 – $465

Size Range: XXS – 10XL; custom

Values: Local production, made-to-order, low-impact & recycled fabrics, carbon neutral delivery, plus sizing, low waste

Availability: Based in Romania, ships worldwide


Image credit: GUARDI

GUARDI

GUARDI was founded on the idea that style and sustainability really can work together. Made in limited quantities, their effortlessly chic pieces are all produced using deadstock, recycled and environmentally friendly materials at their family-run factory in Europe. On their website you’ll find a mix of bold and solid prints in a range of styles. Another thing we like about GUARDI is their commitment to zero-waste production and the elimination of fabric waste. Any excess material is used for their elegant accessory line. 

Price point: $185 – $359

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: Local production, low impact & recycled fabrics, low waste

Availability: Based in the U.K., ships worldwide


Image credit: Amour Vert

Amour Vert

For something more casual and wearable but still very lovely, Amour Vert has options that bridesmaids are sure to get a lot of use from after the wedding. They have dresses in a variety of sustainable materials including silky and wrinkle-free cupro (made from cotton waste), Tencel, and Ecovero. We love their mix of solid colors and sweet floral prints perfect for spring or summer weddings.

Price point: $130 – $300

Size Range: XS – XL

Values: Sustainable materials, take-back recycling program, eco friendly packaging, made in USA, gives back

Availability: Based in USA, also ships to Canada, Australia, France, Germany & UK


Image credit: Kaela Kay

Kaela Kay

Do you envision bright colors and bold prints for your bridal party? Be sure to check out the stunning dresses from Kaela Kay! They offer classic fit-and-flare styles, romantic maxi dresses, or sleek shifts in their signature cuts and bold prints. Kaela Kay also makes gorgeous co-coordinating separates – a chic and extremely versatile option and perfect if you want to mix some cuts in the same print or are looking for matching pants/jumpsuit options for some members of the party! Their pieces are all made in Canada from mostly cotton fabrics.

Price point: $300 – $475

Size Range: XS – 3XL + custom

Values: Local production, made-to-order, plus sizing, made in Canada

Availability: Based in Canada, ships international


Also check out this post for more sustainable wedding ideas.

Looking for shoes to go with the dresses? Here’s our list of sustainable heels.

Written by Alexia Khan and MGC Editorial Team

14 Linen Clothing Brands – Our Top Picks

posted in brand roundups, fabrics

We’ve already shared why linen is such an amazing fabric and perfect for a sustainable wardrobe. So you might be wondering where the best places are to find linen clothing. Here’s our roundup of high-quality, sustainable, and ethically-made linen garments:

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

NotPerfectLinen

This Etsy shop has grown a following of people who adore their washed linen garments. NotPerfectLinen’s pieces are made-to-order and they have a large selection of colours to choose from as well as other customization options.

I have one of their skirts and it’s been a favourite piece in my wardrobe for years!

Sizes: XS – XXL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, made-to-order, seasonless fashion, OEKO-TEX certified fabrics
Availability: Based in Lithuania, ships international


Cedar & Vine

This Canadian company has a lovely collection of linen garments and homegoods. Cedar & Vine’s pieces are all made-to-order in their Saskatchewan studio and they do their best to accommodate sizing modifications.

Sizes: XXS – 4XL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, made-to-order, plus sizing, low waste
Availability: Based in Canada, ships international


Image credit: Son de Flor

Son de Flor

Romantic, vintage-inspired linen pieces. Son de Flor makes their clothing in-house and also has a resale program where you can buy preloved garments at a discount.

I have a skirt and few dress from them and they are staple pieces in my capsule wardrobe every season.

Sizes: XXS – XXL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house (not all garments), seasonless fashion, OEKO-TEX certified fabrics
Availability: Based in Lithuania, ships international


Magic Linen

Best know for their linen sheets and bedding, but Magic Linen also has a clothing line! Their products are made in-house from Oeko-Tex certified linen made from European-grown flax.

Sizes: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, OEKO-TEX certified fabrics
Availability: Based in Lithuania, ships international


Image credit: Conscious Clothing

Conscious Clothing

With tons of sustainability initiatives Conscious Clothing embraces linen and other eco conscious materials. Their linen collection includes both casual everyday pieces as well as more unique styles. All their garments are made in-house and designed and constructed to last.

Sizes: XS – 4X
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, plus sizing
Availability: Based in USA, ships to US and Canada.


Beaumont Organic

Drape-y dresses and classic minimalist pieces. Beaumont Organic is a UK based brand using natural fibres such as linen and organic cotton. Their clothing is sustainably and ethically made in Portugal.

Sizes: XS – L
Values: Sustainable materials, take-back/circularity initiatives
Availability: Based in UK, ships international


Image credit: Two Days Off

Two Days Off

A small-batch and made-to-order clothing brand based in LA. Two Days Off uses linen for their core collection as well as doing small style runs from deadstock fabric. They have been carbon neutral since day 1 and ship their products plastic-free.

Sizes: XS – 4X
Values: Sustainable materials, made-to-order or small batches, made in USA, plus sizing, carbon neutral
Availability: Based in USA, ships international


LA Relaxed

As their name implies, this LA based brand makes comfy staples from sustainable materials including a small linen collection.

I recently got their washed linen dress and have already been wearing it on repeat because it’s such an easy and comfy piece!

Sizes: XS – XXL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, Bluesign®­­­ ­certified dyeing, made in USA
Availability: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: Beaton

Beaton

If you’re looking for a little unique twist on classic linen styles check out Beaton. Their linen pieces come in both neutrals as well as some statement colours and patterns. Beaton’s collection is made locally in Vancouver.

Sizes: XS – 5X
Values: Sustainable materials, made in Canada, plus sizing
Availability: Based in Canada, ships international


Linen Fox

Comfy and breezy linen garments in a variety of styles and colours. Linen Fox’s pieces are all made-to-order in their studio from locally sourced linen.

Sizes: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable materials, made in-house, made-to-order
Availability: Based in Lithuania, ships international


Image credit: Modern Sunday

Modern Sunday

Focusing on the use of deadstock linen, Modern Sunday has many sustainability initiatives. Their minimalist collection is great if you’re looking for neutral colors and timeless pieces.

Sizes: XS – XL
Values: Sustainable materials, low waste, made in Canada, gives back
Availability: Based in Canada, ships international


Eileen Fisher

One of the few brands who uses organic linen. Eileen Fisher’s linen collection includes staples pieces like tees and shirts.

Sizes: XXS – 3X (including petite options)
Values: Sustainable materials, take-back/circularity initiatives, B Corp
Availability: Based in USA, ships international


Image credit: Pyne & Smith

Pyne & Smith

Another great option if you’re looking for linen dresses – they have both loose and more fitted styles. Pine & Smith‘s garments are made in LA from European linen.

Sizes: XS – 3X
Values: Sustainable materials, low waste, made in USA
Availability: Based in USA, ships international


Lanius

A brand with many sustainability initiatives and certifications, Lanius uses a variety of eco-friendly and natural fabrics including many linen blends. Blends can be a great way to get the benefits of both linen and another fabric. They are also only one of very few brands who use organically-grown linen.

Sizes: 34 – 44
Values: Sustainable materials, GOTS certified, take-back/circularity initiatives, various certifications, carbon neutral
Availability: Based in Germany, ships international


What are your favorite linen clothing brands? Any we missed?

Eco & Organic Weighted Blankets for Adults & Kids

posted in family, home

Weighted blankets have become more popular and have been found to help with sleep issues, anxiety ADHD, stress, chronic pain and more. I personally have bad insomnia and while a weighted blanket isn’t a “cure” it does help me sleep better. They also claim to help kids relax (although be sure to get children’s weighted blankets which are lighter than ones for adults).

One big reason that I avoided trying a weighted blanket for so long is the many are made from synthetic fabrics and microfleece with plastic poly pellet filling (a large culprit of environmental plastic pollution). This not only is bad for the environment but I also don’t want to sleep under a pile of plastic.

Luckily more brands have been addressing this issue and offering sustainable and plastic-free weighted blanket options. So we’ve collect our top picks of natural and organic weighted blanket brands.

How to Wash a Weighted Blanket

Many weighted blankets (especially 15-20 lb ones) can be machine washed, however it depends on the weight and your washing machine’s weight limit. To check the weight limit of your machine read the manual – if you don’t have the physical copy they can often be found online. Most blankets also recommend not using a dryer and hanging to dry.

Home machines typically can’t handle 25 lbs or more though, so for these you need to take them to a commercial washer or have them dry-cleaned.

Different materials also require different care so for each brand we’ve listed their washing requirements to help with you decision.

Sustainable & Natural Weighted Blankets

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

Bearaby

I have a Bearaby blanket and these are not only a very stylish option but I love how the knit construction cocoons around you. (Check out my video about testing the Bearaby blanket)

They are only made from fabric with no filling and they have options in organic cotton, Tencel – their “Tree Napper”, and recycled PET velvet (although I would recommend the natural ones over this one). They also have a queen/king size option and their organic cotton “Nappling” which is a weighted blanket designed for kids.

Washing: Some Bearaby blankets can be machine washed and dried if your machine can handle the weight, but 25lbs+ and the velvet napper must be dry cleaned.

Weights: 6 lbs (kids), 10 lbs – 35 lbs (adults)
Cost: $139 – $149 (kids), $199 – $399 (adults)
Values: Sustainable Materials, fabrics are Made in Green by OEKO-TEX and Fairtrade International certified, Vegan, Plastic-free Packaging
Based In: USA, they have both a Canadian and US site


Image credit: Baloo

Baloo

With both weighted throw and comforter options, Baloo’s blankets are made from plant-dyed cotton with glass bead filling. They also have a kids option naturally-dyed with lovely colours. They also offer a linen duvet cover.

Washing: Some of Baloo’s blankets can be machine washed as long as your machine can handle the weight. They recommend taking the king size blanket and all comforter options to a commercial washer.

Weights: 9 lbs (kids), 12 lbs – 25 lbs (adults)
Cost: $149 (kids), $159 – $269 (adults)
Values: Sustainable Materials, Vegan, Gives Back, Carbon Neutral
Based In: USA, ships international


Saatva

Saatva offer a weighted blanket in 100% organic cotton velvet with glass bead filling. If you like the fuzzy, plush fleece blankets, this is a great natural alternative!

Washing: Saatva recommends dry cleaning their blankets.

Weights: 12 lbs – 20 lbs
Cost: $345 – $445
Values: Sustainable Materials, Fair Trade Certified cotton
Based In: USA, only ships within US


Image credit: Sommio

Sommio

A knit weighted blanket option for those in the UK and Europe! Sommio’s knitted blanket is made from 100% organic cotton.

Washing: Their knitted blankets can be machine washed as long as your machine can handle the weight.

Weights: 7 kg – 10 kg
Cost: £184 – £229
Values: Sustainable Materials, Made in the UK
Based In: UK, ships international


Image credit: WeeSprout

WeeSprout

A comforter style exclusively for kids, WeeSprout‘s weighted blankets are made from 100% organic cotton with glass bead filling.

Washing: WeeSprout suggests using a duvet cover and primarily washing that. The blankets are hand wash or dry clean.

Weights: 5 lbs – 10 lbs
Cost: $79 – $89
Values: Sustainable Materials
Based In: USA, ships US only


Image credit: Karmara

Karmara

Karmara’s “switch” weighted blanket is a comforter style made from organic cotton with glass microbead filling and comes with an organic cotton cover. They also have the same style in a children’s version.

Washing: Their blankets can be machine washes as long as your machine can handle the weight. They do not recommend using a dryer.

Weights: 3 kg – 6 kg (kids), 6kg – 12kg (adults)
Cost: £100 – £120
Values: Sustainable Materials, Made in Europe
Based In: UK, ships only within the UK


Silk & Snow

Another knit weighted blanket option. Silk & Snow’s blanket is 100% cotton (not organic) and comes in a variety of colours.

Washing: Their knitted blankets can be machine washed as long as your machine can handle the weight.

Weights: 8 lbs – 25 lbs
Cost: $180 (kids), $250 – $320 (adults)
Values: OEKO-TEX Certified,
Based In: Canada, ships within Canada and US.


Have you tried a weighted blanket? What did you think?

What is Bamboo Viscose? Is it Sustainable or Greenwashing?

posted in fabrics

While researching sustainable textiles, you may have come across phrases like “organic bamboo,” “rayon made from bamboo,” or “bamboo viscose”. Popular sustainable companies such as Boody, Encircled, and Thought all use bamboo in their clothing. So what exactly are bamboo fabrics? And can they actually be considered sustainable, or is that greenwashing? As with many aspects of the textile industry, the answer is complicated. 

How Is Bamboo Turned Into Fiber?

Let’s start off with the positive aspects of bamboo. As a plant, bamboo grows incredibly quickly and does not require the use of fertilizers or pesticides. When compared to conventional cotton, bamboo requires less land and chemicals to be grown. Bamboo, as with many other cellulosic (plant-derived) fibers, has a silky hand feel, is breathable, and is easy to wash and care for. Unfortunately, despite its clean beginnings, bamboo’s journey from plant to fiber is a long one that involves some not-so-positive aspects. 

In the textile world, bamboo is considered a “manufactured cellulosic fiber.” Manufactured fibers require a chemical-laden process in order to be spun into fiber, unlike natural cellulosic fibers like cotton and linen. Bamboo, in fact, undergoes the same exact process to become a fiber as viscose and rayon (viscose and rayon are synonyms for the same fiber), only they are made with wood pulp rather than bamboo. 

The process to turn bamboo or wood pulp into fiber sounds like a complicated chemistry experiment. According to Paul D. Blanc in his book “Fake Silk: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon,” the pulp is treated with caustic soda and carbon disulfide, allowed to “ripen,” and then treated with more caustics to turn it into a syrupy substance. The liquid is then forced through spinnerets in a bath of sulfuric acid to produce fiber. 

Those chemicals are the main problem with manufactured fibers like bamboo. They pollute the air and the water — carbon disulfide in particular is a nasty, toxic chemical that the EPA has identified as a hazardous workplace risk. Patagonia refuses to use bamboo in its product line, citing that factories that use carbon disulfide typically only recover around 50% of the chemical in their processing. 

Are Bamboo Fabrics Greenwashing?

Some companies have taken advantage of the eco-friendly connotations of the word bamboo in order to greenwash. In 2015, the Federal Trade Commission fined several companies for misrepresenting or mislabelling rayon as bamboo. The FTC even created a guide entitled “How to Avoid Bamboozling Your Customers,” on how to correctly label fabric that is made from bamboo. In the United States and Canada, all bamboo-derived garments must be properly labeled as “rayon made from bamboo” or “viscose made from bamboo.” Take a look at the two labels below, both from my closet: one label is from a pair of Boody leggings and is properly labeled per FTC guidelines, while the other, a shirt I bought at a local yoga studio, has a label with the words “organic bamboo” — a misleading statement considering what we now know about carbon disulfide. 

Of course, there is more to sustainability than just fiber. A garment that is made from bamboo might still be considered sustainable — Encircled, for example, sells bamboo clothing, but sews all of its clothes in Canada using fair wages, is a certified B-corporation, and prioritizes classic over trendy designs. The fact that a garment is made from bamboo certainly does not alone make it sustainable, but it is possible for a sustainable garment to be made from bamboo. There isn’t a “one size fits all” answer when it comes to sustainability, and fabric alone cannot tell you the entire story of where your clothes came from. 


Greenwashing Tip: Pay attention to how a brand talks about their use of bamboo. If they have many different sustainability initiatives that’s a good sign, however if they are using bamboo fabric as a primary reason for calling themselves “sustainable” that’s a red flag!

Also look for brands who use a “closed loop” manufacturing process for their bamboo fabric – this means the water and chemicals are recovered and re-used.

How to Buy Sustainable Kids Clothing on a Budget

Tips for making an eco-friendly children’s wardrobe more affordable

There’s no denying sustainable and ethically made clothing is more expensive. We all get sticker shock if you’re used to fast fashion prices and start to look at more conscious brands. However, don’t automatically assume that these brands are out of budget for you! There are many ways to buy clothing more sustainably and affordably.

People often assume that I have a lot of disposable income and a large clothing budget because of the sustainable brands I own, but that isn’t the case. Last year, we spent around $650 on clothing for my toddler, which is 25% less than the average Canadian parents spend on clothing for one child. While we don’t have a large budget for my daughter’s clothing, we’re still able to have an eco-friendly wardrobe and support some great sustainable brands! Here are my tips for making sustainable children’s clothing budget-friendly.

1. Prioritize Secondhand Clothing and Use New Products to Fill in the Gaps.

Secondhand clothing is the best for both sustainability and affordability.

Whether it’s hand-me-downs, freecycling, or thrifting (here are some great places to shop secondhand online), getting the majority of kids clothes secondhand is a great way to save money and waste. It can also allow you to budget more for a few new sustainable items.

2. Build a Capsule Wardrobe.

Just like adults, most children have way more clothing than they actually use and need! The capsule wardrobe concept is fantastic for kids and allows you to have a functional wardrobe with lots of outfit combinations from a minimal number of items. We plan to have enough clothes for a week plus a few extras for changes, accidents, spills, etc.

Buying fewer clothes overall saves a lot of money and means you can budget more for each item.

Check out my child’s capsule wardrobes for some examples.

3. Consider Quality & Resale.

Investing in better-quality pieces and caring for them means you can often sell them when they’re outgrown and use the money towards new clothes. Kids can be hard on clothes, but there are some things you can do to increase the chances of keeping items in good shape:

  • Look for durable fabrics.
  • Have your child wear an apron or specific clothes for messy activities — we love using a “shirt” apron which also covers the sleeves.
  • Treat stains as soon as you can.
  • Learn from your child. For example, if they always have issues with knees wearing out, it’s probably good to buy secondhand pants vs. buying expensive organic pants (unless they are designed to be very durable and reinforced).

3. Choose the Right Items to Invest In.

It will depend on your child and lifestyle, but there are always some items that are better to invest in than others. Generally, staple items that your child can fit into and wear for a long time are going to be far better investments than seasonal or specific items they might only wear a few times. Think about the “cost per wear” of what you’re buying.

One of our best investment pieces and something we got amazing cost-per-wear from is Pure Colour Baby’s organic pullover. The “grow-with-me” design has allowed my daughter to wear it for a year and a half already, and it still fits great! I think we’ll probably get a solid 2 years from it which is very rare with toddler clothing.

“Grow with me” pullover, adjustable romper and secondhand sweater

4. Wait for Sales…

If you can’t afford a brand at full price, sign up to their newsletter, follow them on social media, or check back for sales. Some brands (like Hanna Andersson, Pact, and Frugi) have big sales during the year (typically in the summer, January, and around Black Friday) and it’s a great time to stock up on items.

…And Shop Out-of-Season.

It’s good to plan ahead with sales, because typically they happen at the end of the season. When fall/winter stock goes on sale, plan your child’s wardrobe for next fall. For example, even though we’re going into spring, I just purchased a bunch of organic cotton long-sleeve tops and warm leggings for next fall/winter during a great Hanna Andersson sale (Tip for Canadian customers: if you keep your order under $150 there’s no duty charges). Since it was clearance stock, they were about $10-$13 CAD each for good quality, organic kids clothing.


Do you have any other tips for finding sustainable kids clothing on a budget?

Ethical & Sustainable Wedding Dresses for the Conscious Bride

For most brides, finding THE dress is the most challenging (and personal) part of wedding planning. For the sustainably minded bride, it’s even tougher! Sure, they might be pretty, but typical wedding gowns are made with synthetic fabrics and petroleum-based trims that require a huge amount of labour and energy for something that’s only intended to be used for one day. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 5 ethical wedding dress options for the bride with a heart of gold.

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

Option 1: Resale

An alternative to buying a new dress is secondhand. Resale sites, vintage stores and consignment shops are a perfect opportunity to snag the dress of your dreams for a great price. With websites like Borrowing Magnolia, Still White or Once Wed, you can browse through thousands of pre-owned designer gowns and find exactly what you’re looking for. Etsy is another fantastic option for eco-conscious brides. Besides having a huge selection of hand-made gowns, the eCommerce site also carries vintage and used wedding dresses. If you’re hoping for an in-person shopping experience, try searching for consignment bridal boutiques in your area. No compromise necessary! 


Image credit: The Fitzroy

Option 2: Rental

You’re already making a big enough commitment…why worry about the dress too?! Rental services are a great way to achieve the look you want without being stuck with a dress you’ll only wear once. Not only does this make sense for your finances, it has a pretty big environmental impact too. A rental dress can be cleaned and re-worn over and over, eliminating the need to create new garments. This saves labour and energy while keeping clothing in circulation for longer. And with the myriad of styles available, you’re guaranteed to find something you’ll love.

Rent The Runway, Best For Bride and Beyond the Runway are all great options for online shopping, while brick-and-mortar rental services like The Fitzroy are perfect for those in the Toronto area.

Check out our article on rental services for more tips and tricks! 


Image credit: Pure Magnolia

Option 3: Pure Magnolia

Calling all classic beauties! Pure Magnolia is a Canadian brand with a passion for ethical fashion. They focus on natural materials like silk and organic cotton and use recycled fabrics whenever possible. Their timeless styles are made in-house at their studio, limiting their overall environmental footprint. Scrap materials are either repurposed into new styles or collected and recycled through FABCYCLE. 

Price point: $450 – $3,300

Values: Local production, natural & sustainable materials, made-to-order, textile waste recycled through FABCYCLE

Size Range: 0 – 28

Availability: Based in Vancouver, BC, ships worldwide, stockists within Canada & U.S.


Image credit: Whimsy & Row

Option 4: Whimsy & Row

If you’re a laid-back bride with a preference for casual styles, Whimsy & Row could be a great option. This California-based brand creates high-quality pieces that can be dressed up or down for any occasion. They favor low-impact fabrics like certified organic cotton, linen, Tencel, cupro and silk, and they source deadstock and upcycled materials as much as possible. Their swanky cocktail dresses and stylish separates are all made in small batches within the Los Angeles area.

Price point: $110 – $319

Values: Local production, low-impact fabrics, carbon neutral, minimal waste, textile waste recycled through Marimole

Size Range: XXS – XL

Availability: Based in California, ships worldwide


Image credit: Leanna Marshall

Option 5: Leanne Marshall

Leanne Marshall is a bridal label with a passion for natural fabrics. Their stunning gowns and statement separates feature billowing sleeves, ruffled hemlines, and vintage silhouettes. Hello, romance! They focus on local production and minimal waste, with every piece being made-to-order in New York. Though their prices are on the higher end of this list, these beautiful designs are a must-see for the bride looking for something truly special. 

Price point: $680 – $4,240

Values: Local production, natural & sustainable materials, made-to-order, textile waste recycled through FABSCRAP

Size Range: 0 – 24

Availability: Based in New York, ships worldwide, stockists within US, Canada & UK


Finding a gown for your special day can be a tricky process. It’s one thing to find something that matches your style and aesthetic, but it can be equally challenging to find something that fits your values. Whether you’re on the hunt for something new, pre-owned, or one-of-a-kind, there are a ton of options available to today’s bride.

Did you/do you plan on wearing an ethical wedding dress for your big day?

We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below.

Looking for sustainable bridesmaid dresses? Check out this post.

Find more sustainable wedding tips here.

Don’t Buy Roses for Valentine’s Day – Get These Instead

Your romantic gesture has a bigger environmental impact than you think. 

Flowers, especially red roses, double in price this time of year. Ecuador exports up to 15 000 tonnes of flowers to the U.S. by plane in the three weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day alone, plus there are imports from countries like Colombia and Holland as well.  

This is an important thing to note, as greenhouse gas emissions have increased year on year, in large part due to transport. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, those three weeks of flower delivery flights burn approximately 114 million litres of fuel, emitting approximately 360 000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Once the flowers get to the U.S. and Canada, they are shipped around the country in refrigerated trucks so that they don’t wilt. These trucks burn more fuel than average even before they’re loaded with cargo. Plus, many of them run on diesel, which produces more air pollutants than gasoline.

The cut flower industry is worth an estimated $55 billion USD, yet very little of that goes to the overworked and underpaid farmers who are working long hours to make sure these blooms are ready. They also have long-term exposure to dangerous chemicals and some women face sexual harassment. 

Who knew that something so romantic could contribute to something so awful? 

Here are some alternatives to cut flowers for Valentine’s Day. 

Buy them a pot plant

Give your loved one a cute succulent (or even a rose bush) that will improve the air quality in their home and last them much longer than cut flowers.

Buy local and organic

Seek out flowers that are grown and shipped locally, and are also organic and pesticide-free.

Give them a handmade gift

A cute card or creative gift that you made yourself, like a scrapbook with some of your favorite memories, will go a long way to saying ‘I love you’.

How about a bag? 

A cute purse never hurt nobody. Check out our list of 15+ Sustainable Bags, Purses, & Backpacks.

A rose by any other name…

Instead of actual roses, give your sweetheart something rose scented. A beautiful candle, a cool bath bomb or some body lotion all work well.

[Our picks: Skwalwen’s wild rose skincare, Thistle & Sage’s rose bath bombs, or Mala’s Rosebud candle]

A cute, easy, and eco friendly DIY idea!
Get crafty

You can make fake flowers from recyclable paper and make a whole bouquet. It’s original, cute and sustainable!

Get baking

Make something yummy and possibly heart shaped and even rose scented!

And just in case you get flowers anyway, remember to…

Compost them!

If you do receive flowers this year, do the right thing and compost them instead of throwing them in the trash where they contribute to greenhouse gases. If you don’t have a compost bin, simply put the flowers in the garden where they can decompose naturally and their nutrients will contribute to the soil.

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