Sustainable fashion that not only makes you look good, but feel good too

As the term "fast fashion" becomes a well-known phrase, we are becoming more mindful about the implications of the convenience and cost-effectiveness of clothing purchases.

To break down the term, companies produce and sell large quantities of cheap, quickly manufactured clothing to meet demands of the constantly changing fashion industry and evolving desires of consumers (aka us). And while that $5 T-shirt might seem like a great deal, the 100 percent polyester fabric should tell you differently. They don't show the percentage of pollution, waste and negligence of human rights on the label. For a more in-depth explanation on the matter, head to Good On You.

Thankfully, companies are also becoming increasingly aware of the issue and the list of ethical fashion brands are on the rise. While tackling every issue is difficult, designers are using more eco-friendly methods and materials to encourage the decline of fashion pollution. And yes, "slow fashion" may cost a little extra, but that's part of the point. Investing in pieces that will last longer than a season will in turn have a more positive impact on the environment and help you spend less on unnecessary items.

See below for a list of 15 ethical and Canadian brands to shop from...

 

1. Mimi and August

Mimi and AugustMimi and AugustThis Montreal-based company focuses on creating, "exclusive and affordable products without compromising the quality and the living conditions of the people who produce them." Working with small factories to enable economic development, their garments are designed in Canada and produced ethically both here and abroad. Each factory is inspected to ensure employees work decent hours, are paid fair wages, and there is no child labour. Their swimwear is produced by digital printing, which uses a lot less water than the sublimation technique, and when possible, recycled fabrics ares used. 
Find online here

 

2. Tamga Designs

TAMGA DesignsTAMGA DesignsAfter arriving in Dhaka, Bangladesh, shortly after a garment factory collapsed claiming the lives of more than a thousand workers, Yana and Eric, founders of Tamga Designs were witness to the injustice of their role within the consumerism of fast fashion. Spending time learning about the industry, they knew they needed to take action. And today, they're proud to create premium quality clothing from he world’s best sustainable materials, with dignified conditions for every worker throughout the process. With headquarters in Ontario, Tamga garments are made in Indonesia as they believe developing countries need decent jobs to combat poverty and sustainable economic growth.
Find online here

 

3. Frank & Oak

Frank & OakFrank & OakStemming from the devastating impact of climate change, friends Hicham and Ethan launched Frank And Oak as a commitment to fight for our planet and set an example by offering better, more sustainable products. With clothing that is made to last, the team strives to minimize their environmental impact and create innovative products that have a lighter footprint and an increased lifespan.
Find online here

 

4. Arc

ARCARC

Based in Vancouver, the team at Arc (the name inspired by Joan of Arc) focuses on sourcing brands that are making a difference in the apparel industry through sustainability, ethical manufacturing and giving back. They do the research so we don't have to and have created a space to help us support the positive change in the fashion industry.
Find online here

 

5. Theif and Bandit

Theif and BanditTheif and BanditWith all fabrics printed by hand, garments sewn by hand, and with every order fulfilled in their Halifax studio, the team at Thief and Bandit are dedicated to sustainability in the fashion industry by working with jersey, cotton and raw silk materials. Every garment is made to order, helping reduce the turnover of clothing, and their fun, lively garments are beautiful for any occasion. 
Find online here

 

6. Franc

FrancFrancWith the aim to help solve the problem of cheap clothing made by underpaid workers in terrible conditions, Franc is conscious about helping the planet while still being fashionable. Their factory is located just outside of Toronto and they personally know the employees who work there. Totally plastic-free with shipping bags made from 100 percent recycled paper, all their fabrics are knit and dyed using non-toxic, environmentally friendly dyes.
Find online here

 

7. Encircled

EncircledEncircledWith 100 percent of the items sewn in Toronto using sustainable fabrics like hemp, bamboo, cotton and linen, the team at Encircled believes that less is more when it comes to your closet. The philosophy is to invest in essential pieces and to pay attention to who makes your clothes and how they are manufactured.
Find online here

 

8. Kotn

KotnKotnWith a desire to create good quality essentials that don't cost a fortune, Kotn works directly with cotton farming families in Egypt to help rebuild the industry. Ensuring fair wages for workers, they have also partnered with pro-literacy organizations to stop the cycle of child labour. 
Find online here

 

9. Power of my People

Power of my PeoplePower of my PeopleBased in Richmond, B.C., the team at Power of my People focuses on creating responsibly made shirts designed to last a lifetime in your capsule wardrobe. With all clothing made with the highest quality, natural fibre fabrics, they source materials from trusted suppliers. All fibres that make up their fabrics are sourced from countries with exemplary ethical manufacturing standards such as France, The United States and Australia. 
Find online here

 

10. Eliza Faulkner

Eliza FaulknerEliza FaulknerFocusing on classic pieces and clean lines, Eliza Faulkner sources fabrics that are woven in Montreal and uses deadstock fabric (unsellable fabric) and notions when possible to create beautiful, bold and feminine dresses and clothing pieces. Manufacturing is done in Montreal by local sewers, cutters, and pattern makers to create the fun and flirty pieces. 
Find online here

 

11. Nettles Tale

Nettles TaleNettles TaleMade and modelled by "bodies like yours," Nettles Tale's thoughtfully designed swimwear and apparel is made in Vancouver, B.C. Valuing ethical manufacturing, quality and inclusivity, they're dedicated to changing the swimwear game. 
Find online here

 

12. Ovate

OvateOvateWith garments made from natural fabrics in neutral shades to fit your capsule wardrobe, Ovate use fibres and textures to capture the, "synthesis between the poetic romanticism of a past time and the spare beauty of minimalism." Handcrafted by Audrey and Gabrielle in Montreal, the two-women team drafts, cuts, sews, presses and packages each item by hand while also designing the collection, sourcing materials, managing the website and photographing all the pieces. 
Find online here

 

13. Blush

BlushBlushBringing together luxury, comfort and affordability, this Montreal-based boutique promotes safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing by partnering with factories that comply with local and national laws against child labour, forced labour and discrimination. They also value empowering women and their lingerie is made to celebrate women, by women.
Find online here

 

14. Fortnight Lingerie

Fortnight LingerieFortnight LingerieThrough impeccable fit and considered design that is made to last, every Fortnight Lingerie item is made in Canada with precision and purpose, and focuses on durable, classic items that will live past one season. Using long-lasting, carefully sourced materials, such as light-weight Italian jersey and lace from a family-run mill in France, garments are guaranteed to retain their precise fit wear after wear.
Find online here

 

15. Mary Young

Mary YoungMary YoungCreating empowering pieces for women of every shape and size, all of Mary Young's products are ethically made in Canada to benefit you. To reduce their carbon footprint, none of their fabrics include chlorine bleach or dyes and the main material used is a rayon of organic bamboo knit (OEKO-TEX® certified and has passed UV testing) sourced from China. All garments are produced in Montreal, where equal wages and conditions are being met.
Find online here