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5 Ethical Canadian Fashion Brands Doing The Most

Published on January 28, 2021

A pair of beige and white intervalle zip boots

Lead Photo Credit: L’Intervalle

As a reluctant “hipster” of the late 2000s, my coming of age story included discovering small Canadian designers found at indie shops in my hometown. Obsessed with the idea of owning something uniquely limited, you could find me dropping $200 on a piece of rose-coloured cotton masquerading as a dress just because it was the only one in the city. Though it stemmed from an urge to distinguish myself from others, I took quiet pride in supporting small Canadian designers.

In recent years, I’ve dedicated time not only to finding garments intentionally made in Canada, but brands that meet my standards for ethical production and sustainable practices. There are countless that I love, but let’s explore five representing Canada well.

Beth Richards (Vancouver, BC)

Beth Richards Swimwear is a go-to for bathing suits that make me feel beautiful. By choosing to manufacture within Canada, Beth Richards promotes first-world, non-exploitative wages from start to finish. Not only do they bring an environmental focus with waste reduction efforts and materials that use recycled materials, they keep production under control by producing limited runs. Minimal yet sophisticated, these pieces celebrate the body and environmental love.

Ethics | Recycled materials, carbon-neutral, safe and fair labour standards, gives back

Product Range | Women’s swimwear

Size Range | XS-XL

Three women wearing black one piece bathing suits by Beth Richards, one of Toast's list of ethical fashion brands
Ethical Canadian fashion brands | Photo Credit: Beth Richards

L’Intervalle (Montreal and Toronto)

The french word for “interval”, L’Intervalle has 20 years of footwear experience crafting classics and trendy designs for men and women, working closely with manufacturers and factories in Spain, Italy, and Brazil. Forgo your Zara wish list for a pair of these deliciously crafted, ethically made leather pieces. With 14 stores across the East Coast, they’re truly Canadian business goals.

Ethics | Safe and fair labour standards

Product Range | Women’s and men’s shoes, and accessories

Size Range | Euro 36-41 (women’s); 40-46 (men’s)

Legs and feet of a seated woman wearing a paur of black L’intervalle boots, part of Toast's list of ethical Canadian fashion brands
Ethical Canadian fashion brands | Photo Credit: L’intervalle

Cub Clothing (Regina, SK)

Cub Clothing is a female-owned and operated small business that uses deadstock, vintage and recycled fabrics to create limited runs of versatile pieces for all bodies. Designed and sewn in Regina, these flowing, whimsical garments are one-of-a-kind. No two pieces alike, you’ll garner praise everywhere you go in these.

Ethics | Organic, carbon-neutral, safe and fair labour standards

Product Range | Women’s and men’s wardrobe basics, accessories, and kids

Size Range | XS–XXL

A seated woman wearing sunglasses wearing black shorts and brown top from Cub Clothing, one of Toast's ethical Canadian fashion brands
Ethical Canadian fashion brands | Photo Credit: Cub Clothing

Okayok (Toronto, ON)

OkayOk stands out for its diverse selection of playful men’s, women’s, kidswear, and accessories. Made from organic fabrics that are also locally milled, if you gaze a bit deeper into the looking glass of OkayOk, you’ll learn their patterns and designs are manufactured in a Toronto west-end workshop, dyes are made in Ajax, and undyed basics are sewn in Etobicoke. Call it a labour of GTA love.

Ethics | Organic, carbon-neutral, safe and fair labour standards

Product Range | Women’s and men’s wardrobe basics, accessories, and kids

Size Range | XS–XXL

Ethical Canadian fashion brands include Okayok, here is a seated man wearing a white top and pants
Ethical Canadian fashion brands| Photo credit: Okayok

Eliza Faulkner (Montreal, QC)

Eliza Faulkner is a namesake brand designing regal-looking garments made for modern moments. Ethereal dresses, sheer blouses, and playful accessories define their offering, while deadstock materials and fabrics woven from reputable mills show this is a company dedicated to sustainability. Designed and manufactured in Montreal by local sewers, cutters, and pattern makers, Eliza Faulkner exemplifies how ethical clothing can also colour outside of the lines.

Ethics | Deadstock materials, carbon-neutral, safe and fair labour standards

Product Range | Gender-neutral dresses, blouses, accessories.

Size Range | XS-XL

Ethical Canadian fashion brands deserve a look, and a seated woman displays a golden-bronze dress with high neck and long sleeves by Eliza Faulkner
Ethical Canadian fashion brands| Photo Credit: Eliza Faulkner
 

Far from an extensive list, these five ethical Canadian fashion brands only skim the surface of the country’s market. If you weren’t interested before, perhaps now you’ll see how Canadian fashion deserves another look.

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The Author
Leah Sookoo is a writer from London, Ontario who has inhabited many beautiful cities including Redding, California, Saskatoon, SK, and now, Calgary, Alberta. Musing often on topics surrounding the idea of belonging, divinity, and nature, she also spent many years exploring the world of slow fashion, sustainability, waste-free living, and second-hand stylings through her blog (currently on pause). Between her daily movement practice and frequent walks, you can find her copywriting at the digital marketing agency, Arcade Studios.

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