Tomorrow’s Earth Day, and we’re feeling extra conscious about how we treat the planet, the impact our consumption has on global citizens and how we can make our carbon footprint that much smaller. To help get you started going green, we’ve rounded up some of the top Canadian fashion brands that are kind to the environment while still churning out runway-worthy designs.
Specializing in vegan, leather-free handbags, Nella Bella is your go-to brand for guilt-free fashion. Tarek Al-Azbat, the brand’s founder and creative director, has been committed to creating sustainable fashion during his more than 14-year career as a designer. Crossbody bags, clutches, wallets and carryalls all in leather-free fabrics. Nella Bella’s Nu Essex collection is sleek and structured with portfolio-style string-circle closures.
Following its “local, eco, lasting” motto, Miik mills its own dyes to minimize its carbon footprint and help support nearby manufacturers. It stays eco-friendly by using sustainable fabrics, such as modal, bamboo, Sorona and Tencel. Each piece is designed to prevent wear and tear over time and the fabrics rule out annoying pilling and stretching.
Kit and Ace
Launched by Lululemon co-founder Shannon Wilson and her son, JJ, the brand is hardwired for comfort and sustainability. A seven-step process helps get its “technical cashmere” sustainably sourced and ready to wear. The wire-comb collected (not sheared) goat hair is sourced from Mongolia and Inner Mongolia. On top of ensuring that its production follows a sustainable path, Kit and Ace tailors each of its stores to the local community. Each shop celebrates local artists, photography that is iconic to each city, custom light fixtures, furniture and local vendors are sourced for in-store events. The Kit and Ace site boasts free shipping to Canada and the U.S. with international shipping on the way — bringing softness to the style masses.
Home to cult brands, such as Wilfred, TNA, Community and Talula, Aritzia is a no-brainer when it comes to picking up something on-trend. Even better, the brand has made sustainability a priority. It has a “Social & Environmental Responsibility (SER) team” that helps to not only make sure that the brand stays on a sustainability track, but its employees, too. Aritzia has partnered with local charities and nonprofit groups, such as The Salvation Army, Umoja Operation and DIVERSEcity in British Columbia to help with community projects.
Harricana par Mariouche
While this company isn’t vegan or fur-free, it takes on one of the many aspects of being eco-friendly — recycling. The brand uses the fur from old coats instead of sourcing new pelts to help prevent the killing of animals for their skins. It also has a fur exchange policy for those who have furs and want to recycle them; offering made-to-measure, special order and barter services. Harricana estimates that it has prevented the killing of more than 800,000 animals over the past 15 years. Now, that’s something to brag about.