There are so many wonderful Sustainable Canadian Clothing brands to choose from these days and the brands featured in this post are really taking slow fashion to a whole new level! You NEED To know these 5 Canadian Ethical Fashion Brands We're Loving For Spring!
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Why Choose Canadian Ethical Fashion Brands?
It's simple, to avoid fast fashion brands as much as possible! As you might already know, fast fashion is really taking its toll on the planet. The fashion industry is responsible for the emission of 1.7 billion tons of CO2 in 2015, or about 4.8% of global carbon emissions of 35.7 billion tons that same year. On top of that textile waste is a real issue globally as well. Fashion Revolution reports that:
"The number of garments produced annually has doubled since 2000 and exceeded 100 billion for the first time in 2014 and an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste is created annually from the fashion industry." So, it's clear we have a lot of work to do! And we can start with choosing brands that are trying to mitigate all of those harsh statistics!
How we choose the best Canadian Ethical Fashion Brand?
We make sure they follow our criteria for ethical and sustainable fashion which include:
1. Materials and Fabrics
We always look for natural materials like organic cotton, lyocell, modal, jute, hemp, linen, or even upcycled and recycled fabrics. We also try to avoid synthetic fabrics like spandex, nylon, or polyester, all of which are made using fossil fuels and create a great deal of microplastic when washed.
With all fabrics, it's always best to look for their party certifications too. Some of the best certifications include Fair Trade, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Organic Content Standard (OCS), USDA-Certified Organic, the Recycled Claim Standard, and the SCS Recycled Content Certification, Bluesign, the Better Cotton Standard, and OEKO-TEX® 100.
2. Ethical Sourcing
Ethical sourcing is the process of ensuring the materials being sourced are obtained in a responsible and sustainable way, that the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly and that environmental and social impacts are taken into account.
Certifications to look for are Fairtrade, B-Crop, WRAP, and BSCI. At times if the brand is smaller they don’t have immediate funds to get these certifications. If you are not sure, we suggest always asking questions for transparency.
3. Corporate Responsibility
Looking at what else a given brand is doing in terms of social and environmental responsibility. This might include practices such as plastic-free packaging, social and environmental initiatives like carbon neutrality, and/or certifications like B-Corp.
Canadian Ethical Fashion Brands to love
Take a look at the Canadian ethical fashion brands we love. Remember to check out this MASTERLIST of over 135 Canadian Sustainable brands!
Miik is a small, woman-owned, and operated business creating on-trend statement styles and timeless classics designed to fit and flatter.
Miik's fabrics and materials
Their comfy classics are made of eco-friendly fabrics like MicroModal and Rayon from Bamboo. Their MicroModal is made from LENZING™ modal fibers which are “certified as compostable and biodegradable under industrial, home, soil and marine conditions, and can fully revert back to nature”.
Miik's ethical sourcing
From milling and dyeing fabrics to cutting and sewing the finished garments, everything happens within 50 km of their Toronto office. Their contractors use environmentally-responsible processes and all of their fabrics are certified Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
Working in small batches, Miik minimizes waste during production — making use of leftover fabric by creating samples, scarves, other small items, and future collections or donating it to local fashion schools and seamstresses. Where finished garments do not pass strict quality inspections, they are sold at a discount during their bi-annual second sale, and any garments with more visible flaws are taken in by the Miik team, friends, and family.
Miik's corporate responsibly
Miik loves to give back too. In 2021 alone, they donated over $65,000 to organizations like Plan Canada’s “Send a Girl to School”, Indspire, Shelter Movers, Yorktown Family Services, Black Lives Matter, and United Way BC. They also partner with Sistering Women’s Shelter and Dress for Success for clothing donations.
In addition to their gorgeous dresses, tops and cardigans, you have to try their signature Lisa2 smooth wear leggings and their best-selling Emily blazer — both made from the most buttery soft, and stretchy fabric you have ever felt against your skin. Sizes range from XS to XXL.
Bringing Eco-Fashion up a notch. Tamga was launched in 2014 by a couple living in Dhaka, Bangladesh, working for the UN and different NGOs, and after seeing the effects of Rana Plaza, they decided they wanted to make a difference.
Tamga's fabrics and materials
Modal hails from sustainably managed beech wood forests in Europe. Many wood-based fabrics are being sourced from ancient and endangered forests, reducing their environment’s ability to store carbon and wiping out habitat for endangered animals like the Orangutan in Indonesia.
Tamga's ethical sourcing
Although it’s a staple in the textile and fashion industries, cotton has a massive impact on the planet and the people who farm it. Nearly 25% of the world’s insecticide is used in farming conventional cotton and it’s still picked using forced labor in many parts of the world.
They use cotton grown organically in Gujarat, India that is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) to be ethically sourced and free from harmful chemicals.
Tamga's corporate responsibility
They use low-impact dyes that contain no heavy metals and even their garment bags are biodegradable, made in Indonesia from cassava starch. They break down naturally within months, or you can dissolve them right before your eyes when mixed with hot water in a tall glass.
Add bright colors and boho sexiness to your wardrobe!
Kotn is by far one of put top eco-fashion brands here on the hub! They carry all of your minimalist wardrobe essentials including basics like ethical t-shirts, sustainable jeans, sustainable bras, ethical sweaters & hats, eco friendly socks, and even gorgeous sustainable men's clothing.
Kotn’s fabrics & materials
It's all about 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton adding on their website that:
"Best known in the coffee & tea industries, direct trade is a way of sourcing raw ingredients straight from the farmers, without the use of the traditional middle people. Buying the raw material ourselves lets us do three things: provide our customers with fair prices that reflect quality instead of a label, provide our farmers with better wages and business practices, and provide transparency into how our partners conduct their business."
Kotn’s ethical sourcing
Kotn ensures that all of its products are ethically produced in Egypt and Portugal where factory employees are paid fair wages and work under safe conditions. The cotton used in their products comes directly from farmers with a Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certification.
Kotn’s corporate responsibility
Kotn is a Certified B-Corporation demonstrating its commitment to high standards of operation. They have even been voted B Corporation’s Best for the World™ in their Community category, an honor given to the top 5% of B Corp certified businesses worldwide.
They’ve successfully built and are now operating 7 schools in rural areas of Egypt as part of their commitment to promoting access to education in Egypt. Using revenue generated from sales, they’ve also funded other social impact projects including providing financial and other resources to smallholder farmers and impoverished communities.
If you read this blog often you know we talk about Rawganique quite a bit and that's because they are killing it when it comes to sustainable clothing, shoes, and eco-friendly home goods, like non-toxic shower curtains. Not only do they carry some of the latest and hottest fashions made from hemp, you can also find ethical slippers and summer sandals!
Rawganique's materials and fabrics
Rawganique sleepwear is available in organic cotton, organic linen, or organic hemp. Their buttons are made of natural coconut or tag nut, and their dyes are either natural or biodegradable fiber-reactive dyes.
Rawganique's ethical sourcing
All of their products are designed for sustainability and hand-crafted in sweatshop-free ateliers in USA, Canada & Europe, using only organic materials. They believe in kindness to animals, each other, and the earth.
Rawganique's corporate responsibility
Rawganique is plastic-free and makes its products entirely free of any harmful chemicals. Their products are also cruelty-free and animal-friendly making them a great option for our vegan friends as well.
5. Brave Soles
In 2005, Christal Earle set foot in a garbage dump on the north coast of the Dominican Republic with a group of young people from Canada. That landfill didn't just have garbage, plastics, or even tires — it also had people.
Often, landfill workers are among the most vulnerable in our world. They are often denied what are considered to be basic human rights. Their work is dangerous and hazardous. They are also often stateless and have limited (if any) access to education, healthcare, or basic security.
To make a difference in the lives of these workers Christal founded Brave Soles, a collection of really cute shoes and sandals that range from a gladiator-style to a simple slip-on and even a "flatform sandal".
Brave Soles fabrics and materials
Their ethical sandals and shoes are made from leather and the soles are made from discarded tires! The leather comes from two different sources:
"Our shoe leather is sourced in the Dominican Republic from a local tannery called Bojos Tannery. Bojos works hard to be transparent about their process and they are a certified gold member of the Leather Working Group".
Brave Soles ethical sourcing
They also use upcycled aircraft seats and furniture cutoffs from furniture makers and overstock leather from the manufacturing zones of the Dominican Republic.
Brave Soles corporate responsibility
They are working to provide microfinance loans and support to those who have a dream of owning their own business but currently work in vulnerable situations such as landfills.
The people in that garbage dump were the ones who inspired the vision behind what they are working to create through their emerging Brave Soles Foundation.
A final word on Canadian Ethical Fashion Brands
How awesome are these Canadian brands? make sure you also check out our MASSIVE post on the Canadian Ethical Clothing Masterlist! And our brand directory is packed full of ethical clothing brands you will LOVE!
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