5 Sustainability-Focused Canadian Fashion Brands You Should Know By Now


Shop smarter for sustainable style 

When it comes to polluting the planet, the fashion industry is a major culprit.

With concerns that range from abundant water usage and the pesticide-filled pollution of groundwater, to textile waste, the fashion industry has become what the documentary The True Cost calls the second biggest world polluter.

The rise of fast fashion –fuelled by a social media-obsessed culture where a new outfit is necessary for each Instagram post – comes at an especially detrimental cost to the environment. The good news is that a growing number of designers and brands are focusing on sustainability, including many in our home and native land.

Here are five sustainability-minded brands you should know so that you can shop smarter:

By now, you’ve probably heard of Preloved. The Toronto-based brand – a staple for the city’s eco-conscious fashionable set – relies on a technique called upcycling in the creation of each of their designer garments. All of their pieces – which includes everything from romantic dresses and blouses, to weekend loungewear and denim – are made from a mix of recycled vintage pieces, overrun fabrics and deadstock. Over the past 20 years, the company has given new life into an impressive 1,000 000 sweaters that would have otherwise lived in landfills.

Zen Nomad
If you’re in the market for some fresh yoga wear or cozy weekend loungewear, Canadian brand Zen Nomad has no shortage of ultra comfy pieces that you won’t want to take off once you slip them on. Each piece is designed and manufactured in Toronto and made with sustainably sourced, high-quality fabrics with low-impact dyes. Suitable for any season, the pieces are designed for layering.


Created to become longtime closet staples, pieces made by Toronto label Miik are designed to prevent wear and tear while being “local, eco and lasting.” The company mills its own dyes, sustainable materials like bamboo and hemp in their creations, which are hailed for their softness and stretch. Bringing the eco-friendly style movement to the masses (and those of us in the arts), the pieces won’t break the bank either.


With a motto of “be more for less” and self-described as “the antithesis of fast fashion,” Canadian brand Encircled is designed for the modern day wanderluster and nomad who craves both function and style. The travelwear is created to allow you to look good as you travel lighter. Each piece is versatile, multi-functional and designed for wrinkle-free packing. All clothing is ethically made in Toronto through small batch production.

Worn by famous faces like Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow, Vancouver-based luxury label Obakki creates elegant, refined and timeless pieces for the modern woman and is available in higher end retail outlets like Holt Renfrew. The company’s charitable arm, The Obakki Foundation, has a strong focus on providing clean water and education to children in Africa. Obakki absorbs all the administrative fees for the registered charity, allowing 100 per cent of the organization’s public donations to go directly into its charitable initiatives.