Shopping within a reduced budget doesn’t have to mean forfeiting buying with purpose. According to Shopify’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday Global survey, during this shopping window, 74 per cent of Canadian consumers are looking to spend money on higher quality products that will last, as well as willing to wait longer for them, while 53 per cent say they are more likely to buy from a brand that is sustainable.
Sustainability goes hand in hand with quality, and so it’s an investment: Buying well means you’ll be spending less over time. To get you started, here are just a few of the brands and retailers that are putting an emphasis on quality and sustainability for Canadians this season.
Shop with purpose: How to buy ethically and sustainably amid rising costs
Their story: What launched in 2014 as a bi-annual pop-up dedicated to Canadian fashion has since showcased more than 500 labels from across the country. Today, Inland also boasts a robust e-commerce platform at madeinland.ca as well as a pop-up at Toronto’s Bayview Village Shopping Centre, on now until Dec. 27.
Why they stand out: Founder Sarah Power has created the go-to source for Canadians looking to discover the latest small and emerging Canadian designers.
The buy on our radar: For the conceptual fashion lover who likes to make an impression that will last, look no further than this architectural dress made-to-order by Toronto-based, Tehran-born Shaghayegh Tafreshi. Plan ahead, as orders can take three weeks to be completed.
Shaghayegh Tafreshi P&R Oversize Dress, $680 through madeinland.ca.
Their story: A community of socially conscious design enthusiasts, Goodee is a Certified B Corp marketplace specializing in homewares and lifestyle products from responsible brands and artisans.
Why they stand out: Founders Byron and Dexter Peart come with a high-fashion pedigree (the Montreal-based twins founded Want Les Essentiels) and bring this haute point of view to Goodee.
The buy on our radar: A fair-trade bicycle basket handwoven in Ghana from locally-sourced straw with leather and brass details, Baba Tree’s colourful panier is sure to get plenty of use every summer.
Baba Tree Bicycle Basket, $138 through goodeeworld.com.
Their story: Founded in 2019, this Victoria-based apparel company specializes in clothing made of natural and biodegradable materials, including organic cotton and ethically sourced merino wool. They also produce award-winning nature films focused on biodiversity, living intentionally and more.
Why they stand out: Ecologyst manufactures exclusively in Canada and New York and offers repairs for life on most of their products, including their Fisherman collection.
The buy on our radar: The Fisherman sweater is an investment in a lifetime of style and warmth.
Ecologyst The Men’s Fisherman Sweater, $425 through ecologyst.com.
The Detox Market
Their story: This clean-beauty pioneer started as a pop-up shop 12 years ago on the trendsetting Abbot Kinney strip in Venice, Calif. Today, they continue to make clean beauty mainstream with three retail locations in Toronto and a partnership with Indigo.
Why they stand out: The Detox Market combines the joy of beauty with continuing social responsibility initiatives, like their commitment to be plastic neutral by 2023.
The buy on our radar: From female-founded Canadian skincare brand Three Ships, this new biodegradable hydrogel mask tends to the eye area without the usual plastic waste.
Three Ships Brighter Days Red Algae + Avocado Biodegradable Eye Mask, $37 at thedetoxmarket.ca.
Their story: Based out of Quebec City and with a retail presence across the country, La Maison Simons has been taking steps toward fulfilling social responsibilities and reducing its environmental impact for some 20 years. Two years ago, it formalized the sustainability standards of its merchandise with the Vision program, which outlines environmental and social values.
Why they stand out: A family-owned business since 1840, Simons has a history of supporting small Canadian businesses, most recently through the addition of Fabrique 1840, an online marketplace dedicated to local artisans.
The buy on our radar: Made to order in Montreal, Chikiboom watches feature recycled leather straps.
Chikiboom 36mm watch men, $100 at simons.ca.
Holt Renfrew H Project
Their story: H Project launched in 2013 and was recently joined by the Holts Sustainable Edit, a selection of products that have been chosen for their responsible production and materials.
Why they stand out: H Project is renowned for its highly covetable charitable collaborations with the likes of artist Christi Belcourt, as well H Project Uncrates, a collection of goods that focuses on uplifting ecosystems and traditional artisanal practices of different cultures.
The buy on our radar: Wrapped in a print by contemporary Canadian painter Meghan Hildebrand, this bar of soap was made in the Yukon to bring a breath of the wilderness into your life.
Anto Yukon Lump of Coal Soap, $12 at holtrenfrew.com.
Their story: Founded in Vancouver as fashion label in 2005, in the fall of 2020 Obakki relaunched as a purpose-led lifestyle brand, carrying a line of ethical handcrafted homewares and lifestyle products created in partnership with artisans around the world.
Why they stand out: With a permanent showroom in Vancouver and a pop-up at Holt Renfrew’s Montreal location until Dec. 28, Obakki founder Treana Peake brings a curated vision of global artisanal goods to Canada.
The buy on our radar: La Soufflerie is a not-for-profit that supports the Parisian glassblowing industry, and this vase was made in France especially for the city’s trendy Amour Hotel restaurant.
Amour Vase, $45 through obakki.com.
Their story: Kristi Soomer founded Encircled in 2012 to offer stylish, comfortable clothing that was suitable for multiple functions including frequent travel, meetings, socializing and unwinding, all while putting sustainability at the fore. Based in Toronto, Encircled’s workleisure is ethically-made in Canada of eco-friendly fabrics.
Why they stand out: This Certified B Corp is participating in Black Friday deals this year, offering discount codes and flash sales from Nov. 21 to 28.
The buy on our radar: A soft, blanket-like scarf made of a wool-free knit to cozy up in this winter.
Encircled The Wrap-Up Scarf, $138 through encircled.ca.