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Holt Renfrew's H Project Uncrate program is focusing on ocean conservation for its 2020 edition.Handout

Bringing awareness to ocean conservation is the goal of this year’s Uncrate program at Holt Renfrew, now in its sixth edition. Uncrate Oceans features a curated assortment of more than 45 global brands working with ecofriendly materials or donating proceeds to Oceana Canada, an international organization focused on ocean conservation. “No matter what culture you’re from, we’re all connected to the ocean. That was our catalyst,” Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s divisional vice-president of brand and creative strategy, says.

The H Project Uncrate program began in 2014 as a way to celebrate and bring awareness to cultures and craftsmanship from around the world. Upon entering this new decade, Weston felt that it was time to expand the initiative’s scope. “As we were looking for products for our seasonal buy, we started noticing more and more innovations in textiles. Seeing more of the brands that we were already carrying had this incredible story around recycled materials, regenerated materials, all of these things that were definitely focused on creating less harm through the production of the goods,” says Weston.

A large selection of Uncrate Oceans merchandise is available through Holt Renfrew’s website, including ready-to-wear, activewear, accessories, jewellery and homeware as well as an extensive collection of sustainable swimwear. On April 18 and 19, Holt Renfrew is planning to host a national charity shopping weekend with the goal of raising $200,000 from net sales for Oceana Canada.

H Project Uncrate Oceans, at select Holt Renfrew locations,

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Stella McCartney Dress, $1,145.

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Dinosaur Designs Large Bowl, $365.

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My Bag Saves Whales Tote by Gallant Designs, $35.

Style news

American denim brand Levi’s has partnered with New Balance on a new sneaker. Set to launch March 26, including online at, the Levi’s x New Balance 1300 sneaker combines the signature styles of both iconic brands. Evocative of 1980s dad style, the show combines the silhouette of the 1300 sneaker, which turns 35 this year, with Levi’s White Oak denim. The sneaker features orange accents, including a Levi’s orange tab, as well as a special hangtag. Although the two brands have forged an ongoing partnership, this design is of limited supply.

With Hudson’s Bay celebrating its 350th anniversary this year, North America’s oldest company is receiving a special commemoration. The Royal Canadian Mint has created a trade token replica $10 silver coin featuring a historic design that is a near-exact reproduction of a 19th-century fur trade token issued by the HBC during the 1860s. With a limited mintage of 10,000, the coin retails for $44.95 online at and

Nordstrom has introduced its newest men’s-wear concept shop. Concept 009: Thom Browne is a celebration of the many forms of men’s wear. It features more than 30 exclusive styles from designer Thom Browne, who is known for challenging and modernizing the modern-day suit. Featuring ready-to-wear, accessories and lifestyle pieces priced from US $110 to US$3,500, at the core of the collection is athletic-inspired styles with a focus on Thom Browne’s signature grey colour palette. Concept 009: Thom Browne is available until May 3 through

Skateboard apparel brand Vans has released an Autism Awareness Collection of sensory inclusive footwear designs. Designed with autism spectrum disorder in mind, the shoes in the collection feature a calming colour palette and design elements that focus on the senses of touch, sign and sound. The company worked with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards to create designs for adults, children and toddlers. Vans has committed to donating US$100,000 to A.skate Foundation, which introduces skateboarding to children with autism. The collection is available now through

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