If you question consumer interest in Canadian design, consider that Simons’ Fabrique 1840 platform has racked up more than $1-million in sales since it launched in 2018. Named for the founding year of the Quebec City-based, family-owned fashion retailer, Fabrique 1840 is a digital space featuring products by artisans from across the country. “The idea behind it was really to create a space to promote and sell Canadian made-items,” says Cécile Branco, director of Fabrique 1840. “Supporting artists and artisans is really in the DNA of the brand. It was natural for Simons to start investing in more meaningful way.”
Fabrique 1840 features artisans working in a variety of lifstyle categories, from home decor and modern art to fashion accessories and stationery. Recent additions include Annie Axtell, a screen print artist from Vancouver, Akai Ceramic Studio in Toronto and La petite Leonne, a Montreal-based line of home and baby items. The current Fabrique 1840 roster consists of more than 115 makers and the retailer is aiming to increase that number to 500 (fyi: interested artisans can pitch their work to Simons by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to being featured on the Fabrique 1840 website and gaining exposure to Simons’ digital audience, participants have access to marketing services that include merchandising and professional copy writing and photography. “Most of the artisans we are working with are working by themselves. It’s very small, niche designers and what I personally like about this project is connecting with these passionate people and being able to tell their stories,” Branco says. “For me, there are only advantages to supporting small businesses.”
Simons Fabrique 1840, fabrique1840.com.
DA Ceramics Cloud Mini Bud Vase, $55.
ChopValue End-Grain Upcycled Chopsticks Charcuterie Board, $133.
Three Sisters by Emma Lavender Arrow Earrings, $190.
In collaboration with Canada’s Food Island, McEwan Fine Foods is bringing the culinary specialties of Prince Edward Island to Ontario residents with a selection of PEI meal kits. Available to be ordered for pick-up and delivery, these patio party boxes include lobster, mussels, oysters, beef and potatoes in addition to recipes created by the culinary team at McEwan Fine Foods. This partnership began when travel restrictions were in place because of COVID-19. For more information, go to mcewancatering.com or visit McEwan’s Toronto locations at Don Mills or Yonge and Bloor.
Known for its signature Face Oil, Toronto-based skincare company F. Miller has released a Nalgene water bottle design as part of its ongoing support for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. One hundred per cent of proceeds from the sales of the bottle are being donated to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, an organization dedicated to protecting and defending the human rights of Black transgender people. The first release of the bottles sold out in four hours, however, a second edition is available to be preordered at fmillerskincare.com.
Two big beauty brands have recently upped their commitment to sustainable and cruelty-free practices. Secret Deodorant (secretdeodorant.ca) has joined PETA’s Global Beauty Without Bunnies Program and has been added to PETA’s list of companies and brands that do not test on animals. And after launching its TerraCycle razor recycling program last year, Gillette Venus has announced that, for a limited time, it will also be accepting other beauty and personal care waste to be recycled. For more information and to a prepaid shipping label, visit venusrecycling.ca.
Korean beauty brand Innisfree will soon be opening a new location at the CF Markville shopping centre in Markham, Ont. With more than 1,500 square feet, the store will open its doors on July 31. Known for products made of natural ingredients sourced from Jeju Island, Innisfree will stock its selection of skincare, makeup, haircare and body care. To mark its debut, customers will have access to limited promotions including a Canadian exclusive beauty set featuring four bestsellers. For more information, visit innisfree.com.
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