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Aloja specializes in apparel sourced primarily from India.

As an antidote to the chaos of the fast fashion carousel, Aloja is a gentle reminder to slow down the pace of your wardrobe purchases. Located on a quiet strip of College Street just west of Toronto’s Little Italy, this boutique specializes in apparel sourced primarily from India. Step inside to a soothing rose decor palette, pops of greenery and neutral fixtures, including a stunning onyx countertop, which houses a jewellery display. On a warm day, fresh air breezes in from the back patio. It all creates a welcoming combination, evoking the name of the store, which means to host or accommodate in Portuguese. “I like how it resonates with the idea of having people over to take their time shopping, enjoying the experience of slow fashion and the appreciation of handmade and craftsmanship in clothing design in a relaxed atmosphere,” says owner Sabrina Ramos, who opened Aloja in 2017.

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The dressing rooms at Aloja.

A native of Brazil, Ramos was inspired by her visits to India to bring a selection of the country’s next-generation designers back home to Toronto. The resulting offering for women and men emphasizes traditional craftsmanship that’s been reinterpreted for the 21st century, supporting designers, artisans and co-operatives that follow decentralized, sustainable practices. You’ll find Delhi-based Eka’s loose-fitting aesthetic, crafted by a team of weavers, spinners and dyers from across India, on Aloja’s shelves. Ramos also stocks Bodice, an Indian label whose founder Ruchika Sachdeva was awarded the prestigious Woolmark Prize for women’s wear earlier this year. Aloja’s covetable line-up also includes Finland’s Samuji, which takes an organic approach to a classic Scandinavian sensibility and local designers such as Laura Siegel.

Aloja, 872 College St., Toronto, 416-533-5652, aloja.ca.

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Eka Dune Top, $400.

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Eka Austin Coat, $550.

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Bodice Culottes, $450.

Style news

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