When they decided to open a grocery store, Michelle Genttner and Luis Martins knew they didn’t want to go the standard supermarket route. “We both grew up in agricultural communities," Genttner says. “We grew up around having fresh produce and exactly what you needed and not in excess. We wanted to bring that back to the importance and values of what we should have in our community today.” In February, the couple launched Unboxed Market in Toronto’s Little Portugal neighbourhood. Its location previously housed a grocery store that was owned and operated by the same family for nearly 50 years. but today it’s the city’s first zero-waste grocer.
To shop at Unboxed, customers weigh reusable containers brought from home (glass jars and biodegradable bags are also available for purchase on site) before filling them with a range of locally sourced dry goods such as tea, cereal and pasta. Unlike the typical bulk shopping experience, Unboxed Market also offers fresh produce, a butcher counter stocking products from Ontario and a cheese selection, as well as milk, nut butter, personal care and cleaning products on tap. Their hot and cold tables serve ready-to-eat meals prepared daily in the full industrial kitchen downstairs and using ingredients from their own stock. Any packaged goods, such as yogurt or mustard, come in jars that can easily be reused, recycled or composted.
Unboxed Market’s ecofriendly approach has been met with a positive reaction, but isn’t without its challenges. Genttner says she’s continuously hunting for suppliers of specific food types – soba noodles for example – that meet their zero-waste parameters. “I think it’s forever going to be a work in progress.”
Unboxed Market, 1263 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 416-533-9017, unboxedmarket.com.
At the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai, China, explore an exhibition titled Mademoiselle Privé, which offers a glimpse into the creative process at Chanel. The exhibition, named after a sign founder Gabrielle Chanel had on the door to the creation studio at her rue Cambon maison, reveals three main components of Chanel: haute couture as reinvented by Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary Chanel No. 5 fragrance, which was released in 1921, and high jewellery, featuring a re-edition of Chanel’s 1932 collection Bijoux de Diamants. Following stops in London in 2015, Seoul in 2017 and Hong Kong in 2018, Mademoiselle Privé will be on view in Shanghai until June 2.
Two pop-ups are bringing Canadian fashion to shoppers across the country. Toronto’s Kotn, which recently launched a home collection, is hosting a pop-up in Montreal until May 14. Located in Mile End at 65 rue Saint Viateur Est, it will stock the brand’s Egyptian-cotton essentials such as T-shirts. And on May 3 and 4, Inland is holding its 10th shoppable showcase of Canadian fashion. With more than 70 independent labels taking part and free admission, Inland has also partnered with the founder of Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto on a display of contemporary Indigenous designers. Admission to the event, held at 134 Peter St. in Toronto, is free.
Montreal is the home of two new fashion collections. Footwear brand Aldo, which was founded in the city in 1972, has recently expanded its offerings to include styles for children. Aldo Kids is available in sizes 11 to 6 at select Aldo stores and online at aldoshoes.com and includes matching styles for adults. And Montreal-based online designer boutique Ssense was chosen as the exclusive global destination for the launch of American fashion brand Tibi’s debut men’s-wear collection. The 14-piece line includes blazers, trousers, tops and shorts in pastel tones courtesy of Tibi founder and creative director Amy Smilovic.
Lacoste has opened the doors to its new location in Ottawa’s Rideau Centre, marking the brand’s second concept store in Canada (the first is in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre). The new space honours the brand’s sophisticated French heritage while introducing high-tech offerings such as the 2019 arrival of the brand’s new digital customization experience, where customers can add a personal touch to select pieces in their preferred colour. Famous for its classic polos, Lacoste is amping-up its Canadian presence, with a new location opening in Vancouver this June, and online, with a new partnership with Ssense.com launching later this year.