Fighting Back Against Fast Fashion

There are dozens of excellent reasons for buying from local artists and fashion designers rather than large companies. My friend, Emma, and I went to the Cabbage Town Arts and Crafts festival this past Sunday and we had so much fun that it called for a bottle of bubbly.

Here are my top 5 reasons to celebrate finding an awesome, Made-in-Canada product:

1. It has a much lower carbon footprint

When you buy a garment from a huge multinational clothing store, you can be sure that the various parts (dyes, cloth, zippers, buttons, etc) and stages of production have been out sourced to different companies around the world. These complex supply chains ensure that your dress is made as cheaply as possible. It also means that pieces of your dress have been shipped over oceans in large cargo ships and across vast stretches of land in gas-guzzling trucks before it reaches the store. In countries where environmental standards are lower, loosely regulated factories allow more harmful chemicals to enter the surrounding environment.

2. It has been made ethically

The Made-in-Canada label signifies that your product was made in a country with good labour laws and workplace safety standards that significantly decrease the chance of an employee getting injured on the job.

3. It is unique!

We all like the idea of owning a smashing piece of clothing that nobody else has. At the market this past week, my friend and I found this great little shop, Ellemair Co., that sells re-purposed cloth as beautiful shawls and kimonos. In fact, there were hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of unique art and other goods. Small, Canadian companies are usually not making products on the scale of The Gap and other fashion giants so you are more likely to be the only person sporting that blazer or those fancy new shoes.

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This is me posing in my blazer from Ninety-Eight, a fashion lined based in Toronto. The pants are made by another Canadian designer from the west coast, Nicole Bridger.

4. You support a local artist or designer

Duh! More Canadians should be investing in our small-business owners. It’s always fun to buy a piece of clothing from the person who designed or hand-made it.

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Elle Mair is on the right. She is a small-business owner who re-purposes textiles into beautiful new hand-made shawls.

5. You become a eco-friendly and ethical trend-setter

Before you know it, all of your friends will be coming to you for advice about where to get the best stuff with the lowest carbon footprint and made with love!

Cheers to fighting fast fashion and supporting local businesses!

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