It’s the middle of January, and we are officially IN IT: The depths of winter, when we have all fully forgotten what it’s like to leave the house without bundling up completely. There is nothing to do at this stage but EMBRACE IT. What January calls for is all of the layers. Shawls, wraps, scarves, socks and stockings. It’s time to lean into winter and basically embody it like an earth mother. Or, if you like, witchy woman / queen of darkness. These 7 brands – all sustainable, all locally-made in Toronto, are here to help us keep the magic alive with our style now.
If you, like me, have fantasies of owning a super-luxurious handmade kimono, keep Ellemairco creatrix Lauren Mair on your radar. She makes them to order from new and preloved light and heavier-weight textiles in silk, linen, cotton, and pashmina so you can choose what season you want it for. Her designs are so pretty you’ll feel like you’re basically draped in a garden.
For over 20 years, this brand (and previously, storefront on Queen West before the fire back in 2008), has worked with reclaimed vintage fabrics to make new, one-of-a-kind pieces. So, pants find their way into a dress, leg warmers get constructed from wool sweaters, etc. Preloved founder Julia Grieve says she’s an ‘accidental environmentalist’ – but the brand’s multiple awards prove she’s the real deal. Check out their cozy chic jackets and sweaters.
All Hoibo garments are made from strong, Canadian-sourced canvas, linen and wool and handcrafted in the Distillery District. For timeless fall / winter pieces like overcoats, wool slacks and toques, buy something from here once and have it for years.
If you’re planning to brave the great outdoors in any way this fall or winter, stop here first to suit up. Muttonhead is a one-stop-shop for quality, ethically-made items that’ll keep you protected from the cold – hoodies, sweatpants, flannel button-ups, hiking socks, and backpacks and bags. Prepare for a winter camping or cottage trip RIGHT the first time!
For those who want to be so cozy that they tend to wear the same single sweater from October onward, Encircled has a solution. Their Chrysalis Cardi lets you wear one sumptuous garment for an entire week without anyone noticing it’s actually the same thing. It can be styled 9 different ways – a cardi, to a tunic, to a one-shoulder dress, to a poncho, and more. This, and other versatile pieces perfect for cold weather, are all handmade with sustainable fabrics in Toronto.
So you might be forced to be swathed in all the hefty fabrics from now until the first signs of spring, but: you can smile knowing that that you’re wearing underneath is spicy af. Fortnight Lingerie is a female-made, Parkdale-made, stunningly hand-crafted lingerie line offers beautifully detailed bras and bralettes, body suits and knickers. Keep the heat on this winter with a treat from Fortnight.
Logan and Finley
If you want a rain jacket made of fibre from the pulp of eucalyptus trees or maybe a pair of sheer tights made of salvaged fishnets lost at sea, you can find it here. You can also get less-waste solutions here like to-go coffee mugs and stainless steel straws if you really want to make a resolution of it this winter. Logan and Finley brings together more than 40+ of the best green lifestyle items under one roof. Go and be inspired to make green a lifestyle.
(Story by Contributing Editor, Kait Fowlie)