As I was scrolling through my Instagram feed the other day, I realized that I’m following a lot of really great brands based in my home province of BC, Canada. I’m not sure if it’s just because I happen to live here so I’m more exposed to them, but there really seems to be a lot of slow fashion brands making a name for themselves here. So in today’s article I thought I’d compile a list of my favourite BC-based brands and retailers to share with you! It’s a great way to learn about and support local small businesses, and even if you don’t live here you might still find a couple new shops to follow.
I’ve listed them in alphabetical order for ease of use. For each brand I’ll mention which category they mainly operate in, their general price range, and where exactly they’re based. At the end I’ll also include a short list of retailers based here that sell goods from global slow fashion brands. If you have any other BC-based businesses that you think should be on this list, let me know in the comments and I can keep it updated!
BC-Based Slow Fashion Brands
A Bronze Age
A Bronze Age is a woman-owned brand focused on feminine, timeless garments and accessories like bags and scrunchies. Their pieces are all small batch or made to order. Their website states that they make ‘decadent’ garments, and I can’t think of a better way to describe them! Think lots of gathers, ruffles, silky fabrics, fuzzy slippers, and more. Their pieces are all as unique as they are beautiful.
ANIÁN creates timeless, quality clothing while prioritizing the environment. Their garments are very west coast-inspired and meant to withstand the elements. They carry a range of shirts and accessories like blanket scarves and hats for both men and women. They have recently begun the transition to using entirely recycled natural fibre textiles from landfills. By leading the way through example, they’re hoping to change the fashion industry for the better.
Arraei Collective is a women’s clothing brand based in Vancouver. Their style is a sort of modern bohemian, and all of their clothing is made in Canada from natural fibres. Their garments provide a way to connect back with nature and support a more conscious lifestyle.
Bare Knitwear offers high-quality women’s garments that support artisans in Peru. Their price point is quite high, but their pieces are so beautiful and well-made. Their collections are small and very intentional, meant to work well together and last a lifetime in your wardrobe.
Beaton has a range of simple, functional garments with a focus on versatility and timelessness. They are very capsule-wardrobe worthy staples, such as utility pants and jumpsuits. It’s a woman-owned business with a small production team based in Lund and around Vancouver.
Bees & Bones
Bees & Bones is a woman-owned business based out of Victoria that makes comfortable, stylish, and bold clothing inspired by natural elements. Their website describes their garments as “a collection of ideas, art, feelings and fibres formed into clothing.” Most items are made to order although they do have a small ready to ship section as well.
Buo is an independent jewelry label that features affordable and essential pieces. Everything is priced under $85 CAD making it quite accessible relative to comparable brands. They are a woman-run company and produce their pieces in small batches with fair and transparent pricing.
Decade Studio creates inclusive denim sized for any and every body. If that wasn’t enough, they also focus on making long-lasting, repairable and recyclable jeans that are as socially and environmentally responsible as possible. They offer in-person and online fit sessions to help you get the best fit possible from your denim.
Previously known as Sitka, Ecologyst is a sustainable brand that guarantees the quality of its pieces. Their belief is owning fewer, better garments that last a lifetime. All of their apparel is made in Canada and the US using natural materials like organic cotton and merino wool.
Fyo͞ocher is an eclectic and innovative brand that makes all of its clothing from upcycled and deadstock materials. Their clothing is made for every body with a size range of 24 to 42. Everything is made locally in Vancouver and each piece is truly one of a kind.
In true Vancouverite style, Glasnost makes waxed cotton rain coats for all ages. They are made to last and have a minimal, utilitarian style. Most items are made to order and all are designed and hand sewn in their studio in East Van.
Grey Hearts Denim
Grey Hearts Denim is a vintage menswear apparel brand that repairs and reworks locally-sourced denim and workwear. In addition to their shop, they provide alteration and repair services as well as a studio space and community for like-minded individuals in the heart of downtown Kelowna.
Harly Jae’s feminine and vintage-inspired designs were born from a desire to bring positive change to the fashion industry. They carefully select natural fabrics and work with a local manufacturer in Vancouver to create conscious pieces that can be cherished for years to come.
Hendrik Lou is a sustainable knitwear brand that makes its pieces to order at their Vancouver Island studio (you can also shop them at Open House, listed in the Retailers section of this blog post down below.) Their pieces are made from natural and sustainable fibres like fair-trade alpaca, organic cotton, linen, flax, and silk.
HEX Metals and Minerals
HEX Metals and Minerals creates handmade jewelry for all genders featuring raw crystals and metal hardware. They are working hard to subvert gender and aesthetic norms and promote the visibility of queer and trans people of colour (QTPOC).
Jimi Collection creates handmade garments using natural fibres. Their pieces are made to order and feature a west coast-inspired style and capsule wardrobe friendly designs.
Korinne Vader is a small collection of women’s clothing with simple and timeless designs. They use only natural fibres in production such as tencel, linen, and hemp, and give back to the community through the sale of their ceramic mushroom tree ornaments.
Londre creates high-quality, flattering swimwear with the lowest possible impact. They use recycled plastic bottles to create their pieces, and all of the water used in their production process can be re-used. Their suits can also be recycled.
Nettle’s Tale offers swimwear for women from all walks of life, including bikinis and one-pieces. They value local and ethical manufacturing, inclusive sizing, quality, and thoughtful design. They also have a retail shop in Vancouver (@nettlestaleshop) where they sell their swimwear and clothing as well as other goods.
Nicole’s designs combine her passion for the environment and sustainability with her love of sewing. She has created a capsule collection of simple garments thoughtfully handcrafted from natural fabrics. Her styles are versatile, effortless, and vintage-inspired.
Okakie is a Canadian First Nations fashion label. They offer free tailoring with all of their pieces as well as a lifetime warranty. Their designs are classic and feminine, ideal for capsule wardrobe lovers. They also come at a very approachable price point.
Power of My People
Power of My People designs timeless and classic pieces that are key staples for any wardrobe. Think minimalist button-ups, tees, and relaxed fit pants. They use natural, high-quality, ethically-sourced fabrics and offer styles for both men and women.
Salt Shop is passionate about ocean conservation, and their brand of sustainably-made essentials reflects that. Their garments are all designed locally and produced in Vancouver. Their pieces are long-lasting, functional, and reflect a deep respect for the west coast environment they are inspired by.
Offering a focused line of essentials in linen, Shelter is a slow fashion collective inspired by the principles of beauty, quality, and sustainability. Their line is made in small batches by a team of women in their Courtenay studio.
Based in: Victoria
Today Denim creates custom garments from vintage and textiles. Their motto is “aesthetics with ethics”. Unfortunately at the time of writing this it looks like their website is unavailable, however they’re definitely worth a follow on Instagram in hope that they re-open soon.
Uniform Handmade is a small batch, minimalist women’s clothing label. Their garments are handmade with natural fibres, capsule wardrobe friendly, and meant to inspire a simpler way of life.
Vestige is a one-woman brand focusing on premium lifestyle goods for a mindful and creative lifestyle. Their small batch clothing is made by local tailors in Vancouver, and are meant to last a lifetime in terms of both quality and style. Behind each of their designs are stories collected from women of different paths which are then woven, sewn, or embroidered into each garment.
Your Bag of Holding
Your Bag of Holding was born in Vancouver and has since moved to Victoria. A woman-run business, YBH is known for beautiful sheepskin and leather bags. They are all designed and made in-studio by Emily Heffring.
We Are Stories
Tracy Fillion is the textile artist behind We Are Stories, and her brand focuses on weaving, seasonal plant dyeing and made to order linen clothing. She is committed to ethical production, quality materials, and minimalist clothing that is wearable for all seasons.
BC-Based Slow Fashion Retailers
Aside from brands that are designing and making goods in BC, there are also a handful of amazing retail shops that carry ethical and sustainable brands from both local and global makers. Shopping at these stores is a great way to support local, small businesses and also skip global shipping and import taxes, so a win-win!
Ad hoc is a clothing boutique in the Okanagan Valley that carries exceptional pieces from local and global independent designers and artisans. I love following them for inspiration from amazing brands like Lauren Manoogian, Monica Cordera, Et Tigre, and more.
Calculus is an independent, multi-brand boutique based in Victoria with a focus on menswear.
Charlie & Lee
Charlie & Lee is a Vancouver-based shop that sources products from indie designers & artisans from around the world. Some of their brands include Beaumont Organic, Monica Cordera, Zii Ropa, and Black Crane.
Luna Collective is a small shop showcasing a curated collection of handmade and vintage goods. They sell items from over 75 independent artists and small businesses, from homewares to clothing and accessories.
Merge is a shop of thoughtfully curated goods with a focus on Canadian-made products. Their selection aims to effortlessly inspire and uplift simple moments and rituals.
Category: Clothing, Accessories, & Home
Based in: Victoria
Open House is a shop and studio space in Victoria. They offer clothing brands such as Monica Cordera, Worn Store, and Jungmaven. Currently they offer shopping through Instagram DM.
One of a Few
One of a Few is an amazing little retail shop located in the heart of Gastown in Vancouver. They sell designer women’s clothes, shoes & accessories from established & emerging labels with a focus on slow fashion and sustainability, such as Lauren Manoogian, Jesse Kamm, Paloma Wool, and Rita Row. A lot of their stock is out of my personal price range, but I still love to follow for inspiration.
Still Life is a go-to boutique for quality goods for women & men from independent designers and brands from North America and abroad. Brands include Bare Knitwear, AGOLDE, and Girlfriend Collective.
Textile is a boutique located in the heart of downtown Kelowna with a focus on slow, sustainable fashion. They take pride in the ability to trace the origins of each piece and stock brands that use natural or recycled fibres.
Woo To See You
Woo To See You has two brick-and-mortar shops in Vancouver. Their clothing is chosen with a developed style in mind rather than specific designers, and they buy and stock in small amounts. They also offer jewelry, accessories, and other lifestyle goods that are mainly local, small run, and/or handmade.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that you maybe found a new BC-based brand or two to follow! If you’re not located in BC, what are some of your favourite local brands? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Thanks for reading,
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Featured photo by Amos G on Unsplash