The Best Canadian Indie Boutiques to Shop When You’re Sick of Big Chains

By Ebony Goodridge

Date June 18, 2018

Canada has long been home to a thriving scene of local, off-the-beaten path designers. However, sometimes it’s easier to lean towards shopping for fast fashion best bets rather than going to extra mile to seek out something new and adventurous.

Nonetheless, Canada’s fashion landscape is full of incredible indie boutiques, who all carry an unbelievable selection of unique fashion pieces that you wouldn’t be able to find at a bigger conglomerate. These local brands are innovative, fiercely supportive of other Canadian designers, and actively practice slow fashion, proving that there’s no shortage of socially conscious talent in the Great White North.

We’ve curated our favourite indie boutiques for when you’re sick of big chains, online and in real life, that showcase our home and native land’s flourishing creators.


Where?: Edmonton

Specialty: Slow and sustainable fashion
About: Founded by Canadian style blogger Alyssa Lau in 2014, New Classics Studio is committed to social responsibility and environmental awareness. They curate global fair trade labels who also share similar views on sustainable fashion like Suzanne Rae, Kowtow, and RAFA, proving you don’t have to give up aesthetics for ethics.

Where?: Toronto

Specialty: Designer handbags and accessories

About: Originally a pop up shop on Queen West, Zane has since evolved into a full fledged brick and mortar store. The brand believes that accessories are forms of visual punctuation used to express who you are and offer a quality selection of both local and international designers.

Where?: Victoria and Vancouver

Specialty: Smaller international labels

About: Run by husband and wife duo Matt and Kim Jensen, Still Life prides themselves on carrying quality retail goods from around the globe, with a focus on modern brands.

Where?: Ottawa and Toronto

Specialty: Labels from Canadian women designers

About: A self-described “rock and roll tea party”, Victoire is a feminine boutique that carries over 80 predominantly women designers. Not only are they unabashedly feminist, they are proud supporters of Canadian talent as well.

Where?: Calgary

Specialty:  Boho-chic

About: At 27 Boutique, you’ll find a large assortment of brands from around the globe, from QUAY sunglasses to Chinese Laundry boots. This store is perfect for the girl who wants to feel like they’re shopping a perfectly curated best friend’s closet.

Where?: Hamilton

Specialty: Canadian made clothing/accessories

About:  Independently run and woman-owned, White Elephant showcases independent makers from Canada, while also focusing on local and sustainable designs that are both classic and contemporary.

Where?: Ottawa

Specialty: Canadian sustainable fashion/accessories

About:  Workshop carries over 150 independent Canadian fashion designers and are committed to purely selling Canadian-made products.

Where?:  Victoria, Vancouver and Toronto

Specialty: Trending styles

About: 8th and Main is a contemporary unisex clothing store with a rustic vintage aesthetic similar to Urban Outfitters, but cheaper price points that won’t break the bank.










Photography by Mike Windle/Getty

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