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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Specialty: Canadian sustainable fashion/accessories
About: Workshop carries over 150 independent Canadian fashion designers and are committed to purely selling Canadian-made products.
8th and Main
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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