One of the harshest environmental impacts we as humans have is actually from our clothing. Many of our clothes are made from plastics (such as polyester) which don’t biodegrade. Cotton though biodegradable, is hard on the planet due to the vast amounts of water it requires to grow, and the large amount of pesticides used to increase crop yields.
Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out and buy sustainable clothing. I realize it’s not feasible and heck it’s difficult to know where to even start. But you may have noticed that I’m a big believer in making small changes. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to try. Every little bit counts, especially when it comes to being environmentally friendly. So, my recommendation is still get that dress you love in the window. Just maybe try and limit to only purchasing the dress and not another pair of shorts you don’t need, and to look for a more sustainable option to replace your old sweater.
In an attempt to make this easier, I’ve brought together three brands that I’ve actually purchased from and researched that focus on sustainable fashion. All three are available here in Canada but they also ship to other countries too. They also tell you how many resources you’ve saved by purchasing from for each individual item when compared to mainstream fashion, which I think is really cool. If you're interested in more sustainable plant material used for fabrics one of the three companies listed below has a great starting information page that you can check out here!
Logo image taken from the Ten Tree Website
First up is the brand that opened my eyes to sustainable fashion. Ten Tree at first sounds like just something to draw you in- they plant 10 trees for every item you purchase. But it totally isn’t. They have amazing tree planting initiatives across the world (they plant in ten different countries!) and they often work with local communities to really make a difference. Haiti for example they plant primarily orange trees so that the local farmers can grow food for themselves to eat and sell which allows them to reforest and re-establish the vastly degraded ecosystem as well as take care of themselves. If you’re interested in learning more about what they do check out their page -> Here! and just scroll to the bottom of the page and then click on the country you want to learn more about.
|My favourite Ten Tree t-shirt|
In addition to all the good this company does, they also have some awesome clothes for both men and women. I LOVE my tree-line print t-shirt- it’s my favourite colour and it’s super soft. The quality of all their products I’ve found to be top notch. They are so well made and feel like new even a couple years later. These aren’t cheaply made clothes that are going to fall apart in one season.
I recommend their mystery bag if you’re new to the company. These are bags of five items in either men’s or women’s and they include clothing in your indicated size and/or some of the ten tree accessories such as their hats or towels. The best thing about the mystery bags is that you get the five things at a much-discounted rate and it’s a great way to try multiple things from the brand. The mystery bag can include discontinued products, new products, and products that didn’t make it to larger production even.
|Wonderful organic cotton sweater from Ten Tree|
I own quite a bit of ten tree products including a tree-line sweater, a tree-line t-shirt, an aurora borealis t-shirt, an organic cotton dress sweater, a ¾ arm t-shirt, a purple Ten Tree logo t-shirt, a pair of really lovely cushy socks, and a tank top. The photos above of the rumpled (but clean!) clothes are mine from Ten Tree.
|Adorable picture of Ten Tree's Little Sapling shirt. Image taken from Ten Tree Website.|
They also recently introduced some adorable outfits for children including t-shirts that say “little sapling” and “future planter” on them. They go perfect with the adult options with “mother nature” and “plant for the future”.
I really love the nature theme of this company and the laid-back feel. Ten Tree has free shipping over $85 CND and when you sign-up for their newsletter you’ll get a discount code to use.
|Logo image taken from Greening Australia|
Next up is my newest find, Boody. Boody (or Boody Wear) was originally founded in Australia but is now available in Canada and the USA as well. Boody focuses on basics like underwear (for both men, women and babies) but their stuff is wonderful. The main fabric they use is organic bamboo. Because of this bamboo based fibre all of the stuff I’ve gotten from them is so soft! I picked up a four-pack of their midi-brief underwear and they had a promotion on for a free pair of socks and all five items have really lived up to the hype about them. The socks are cushy and thick; the underwear, super soft and almost silky feeling and best of all they don’t ride up. I have a major problem finding underwear that doesn’t ride up and these don’t. They are just the right tightness around the legs that the fabric stays in place but doesn't feel tight or uncomfortable. They are so comfortable to wear at times it’s like wearing nothing at all. Very light weight, breathable and stretchy. I will be purchasing more from them in the future.
|Boody Midi-brief Underwear (Image from their website)|
One of the neat things that Boody does is that they actually make the underwear in tubes from the bamboo fabric. I’m not sure how the process works exactly but this makes the whole garmet making process have significantly less fabric waste. They also have taken great lengths to ensure that their company pays employees fairly, and that they work in safe conditions. You can see all they’ve done on their website where it explains their certifications in detail and what those certifications mean.
|Image from the Boody Wear (USA) Instagram. I couldn't pass this image up, she's so beautiful!|
The newest thing Boody has done is put out their underwear styles in nude shades that fit more skin-tones rather than just the single traditional shade. There are the traditional beige but then there are three more darker shades. Unfortunately, they haven't released these shades to the Canadian site yet, nor have they opened them up to all of their underwear styles. Initially this made me really happy that there were four nude tones available, as it shows an inclusivity that is often missing in many mainstream brands let alone in more sustainable niche ones. However, I do think they should have released them across their entire line and to all of their websites (not just the US one). You can do it Boody, there are people of colour all throughout the world, please continue the good work you've started.
Boody has free shipping over $49 CND, and you can get a newsletter sign-up code for your first purchase. They often have deals as well so you can see what might work best for you.
|Logo image taken from their website.|
Finally, and probably my favourite for their edgy fashion style alone, is Nomads Hemp Wear. This Canadian based company has clothing for men and women and it is so interesting the little details that they put into their clothes. They often use organic cotton, bamboo and/or hemp fabric in their clothes which are all better choices environmentally but also create super soft and lovely clothing. Most interesting is that they've been at it for over 20 years!
|Images of the Oasis Tank taken from the Nomads Hemp Wear website|
I have two things from them so far, their Prizm Tunic which is super stretchy and cool with the neat zig-zagging fabric across the body, as well as their Oasis Tank, perfect for summer in how light-weight and breathable with bonus tassel on the back (that surprisingly is not annoying).
|Prizm Tunic from Nomads Hemp Wear|
|Albacore Capri image from their website|
I’ve been eyeing up their Albacore Capris too. Their stuff is like unique designer fashion with a sustainable backbone. They are also certified fair trade. In addition to clothes they have some jewellery and shoes available too.
Another great thing about Nomads Hemp Wear is that they too plant trees when you purchase from them. For every individual item purchased they plant one tree through a program called One Tree Planted. It's very cool and you can read a bit more about it Here. Like Ten Tree knowing you've helped with reforestation when you buy something just creates such a great feel-good effect.
Nomads Hemp Wear has free shipping over $100 CND, and they have a sign-up code via e-mail subscription sign-up.
So that's it for now, I hope you have a better idea about some sustainable clothing you can purchase here in Canada. Do you have any favourite sustainable clothing brands? Please let me know in the comments, I really want to explore other brands.
Quick Disclaimer: I am a Ten Tree ambassador, but through the program I have not received anything financially other than a one-time coupon code. Ten Tree does not know that I've included them in this post and none of the links included for any of the companies are affiliate links.