Monday, May 10, 2021
Home Perspectives Shopping Small for Sustainability

Shopping Small for Sustainability

I’ve always been conscious of my environmental impact, and lately a big focus of mine has been shopping sustainably. Only recently, though, did I realize the amount of brands that focus on sustainability, and making sustainable products. I was surprised to find out that there are so many brands outside of thrift shopping at second hand stores such as Value Village or Goodwill where you can buy sustainably! I’ve always been a fan of supporting small and/or local Canadian businesses, so I reached out to three different brands that pride themselves on their sustainable products and asked them a few questions about their brand and their ethics.

Maison Tess.

One of the company’s environmental commitments. 

 Maison Tess. is a home textile brand located in Montreal, Quebec. Their products, ranging from pillowcases to duvet covers to towels, are all made of sustainable fabrics and sell from around $55 to $300.  I love that they stay true to their ethical roots and make sure that they are taking all the right steps to create sustainable products. To be honest, I had never really thought of sustainable bedding until I reached out to Maison Tess.; it’s a product that we all use everyday and yet the environmental impact had never even crossed my mind. If you’d like to check out their products, you can click the link and/or check out their instagram page, @maisontess . Here are their answers to a few of the interview questions that I asked:

What does your brand do/sell?

“We are a home textile brand selling conscious bedding for everyone. Our small scale production is designed in Montreal and made in Portugal by a family-owned mill.”

Why do you focus on sustainable and/or eco-friendly products?

“It’s been our priority since day one, we couldn’t think of another way to do it – we care about people and the environment. We are proud to collaborate with manufacturers whose work ethic reflects our values and who create premium products with the finest fabrics.”

How has this impacted your brand?

“From the start, we’ve made sure to stick to our values and always strive for improvement. We take customer recommendations seriously and always want to offer products that we are proud of. In the past year, we have become members of the Better Cotton Initiative, which secures a sustainable future for cotton and ensures better practices from farmers.”

How is your brand sustainable and/or eco-friendly?

“Our sheets are OEKO-TEX® Certified, produced by manufacturers who use solar panels and reuse water and heat – and our production is shipped out to us four times a year only. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and our team is constantly trying to find innovative ways to be more environmentally friendly. For example, our orders are shipped in eco-friendly packaging and we donate our returned sheets to a charitable organization to avoid waste.”

How do you think sustainable and eco-friendly brands impact our society?

“We can’t talk for other brands, but for us, the main goal is to create awareness, we want sustainable options to become the norm, not the exception. It’s our responsibility as a brand to offer quality products that are environmentally friendly so that customers can make better decisions.”

Why do you think people should shop sustainably?

“We are all working towards a shared goal and everyone needs to play their part. This means shopping locally if you can, researching brands you want to buy from, or opting for natural fibers if you buy home linens.” 

Any other comments?

“We encourage slow consumption – we believe high quality bedding, if properly cared for, can last for many years. That’s why it’s so important to invest in products you believe in from the start.”

Kd Vintage Goods.

Kd Vintage Goods. is an online vintage store located in Ottawa, Ontario that upcycles vintage clothing. They collect and thrift vintage products, restore them, then resell them so that they don’t go to waste. It’s really great to see products that would usually be thrown away revamped and reworn to create less unnecessary waste. As well, this brand offers different styles and sizes in an attempt to make their catalogue inclusive. If you’d like to check out their products, you can click the link and/or check out their instagram page, @kdvintagegoods . Keep an eye out for inventory drops!

What does your brand do/sell?

Kd Vintage Goods. is my online shop that sells curated and upcycled vintage clothing for ALL humans. My collection mainly carries garments from the 50’s to the 90’s.”

Why do you focus on sustainable and/or eco-friendly products? / How has this impacted your brand?

“I really do try to focus on the sustainability side of my business the best I can. My main focus is usually to find products that need special attention such as mending, hemming, and fixing any issues with clothing that perhaps was the reasoning for the previous owner to have given it away. I focus on this part as there are so many garments that have been tossed away that couldn’t be bothered to be fixed. I think this has impacted my brand as I feel that it makes my products personal and special as each garment has had a little extra love and care put into.”

How is your brand sustainable and/or eco-friendly?

“My goal is to make it as sustainable as possible while learning and trying my best to make it even more every day, in any way I can! When buying vintage or just thrifted modern day clothing, we are recycling and creating less waste.”

“I honestly believe that thrifting and vintage is not only stylish and cool, but it’s almost like a sustainability movement. Folks are becoming more aware about the unethical side of buying new, specifically from fast fashion brands that mistreat humans. People are also seeing the physical damage that is happening to the earth due our constant need to have new products all the time. People are consuming without thinking how a product was made, and how it will affect our earth and the people that are making these products.”

How do you think sustainable and eco-friendly brands impact our society? / Why do you think people should shop sustainably?

“I totally believe that everyone can do whatever they can to do their part, as long as it is accessible to this individual. The truth and somewhat sadness of buying newly made products that are completely and ethically made,is that it is unfortunately not accessible to all people with different ranges of income.”

“I believe that is why people are turning to buying second hand as it is more accessible as we have an eclectic amount of charity shops that have ranges of prices. Thrift stores are seeing different  walks of life come in and it’s amazing as it’s now removing the negative stigma towards buying second hand. When you’re supporting an ethical or sustainable shop, you’re also supporting local(or more  likely to be a local business), paying people fairly, and saving the earth from excess waste!”

Hounds of Vintage 

Hounds of Vintage is a vintage clothing store located in Sackville, New Brunswick. They re-sell vintage items to reduce the waste that is created by clothing companies. What really drew me to this brand is the fact they’ve partnered with Community Forests International so that they can plant a native tree every time an item is sold. It really showcases their initiative with sustainability and their positive environmental impact; they go the extra mile to not only recycle clothing, but also help the local ecosystem at the same time. If you’d like to check out their products, you can check out their instagram page, @houndsofvintage .

What does your brand do/sell?

“Hounds of Vintage is a vintage clothing store in Sackville, New Brunswick, and focuses mostly on vintage denim, leather, vintage and designer items.”

Why do you focus on sustainable and/or eco-friendly products?

”The fashion industry is the second most toxic industry to the planet behind energy. Approximately 2 billion clothing items are produced each year that are never worn by a body. This amount of waste is unacceptable and HoV was born out of a desire to change people’s attitudes toward clothing and their consumption of it.”

How has this impacted your brand?

“It has been the core of my brand since the beginning; “Buy Vintage, Save Earth” is our motto.”

How is your brand sustainable and/or eco-friendly?

“90% of products sold are second-hand. A native tree is planted locally for each item sold thanks to our partnership with Community Forests International. So far we have planted over 1000 trees together on land that is protected from industrial logging indefinitely.”

“Much effort is put into using my social media platforms for education around sustainability and other social justice issues.”

How do you think sustainable and eco-friendly brands impact our society?

“I don’t think they do to be honest. Eco friendly brands and products are a drop in the bucket in relation to the monumental changes our society needs to make in terms of production of food, energy, and other goods and services.”

Why do you think people should shop sustainably?

“I think it’s important but more importantly is to vote for candidates advocating for serious climate change action and to add your voice to those fighting for environmental justice. Protest is important and vital but there are many, many actions that can be taken to advocate and support tackling climate change and racial justice.”

Any other comments?

“Black Lives Matter, Land Back, Defund the police.”

These small businesses, along with many others, are here to help the world become a better and greener place. Shopping sustainably isn’t just a luxury anymore but rather a lifestyle choice that we can all incorporate into our routines. Before you purchase an item, do some thinking and some research about the product and the brand. By reducing the support given to fast fashion brands, the fashion industry can take a step towards ending the enormous negative environmental impact that it has today. Remember to support your small local businesses!

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Are you Afraid of the Dark

Are You Afraid Of The Dark? By Adam Harris Leaving a teenage boy floating in nothingness, staring down...

The Food Waste Crisis in Canada

In this digital age of challenge and change, society has finally begun to tune into the dangers of global warming. The key...

Islamophobia Today

Welcome to October. We set in gear, ready to give thanks, put on our costumes and cram down on a year's supply...

DDSB Workplace Harassment Investigation

Chances are you haven’t heard about the large workplace harassment investigation that began last summer within upper level management at the Durham...

Recent Comments