Founded by husband and wife duo Michael Gaughan and Donna Smith, this Canadian fashion retailer focuses on three key themes: using sustainable materials (bamboo is a favourite); supporting local manufacturers; and minimizing its carbon foot print by dyeing, designing and tailoring clothing in Toronto. Miik also creates fashions that don’t follow trends—instead, the brand’s offerings concentrate on classic cuts and styles. The spring 2015 collection features colour-blocked neutrals with vibrant hues, dresses with reversible necklines and timeless separates.
‘Tiffany’ reversible maxi dress. $189; ‘Bev’ button-down tunic $145; ‘Colby’ reversible dress, $165. miik.ca.
If you’re drawn to minimalist clothing, this New Zealand brand will speak to your sartorial sensibilities. Offering simple designs in billowing silhouettes, geometric prints and crisp fabrics, Kowtow is dedicated to using only certified fair trade organic fabrics that are sustainably made, from seed to garment. The dyes used are also free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.
‘Endless’ shirtdress, $220; ‘Installation’ dress, $164; ‘Never Too Late’ jacket, $314, kowtowclothing.com.
Nella Bella by Tarek
This Canadian handbag brand uses state-of-the-art vegan fabrics that are easy on the environment. The sophisticated bags blend fashion and functionality. The perfect carryall for commuters, we’re especially fond of the brand’s newest line, the Nu Essex collection, an office-to-happy-hour handbag, with cross-body, top handle and clutch styles all inspired by Manila envelopes.
‘Exec’ Nu Essex bag, $149; ‘Topcoat’ Nu Essex bag, $79; ‘London’ Nu Essex bag, $129, nella-bella.com.
H&M Conscious Collection
Environmentally mindful and fast-fashion don’t often go hand in hand, but H&M’s Conscious Collection has made an eco-friendly mark in today’s market place. Items are constructed from sustainable fabrics, and, true to the brand’s message, clothing is cool, on trend and affordable.
Skirt, $220; dess, $80; shirt, $150; earrings, $22, hm.com/ca.
With experience working for beloved Canadian fashion brands such as Preloved, Peach Berserk and Pam Chorley’s Fashion Crimes, Jennifer Fukushima started her own line, Paper People Clothing. After 12 years at the helm, she recently began a new design endeavor, a self-titled fashion line that features natural fibres and ecologically-conscious blends. Her high-quality cut-and-sew pieces are all manufactured in Canada.
‘Virginica’ skirt, $189; ‘Spinosus’ cardigan, $269; ‘Lilium’ tunic,$109, jennifer-fukushima.myshopify.com.
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