What sets Canadian designers apart?

June 30, 2016

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John Lennon asked us to imagine a world where there were no countries. Countries have borders and borders separate us. Sometimes, when we’re separated from each other, when we think and feel differently from each other, it gives us cause to misunderstand each other, to judge, even to hate each other. I think what Lennon was really asking us to do is imagine a world where there was no hatred and prejudice, country or no country.

Countries aren’t the problem, it’s how we as people react to our differences whether they’re with our neighbours, other cities, provinces and other nations. Canada is a country that has done a pretty good job of being inclusive and welcoming despite being a country and having borders and all of those potentially dividing elements. The majority of Canadians embrace each other’s differences and I’d argue that these differences are a part of what make us Canadian.

I hope for a future in which everyone around the world can celebrate differences more, embrace them and hold each other up rather than be threatened by each other. So this post is about celebrating Canadian designers, all of their differences and what they have in common. Tomorrow is – after all- Canada Day, and although some say it goes against our humble, Canadian nature to be proud of our accomplishments at times, the design talent in this country needs our support and deserves our support. If each country empowers its designers in their efforts to make positive change in the world, that change will come true and we as a whole planet will be better off for it.

No one knows this better than Sarah Power, founder of INLAND, a popular showcase of great Canadian design now in its second year with a growing roster of 65 designers and counting. I’ve referred to INLAND’s list of designers often when looking for new Canadian talent to consider for EITHER/OR. It’s been a great resource! INLAND is Power’s way of promoting more responsible consumerism in the hopes of preserving our Canadian culture and our planet. In celebration of Canada Day, Power shared with us her thoughts on Canadian design and some of her favourite labels.  Read More

Ingenuity will save #smallbusiness

June 22, 2016

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A global shift

Our world is currently in a significant transit phase. Every aspect of society, from the economy to the environment is up for discussion and disruption. Change is everywhere, in technology, communication, politics, art, design, transportation, industry and fashion. It seems that we have collectively but perhaps unconsciously agreed to work towards a more sustainable, ethical, mindful global society, but this transformation doesn’t come without its growing pains.

One example of this is in retail: online and in person. Come this fall, I’ll officially be a small business owner. With this title comes the responsibility of representing other small business owners and sharing in their struggles and triumphs. But in this age of e-commerce, in which EITHER/OR will be deeply embedded as an online shop,  the ties between brick and mortar stores and online ones are a little shaky and some store owners are wary of e-commerce and its effect on in-store business. This is a valid concern that the online and offline shopping communities should address together in consultation with buyers. Read More

#MadeinFrance fashion line is sublime

June 21, 2016

Until I transition this blog to the shop’s on EITHER/OR, my posts will be a bit all over the place. I’ve morphed EF into a melting pot of posts about sustainable small business how-to’s; sustainable fashion issues; profiles on emerging eco-fashion brands and work-life balance.

I hadn’t featured an international, ethical label in a while and then (POUF!) Paris-based Les Sublimes touched base a few weeks back to say hello and let me know that they’re launching their inaugural #MadeinFrance collection today via their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

Despite the fact that my shop will feature Canadian-made and -designed fashion, it’s important to highlight the efforts of designers and brands from around the world to build a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Read More

The problem with “conscientious” capitalism

June 13, 2016

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post for quite some time now. “Conscientious” capitalism has created “mindful” shopping, a new breed of consumerism that I’m happy is growing in popularity, but that I’m also wary of. Ever since the first sustainable fashion clothing appeared on the market in the 1980s, people have questioned whether or not fashion – a product of a capitalist system – can ever truly be socially and environmentally sustainable.

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Minimal packing for Italy

June 9, 2016

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I’m finishing off this post at the Hotel Kleopatra in Napoli, Italy. Yup, Cleopatra with a “k”. K as in klassy. Now that my two-week Amalfi Coast trip is over, I can tell you how successful or unsuccessful my packing plan was (see below).

Call me crazy, but packing for a trip is my favourite part of trip preparation. Actually, it’s more about planning the packing. My pack plan is where it’s at. It satisfies need for organization, careful planning and efficiency. Read More

Nine questions with KAZZ Clothing

May 18, 2016

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A business is made up of many moving parts, but for EITHER/OR, some of the most important parts are the designers. Without their beautiful clothing to choose from, I wouldn’t have any pieces to offer. This is an obvious statement I know, but it’s important to recognize the faces behind the labels. Read More

Disconnect to reconnect

May 15, 2016

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I’m off for a two-week trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy in just a few hours. It’s a much-needed vacation before I buckle down in late summer to put the final touches on the shop. By the way, have you checked out our landing page yet? It’s pink, pretty and waiting for you to submit your email address for our bi-weekly newsletter updates.

In the days and weeks leading up to a trip, I always find myself with the longest to-do list ever and a strange desire to finish every, single little project I could possibly ever have to do. There’s just something so satisfying about taking off and knowing that all of my loose ends are tied. Unfortunately, I never, ever finish all of those to-dos, nor should I feel that I have to. And once I land, I don’t even care. Read More

The day after Fashion Revolution Day

April 26, 2016

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Fashion Revolution Day marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, which killed 1,134 garment workers, most of them female, and injured more than 2,500 more.

Be honest with me. Do these figures really affect you?

They’re shocking and horrific, sure, but once you’ve said your “awes” and “that’s so sad” what else? What next? It’s hard to really, truly know what happened on April 24, 2013 during that awful event. We can only be so sad and affected before we’re called back to our present realities and off to the next thing.

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Fall in love with fairtrade fashion #30wears

April 18, 2016

I’m Angela, founder of the blog Sasstainable and I’m participating in Fashion Revolution Week – a global movement that’s turning fashion into a force for good. I’ve swapped blogs with the stylish fair fashion maven, Malorie Bertrand of EF Magazine and founder of the forthcoming shop, EITHER/OR. Read her Fashion Revolution blog post for Sasstainable here. To take part in this year’s Fashion Revolution Day on April 24th, we’re sharing our #haulternative Fashion Revolution stories. We’re refreshing our wardrobes and style without buying new clothes (may my wallet rejoice, namaste). My fashion #haulternative is a love story. I’m committing to loving what I already own, and only buying pieces that I can get at least #30wears out of, just like Eco-Age champion Livia Firth suggests.

Here’s the thing: I actually like buying new clothes. Read More

What is Fashion Revolution Day?

April 18, 2016

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Fashion Revolution Day is an annual, global campaign on April 24, which honours the victims of the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse of April 24, 2013 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Individuals and organizations from around the world take part in this special day in a variety of ways and ask fast fashion companies and manufacturers: #whomademyclothes?

The talented organizers of Fashion Revolution Day always give participants bright and beautiful imagery, messaging and key facts to use to promote the campaign and its efforts to raise public awareness of unethical labour practices in the garment industry.

The end goal of this day is to make sure that garment factory tragedies, such as the Rana Plaza collapse, which killed more nearly 1,200 people, never happen again. Fashion Revolution Day is a moment in time when anyone can add their voice to the growing crowd of people who refuse to accept the exploitation of people and planet.

To take part in this year’s activities, I’m hosting a Twitter chat via @shop_either_or with Angela Wallace of @Sasstainable. On Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. EST, I invite you to join us on Twitter while we #ChatSasstainable fashion for an hour. We’ll be asking questions, engaging with followers, and hope to get a great conversation going with you about Fashion Revolution Day and how we can all do our bit to change the face of fashion.

Read Sasstainable’s guest blog post published today.

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