Green With Envy

These days, you don’t have to look too far to find eco-friendly clothing, especially in our neck of the woods. We’re lucky to live in an area that has forward thinkers, business owners that are taking the initiative to carry brands that are making some serious changes in the world.

Can you believe that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world? Yep, that’s right. Right there behind oil and gas is the clothing industry. These days we see fast fashion everywhere we look. Deals, bargains and cheap clothing are ever enticing, but at what price? We have learnt that we need to know where our meat comes from but what about your clothes? I recommend looking into the brand that you’re supporting and figuring out if they fit your ethos.

Where are the clothes made?

Are they open about their factory conditions?

How are the factory’s practices affecting the environment surrounding them?

Are the workers being paid a fair wage?

What fabrics are they using?

It can be overwhelming. Luckily a lot of our local businesses are doing the hard work for you. It is inspiring to see them taking steps to support the companies who are changing the way they do things. For the love of the world, it is the only way forward.

The list is extensive (which is fantastic!), so I’m going to give you a quick rundown. But please, feel free to pop into any of the stores and ask more questions, or give your mate Google a quick workout. You’ll be impressed!

The Salvation Army

– That’s right, thrifting! REUSE! It’s the best and the Fernie store provides. From Patagonia jackets to vintage Levi’s, I’ve had so many sweet scores. I get a bit antsy if I haven’t been in there a while. I mean, what am I missing!?           

Edge of the World

- Tentree uses eco-materials in their products AND plants ten trees for every item you buy.

- Burton is working towards having their entire clothing line ‘BlueSign Approved’ which is a solution for sustainable textile production. They also use super sap in their snowboards, which is a bio epoxy resin and their snowboard cores are approved by the FSC as sustainable.

- Arvin’s motto is ‘the cleanest basics on the planet’. They do this by making everything from fabric offcuts, which also cuts out the dying/cleaning process to save water.

Ski Base

- Smartwool and Laundromat both deal with ethically sourced merino wool and go to great lengths to keep their products as green as possible.

Freyja Lifestyle Fashion

- Frank and oak are committed to minimizing their impact by prioritizing recycled fabrics and responsible practices to make quality small batch clothing that lasts. They focus on minimal impact products through the careful sourcing and use of eco-conscious materials and methods.

- Native Shoes are a vegan Canadian company. They also recycle old shoes into playground equipment.

Straight Line

- Straight Line understands that no matter how “green” a product is, the best action is keeping your current item for longer. Their main focus is keeping high-end mountain bikes repaired to a high level so that the owner can postpone consuming a new one.

- They also recycle scrap metal from their bike repairs and work with eco-conscious suppliers.

Gear Hub

- Kask of Sweden and Darn Tough Socks are both brands that use high-quality merino wool, which is biodegradable. Additionally, since merino is so smart, you don't have to wash it after each use, which saves water.

- Mammut and Deuter are both BlueSign Companies and are also part of the Fair Wear Foundation (who work with brands, factories, trade unions, NGOs and sometimes governments to verify and improve workplace conditions for garment workers).

- Montane has always been conscious of the environmental impact of their products. They source the highest performing and most environmentally sound materials available.

- Arcade Belts use natural materials and renewable fibres. They are also a partner of Protect our Winters.

- Buff Canada LTD is a small family-run business based in Canmore. Made from recycled polyester micro-fibre from PET bottles they are 95% Recycled.

- Level Gloves strongly believes in ethical principles and ethical business practices and use environmentally friendly materials, technologies and techniques wherever possible. Their products are intended to have a long life span, be repairable and recyclable.

- Watuko Headwear: Individually handcrafted headwear made from eco-friendly bamboo.

The Green Petal

- Danica has just come out with some wonderful new eco-friendly items: reusable produce bags, reusable snack bags, bowl covers for leftovers, and cloth shopping bags.

- Now Design has Swedish dishcloths - they replace paper towels and last approx. 3 months AND they biodegrade. They also have a line of cloth napkins and table runners made from recycled plastic bottles and reusable water bottles and coconut utensils. Very cool.

- Nooks Designs make children’s booties, which are made from up-cycled wool and leather.

- Sitka Studio makes beeswax wraps, which replace saran wrap and work wonderfully.

Honestly, I could go on and on, and I think that is a promising step to see eco-friendly brands popping up everywhere. Dreams of a sustainable lifestyle have turned ‘green’ into the new black, and the future is promising!