15 Canadian brands paving the way to a more sustainable future

Apr 22 2022, 1:00 pm

It’s been 52 years since the first Earth Day and today, more than one billion people in 190 countries around the world participate in the environmental movement. It’s considered the largest secular observance in the world. 

In honour of the day, we’re bringing it home and celebrating these 15 Canadian brands leading the way in sustainability. 

ecologyst

Founded in Victoria, BC, ecologyst is more than an apparel brand. It believes in owning fewer, better quality pieces made from nature, for nature. As well as being an official Living Wage Employer and partner of 1% for the Planet, the brand operates sustainable practices and has recently partnered with the Carbon Neutral Club. Products are built to last and come with repairs for life.

 

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Thesus

Thesus is proudly BIPOC woman-owned and women-led, and continues to ensure diversity in all ranks as it grows. The outdoor footwear and accessories company boasts a line of vegan and sustainable products made with over 95% natural and recycled materials. It has aligned itself with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ensure it is always at the forefront of addressing ocean pollution, climate change, and economic inequalities.

 

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Wanderruff

Started in Vancouver by Paul Irwin and Anisa Musmary, Wanderruff is a design-focused eco-friendly dog accessories brand offering a line of durable leashes, collars, and harnesses using thread spun from recycled post-consumer plastic. As partners of 1% for the Planet and the Pacific Parklands Foundation, Wanderruff keeps the environment, and your canine companion, front of mind every day. 

 

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Herschel Supply Co.

Global backpack and apparel brand Herschel Supply Co. is setting high standards for sustainability. The Vancouver-started company is committed to developing a line of products that minimize its environmental impact while leaving a lighter footprint on the planet.

Last year saw the launch of the Eco Collection – an innovative lineup of backpacks crafted from post-consumer water bottles. By the end of next year, over 70% of Herschel’s bag line will be made from recycled materials. 

 

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tentree

Tentree well surpassed its brand name, and to date has planted more than 74 million trees. An impressive impact given that tentree’s replanting has removed millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, lifted entire communities out of poverty, and reforested the equivalent of 12,000 football fields.

As one of Canada’s most celebrated sustainable brands, the company is constantly looking for innovative ways to make apparel by leaving the smallest possible footprint. 

 

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Human Essentials

A sweaty pursuit – Human Essentials is a new to market Canadian deodorant company born out of the need to address the beauty industry’s mammoth use of plastics. The brand currently offers four unique scents that sit within an innovative peelable canister that’s 100% biodegradable.

Human Essentials is also vegan, plant-based, and cruelty-free, and considers zero waste and all-natural ingredients to be the least it can do to honour the planet.

TAMGA Designs

TAMGA is known for its bold and colourful bohemian-inspired styles and premium quality clothing using the world’s most sustainable materials. The brand shares exact water, energy, and emissions that are saved through each product purchase, and on its homepage, you’ll find the real-time impact it’s achieved.

TAMGA is committed to replanting the rainforest and has partnered with Sumatran Orangutan Society, donating 1% of annual sales to the organization. 

 

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The Good Tee

Adila Cokar was inspired to create The Good Tee in 2020 after coming face-to-face with the harsh knowledge of high suicide rates among farmers. Her brand is the only company in Canada that uses Fairtrade certified Cotton, sourced from farmers in India. A certified B Corp, The Good Tee is fully transparent in its supply chain and traces every step from seed to warehouse. 

 

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LONDRE

Dreamed up by Ainsley Rose and Hannah Todd, LONDRE is proudly and sustainably made in Canada. So far the company has recycled more than 750,000 plastic bottles sourced from the beaches and streets and crafted them into sustainable swimwear lines. The Vancouver factory operates as their hub and from there they pay their staff with a well above a living wage, offer a repair program, and ship out using compostable packaging made from corn.

 

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KOTN

Since its founding in Toronto in 2015, KOTN has made huge strides in sustainability. The brand is now a certified B Corp with the fourth-highest B Impact Score of apparel brands in North America. By sourcing directly from the Better Cotton Initiative and small family-run farms in Egypt, and focusing on natural fibres – the result is buying less and enjoying longer.

In partnership with a local NGO, KOTN donates a portion of each sale to a fund to build schools in parts of Egypt – so far it’s funded 15 and built seven.

 

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NORDEN

An outerwear brand with tomorrow in mind. With NORDEN, you can look great, bear the below-freezing Canadian winters, and know you’re taking steps for a more sustainable future. Founded by Mayer Vafi in Montreal, NORDEN offers a line of raincoats, parkas, and puffers, made entirely made from repurposed waste and recycled materials.

The PETA-certified company offers a full-circle program so when you’re done with your jacket in three years or more years, they’ll take it back and either donate or recycle it, and you’ll get 30% off a new one.

 

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SAINT

SAINT is a Toronto-based beauty brand that’s putting the planet first. It partners with organic farmers that use sustainable methods and package responsibly. All packaging is made with FS-certified paper (responsibly sourced), and the product offering is free from parabens, sulfate, carmine, and more.

SAINT is leaping bunny certified, natural, and fragrance-free. Its mission for supporting women runs deep, and 2% of all sales goes to helping abused women and children locally at Interval House in Canada. 

 

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Frank And Oak

Founded in Montreal in 2012, Frank And Oak is on a mission to Inspire Better Living. With sustainability at its core, it is designing premium and modern looks that not only feel great but are lighter on the environment. The certified B Corp brand set sustainability goals in 2019, and so far 78% of its assortment is responsible, and 100% of its wool is recycled or certified cruelty-free. 

 

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Matt & Nat

Sustainability has always been at the heart of what Matt & Nat does. Since the beginning, the brand has been committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in its designs. In 2007, Matt & Nat changed the linings of its accessories, so they were made solely of 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Today, the brand recycles more than nine million plastic bottles annually in its manufacturing, and the company has set a goal to become fully sustainable by 2023.

 

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Native Shoes

Big sustainability goals lie ahead for Vancouver-based footwear brand Native. The first project in its journey is The Native Shoes Remix™ Project, an initiative that recycles your well-loved shoes and gives them a second life in projects across the community.

So far, Native has built five playgrounds in Vancouver and has stated that by next year, every pair of Native Shoes will be 100% life cycle managed. The entire product offering is animal and cruelty-free, and the brand has been awarded the PETA Approved Vegan certification.

We’re totally in love with the Jefferson Blooms — an innovative new take on the classics, made with repurposed algae, which helps to restore clean air and water back into the environment. They come sized from C4 to Men’s 13, so everyone in the fam can match!

 

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Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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