The Best Vegan & Cruelty-Free Fashion Brands in Canada
Canada is a land of breathtaking natural landscapes and futuristic metropolises. However, 2021 isn’t a year to remember for Canadians, as they endured a stream of extreme weather conditions. Indeed, the year began with windstorms and floods that caused multi-billion dollars of damage. Then Canada continued to warm for the 26th consecutive year, and in July, no place in the world has warmed more than Northern Canada. This is insane.
We’ve selected 12 Canadian fashion brands that not only use the most sustainable materials and produce ethically, but also strive to eradicate cruelty on animals from the industry. Can’t wait any longer to talk more about them!
Are you looking for bags – crossbody, buckets, backpacks… – and accessories with a luxurious look that don’t cost the planet and animals? No need to look any further, Matt & Natt has got you covered! Passionate and in awe of the world around us, the idea for MAT(T)ERIAL and NATURE came to life in 1995, in the vibrant city of Montreal.
They’re committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials and utilize innovative and sustainable materials to produce high-quality and long-lasting products in a small range of colors. All of their linings are made of recycled plastic bottles. Believe it or not, they recycle over 9 million plastic bottles annually (approximately 21 bottles for every bag). They also offer a selection of shoes and clothes specifically designed for the Canadian weather.
Where could we start talking about this amazing brand? (Can you tell that we love it?) Anyway, let’s start with what Native Shoes produces, that is footwear – shoes, boots, and sandals – for the whole family. So basically, for every season they have what’s right for you. The shoes are made of EVA, a lightweight, shock-absorbent, hand-washable, and odor-resistant material.
They are a PETA-approved brand and have also created Lhotse, the boot of the future, partnering with Save The Duck. Native Shoe produces in Chinese and Vietnamese factories where ethical practices are stringent, including the prohibition of forced labor, regulation of wages, and monitoring of working hours.
At Pixie Mood they believe style can be trendy, functional, and kind for the animals, people, and our planet… all at the same time. They’re committed to creating bags for every occasion and need in a range of natural colors, textures, and patterns from innovative, low-impact materials that encourage a brighter future and cleaner planet. They recycle plastic bottles to make solvent-free vegan leather. Pixie Mood is even climate positive, which means they create an environmental benefit by helping remove carbon from our atmosphere with every order shipped.
I put a lot of thought into designing our bags, obsessing over the little details that make them amazing and, of course, cruelty-free. Listening to our customers is a priority in my design process, it helps me to be thoughtful about how I can design for their lives.
Maylyn & Co. is a PETA-approved brand that creates comfy yet luxurious lingerie and sleepwear from sustainable and vegan premium fibers. Their pieces – colorful and timeless – will keep you cool and fresh all-day, all-night! All their products are made slowly and in small batches with less excess stock.
What we do love the most about this brand is their PETA-Approved Vegan silk made with recycled polyester (from plastic bottles and containers) and Lotus fibers grown free of any chemicals or toxic materials. They partner with family farms and workshops in Rudsar, Persia – their home country – and do regular visits to ensure the quality is aligned with their standards.
Categories: everything – from clothing and shoes to watches and perfumes Materials: wide range For: women, men Price range: CAD $47 – $1,190
allTRUEist is a responsible retailer home of premium vegan items and conscious luxury. They’ve even been awarded by Positive Luxury with the Butterfly Mark in recognition of their commitment to social and environmental sustainability. allTRUEist carefully curates each designer (over 15 to date) they work with: every designer must produce ethically and sustainably.
By shopping on allTRUEist, you can be sure that all products are 100% cruelty-free and contain no animal by-products. Also, although a designer they might work with may not be 100% animal-free, they’ll only purchase and offer items that contain no animal products. As if this was not enough, they only work with brands that exclusively use eco-friendly materials as vegan products are not always sustainable and can have a negative environmental impact.
Did you know that a traditional down-filled parka can take up to 19 geese to fill? New and innovative vegan alternatives create the warmth and feel of down without causing any harm to animals! And Wuxly ethically produces vegan and sustainable parkas, winter coats, fleeces, and accessories that are built to last and deliver superior performance.
They select hardcore tech-based insulation materials that deliver warmth and performance without harming animals and sacrificing quality. The insulations they use are PrimaLoft – a batted insulation that provides the ultimate warmth-to-weight ratio with breathability – and Sorona – a lightweight down alternative with the same heat properties that allows air to be trapped in the light and fluffy bio-based fibers.
Categories: boots, clogs, accessories Materials: recycled plastic, cork, natural and recycled rubber For: women Price range: CAD $198.9 – $288.3
Thesus is a proudly BIPOC woman-owned and women-led brand that designs 100% vegan, versatile, comfortable, and functional footwear that you actually want to wear, on-or-off a trail year-round.
All of their shoes are handmade in a family-run factory in Portugal from recycled ocean plastic, natural tree rubber, and locally sourced cork. 1,527g of waste is removed or diverted from our oceans and landfills per pair.
Norden Project creates “Better Outerwear for a Better Planet”. The Montreal-based brand combines environmental practicality with a modern aesthetic to keep you warm, and stylish, and your conscience clear.
When it comes to our expectations of a sustainable and vegan brand, Norden checks all the boxes. The company is a B-Corp that’s also PETA-approved and uses 100% recycled materials from certified sources. And the fact that their puffers, parkas, and other outerwear have a timeless, minimalist style you can wear forever is just a nice bonus.
Categories: jackets Materials: regular and recycled polyester and nylon, PrimaLoft For: women, men Price range: CAD $45 – $551
Any kind of technical jacket you could ever wish for, Baro Drywear has already created it for you. Along with a small selection of headwear, Baro designs waterproof jackets that sustainably blend style and function for living with fewer items in our closets.
Baro’s pieces are made for rain and cold, and their waterproof and breathable system is hard to beat: they use a breathable laminated membrane to ensure you stay dry and don’t overheat. They still use regular polyester, which we hope will change anytime soon, but their latest collection has been made with up to 80% recycled materials like plastic bottles and nylon manufacturing waste.
Soft Focus is a size-inclusive brand that designs basics and essentials in a range of delicate patterns and natural colors to dress consciously on-trend every day, even though you can find some staples with bold hues and shapes as well.
With their pieces – produced in small batches, from sustainably sourced, plant-based materials – you’ll have the comfort and ease of your favorite PJs, but with the polish of a totally put together look. All the excess material is up-cycled into small accessories like scrunchies and scarves, perfect for completing your look!
Solios is on a mission to reconcile design, elegance, and sustainability. They indeed create minimalist, solar-powered, sustainable, and vegan watches. What more could you ask for? By buying one of their watches, you’ll have a small accessory with a big impact, ethically manufactured, and with timeless aesthetics.
Wearing a solar watch doesn’t mean you have to constantly sunbathe! Their solar cell can hold a power reserve of 6 months after sitting under the sun – or artificial light – for 2 hours. No more battery replacement. No more planned obsolescence. No more maintenance.
The True Compassion is a small brand you can find on Etsy that actually does great things. Yes, indeed, all of their basics (mostly unisex) are organically and ethically made in North America, and proudly inspired by music and tattooing. Everything at The True Compassion is 100% vegan and ethically made.
If you’re looking for vegan, sustainable clothing that shows encouraging and motivating quotes about veganism – such as “Meat Free the way to be” – and that’s made on-demand to avoid waste and overproduction, you can’t help but support this small business. You can even personalize what you buy!
Alberta Bernardi is a Ph.D. in Management, Innovation, and Sustainable Development. She likes to call herself a “sustainability warrior” because she aims to spread knowledge on the environment, ethics, and plastic pollution day after day. Her love of nature and battle against plastic around the world are on Instagram @together_no_plastic