Buying from a sustainable, eco-friendly brand is a trend that’s spiked in the past couple of years, but it’s also about buying comfortable, durable, and attractive garments from companies that you can trust. If you’re on a mission to make a social impact while still looking good, these Canadian menswear brands can help you out.
Not into the frills, but want stylish and well-made staples that will last? Miik men have the best bamboo basics for men. All garments by the locally produced, sustainable brand are based on the concept of luxe basics such as jackets, pants, and tees. The materials are all modal, Tencel, and bamboo rayon, which is an unbeatably soft combination (my sheets are made of this blend, and I haven’t gone back to cotton in years). It’s not necessarily the cheapest, but that’s a good thing. Their “unconventional essentials”, as they call them, are generally around $112 CAD, but that’s because the fabrics are long-lasting, and local manufacturing comes at a cost. But wouldn’t you rather invest in this durable tee for the next five years instead of some $5, sweatshop-produced one that you’ll need to replace annually?
54 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E9
A slightly more budget-friendly option would be KOTN, with tees clocking in at around $30 CAD on average, and sweaters at $75. Definitely a streetwear friendly aesthetic with its silhouettes and colour palettes, but it still abides by minimal solid colours. Key pieces also include their track pants, polos, and boxer briefs and shorts that will elevate your comfort game to the max. Their fabrics are Egyptian cotton sources from the Nile Delta. It’s the most breathable, softest, and finest cotton so for those with a cotton-only agenda, this is the best of the best, at a reasonable price. KOTN partners with family-owned farms in Egypt who create their own fabrics from raw cotton. An ultra-comfy brand with creative approaches that you’ll keep coming back to.
Still in the dark about where to get sustainable and classy shoes? Poppy Barley has handcrafted loafers, dress shoes, and boots that are well-designed, aesthetically gorgeous, and feel like slippers. They also offer narrow and wide options. The design factors are carefully selected for comfort, performance and durability, and are physiotherapist approved! Their main consumers are ecstatic, per their comments on the Poppy Barley reviews page. You won’t be able to find a better shoe brand that’s as comfortable and well-crafted as an orthopedic shoe, with the sophistication of an expensive Italian brand. They also host pop-ups in Toronto twice a year.
Available at various locations around the city, here
Matt & Nat focuses more on the accessory essentials, like bags and wallets. Their backpacks, briefcases, and weekenders are made from vegan leather, but you’d never guess it. The aesthetic looked expensive, with sleek silhouettes and muted colorscapes inspired by nature, for under 200. The materials might look like leather, but its just a creative use of materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber, and cork. Since 2007, the linings have been made out 100% recycled plastic bottles. If you want the leather look without the environmental repercussions, Matt& Nat should be your first stop.