By Dani Jansen
This post is not sponsored.
The fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world. And I know I’m one of the people contributing to that pollution.
For a long time, fashion for plus-sized women was so limited that I’ve gone a bit overboard in recent years as more options became available. I have Old Navy and Forever 21 pieces in my closet, even though I know fast fashion is bad for the environment and ultimately bad for my wallet.
One of my goals for 2019 is to invest in a wardrobe that is better for the environment while supporting Canadian makers.
As I attempt to reduce my ecological footprint, I’m on the lookout for more sustainable clothing. And while more options are available to plus-sized shoppers, it can still be difficult to find pieces made in Canada. I’m sharing what I’ve found because I wish more lists like this existed.
This Quebec-based company makes comfortable, sustainable clothing in sizes XS to 3X. I’ve only tried their leggings, but the material is soft and stretchy. The leggings have washed well, and to preserve the material, I haven’t put them in the dryer. They aren’t super opaque, so if you wear your leggings as pants, the summer-weight leggings from Frëtt may not be for you.
The style is comfortable, bohemian and colourful, with some classic pieces.
Price range: $40–$200 (with some great sales!)
Sizes XS to 3X
Lilikoi uses ethically sourced fabrics and sews their pieces in British Columbia. Their size range could be wider, but the pieces I’ve purchased have great stretch. Their 2X fits me well, and I’m currently a size 18–20 in more popularly available clothing ranges, like Gap or AdditionElle.
Lilikoi’s dresses, sweaters and shirts are all comfortable. Their fits are pretty classic, with pops of colour and beautiful handmade prints.
Price range: $40–$170 (with some great sales!)
Sizes XS to 2X
Encircled creates minimalist clothing in Toronto. I’ve bought their fancy sweatpants, and I could not be happier. They are comfortable but dressy enough to wear to my business casual workplace. I love the high waist and strong pockets. The ruching detail at the ankle is cute, and the fabric is more opaque than any of the inexpensive yoga pants I’ve bought over and over.
As with my other Canadian-made clothing, I tend to machine-wash this with other clothing but hang it to dry. If I’ve spent good money on something, I want it to last.
Though their size range isn’t as generous as others on this list, I appreciate that they have at least got some plus sizing. Also, the dressy sweatpants have great stretch!
Encircled is making basics that will last in your wardrobe for years. They’re not interested in following trends—they’re creating clean and classic silhouettes.
Price range: $45–$250
Sizes XS to XXL
I’m lucky to be able to shop at the IRL store in Montreal, but anyone can get a Lustre piece through their Etsy shop. Lustre pieces are beautifully tailored and modern. The fabrics are carefully chosen by the designer. I love every single item I’ve purchased, from simple skirts to playful dresses, and can envision them in my wardrobe for years to come.
If you want something unique for your wedding, the designer, Yasmine, even makes bridal pieces!
Price range: $30–300
Sizes 0 to 18 (generous measurements)
Ureshii’s custom-made, colourful clothing is made in PEI. They use mostly bamboo fabrics, which feel soft and luxurious. Their pieces range from feminine and playful to basic. And they are serious about fit! Their online “fitting room” includes careful how-to-measure instructions as well as a chance to include a photo of yourself for reference.
Price range: $15–$160
Sizes open! Since pieces are custom-made, every piece fits perfectly.
These are retro-style dresses with fun, modern prints. Also, every dress has POCKETS!!! This BC-based brand knows what women want in a dress. My dresses have worn and washed well. Cherry Velvet is very responsive to email inquiries to help you understand fit and pick the right style for you.
Price range: $150–200 (with some sales)
Sizes XS to 4X
This is the sister brand to Cherry Velvet. These styles are more comfy-chic and feature organic fabric. They also have a solid size range. I haven’t tried this brand yet, but am seriously interested in their leggings and tunics.
Price range $100–$300 (with some sales)
Sizes S to 3X
Any other Canadian brands I should check out?