Do Big Retailers Sell Ethical Clothes?!?

When we think of sustainable and ethical clothing we often think of small independent shops and online boutiques. For the most part this is where a lot of ethical gems are found, BUT with the growing interest and demand for ethical clothing some major retailers are starting to carry a few forward thinking brands!

So which brands and where?!

Let’s start with the grocery store…Whole Foods to be exact. Not only can you get an impressive amount of fair trade food and home goods here (bananas, coffee, chocolate, tea, roses, spices, sugar) you will also find some fair trade certified threads. I was just at Whole Foods picking up pizza (they have delicious and cheap fresh pizza for takeout) and snapped some photos of their clothing racks. At the moment they are carrying PACT Apparel (socks, underwear, sweaters, tanks, tees, dresses) and Gypsy & Lolo hats. I actually had some birthday moola and picked up a lovely sun hat from Gypsy & Lolo (see pic). I’d been looking for an ethically made sunhat for two years! It was a big moment. They also carry Synergy clothing sometimes. Both Synergy and Pact are great brands to go to for lounge and sporty casual wear. They’re affordable and both Fair Trade Certified 🙂

Simons is the next stop. This store can be super overwhelming when you first enter because it’s ginormous. I usually ask a clerk to direct me to the brands I’m looking for or else I’ll get lost. This season at Simons you can find a small collection of Yoga Jeans (Made in Canada), Up! pants (Made in Canada) and Othersea bathing suits (Made in Canada). I’m somewhat disappointed that Simons isn’t carrying more Canadian clothing seeing that they are one of the few Canadian owned retail chains left. Hopefully we will see more options in the future!

SAIL, another Canadian owned retail store, largely focuses on outdoor/sport gear, but surprisingly carries a nice variety of women’s ethical clothing. This season you can find full collections from Message Factory (Made in Canada), Patagonia (Ethically made, some FTC), Prana (some Ethically made), Fig (some Made in Canada), tentree (Ethically made), Toad & Co (Ethically made). SAIL is worth a visit if you’re in the market for casual wear. Fig even has some work friendly items available.

I put together a quick chart below to show which brands you can get at which major retailers. Watch for another blog on which local run Canadian shops have ethical clothing options! Follow the blog to keep in the know!

Mountain Equipment Co-opPrana, Girlfriend Collective, Organic Basics, tentree, Toad & Co, Patagonia, Wigwam, MEC brand, Synergy
Whole FoodsPACT, Synergy, Gypsy & Lolo
Sporting LifePrana, Patagonia, Yoga Jeans, Jerico, tentree
SAILPrana, Message Factory, Patagonia, FIG, tentree, Toad & Co
SimonsUp!, Yoga Jeans, Othersea

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