Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn Eco Clothing Share!

One thing that hasn't changed since my academic career ended six years ago and my big girl job started- the urge to buy new clothing each fall. I'm fairly sure we're conditioned from 5yrs of age to BUY as soon as September hits. In high school and my undergrad it was a special event that my mom and I would take to Halifax (towards the end, straight from the airport) for a trip to the mall.

Now part of my green ingrained self is checking labels and buying Canadian (or US) made clothing... at least, green fabrics would be even better.

This can be tricky at best- for one it's difficult to find clothing made in Canada and with responsibly treated fabrics (such as organic cotton or eco-bamboo rayon) and two, when you do find them they usually cost quite a bit more.

I wanted to share a few of my more recent favourites, two mostly 'yoga' clothing lines that are not too bad on the eco-scale, relatively affordable (if you buy only a few items), uber versatile (which is essential for pricey-er items) and last a long time in fashion and wear.

Just a quick note, though: Bamboo really isn't the miracle save all of eco-fabrics. It's honestly a shame, since it would be SO easy to just buy bamboo rayon and feel GREAT about the purchase. Honestly, the process of changing bamboo the grass into bamboo the rayon requires a lot of energy and chemicals. Some companies and certifications are better than others: check out a more detailed post on Bamboo fabric, and an updated post with eco-tips by Ecoholic.

1. Downtown Betty:
This is a Vancouver based company with some funky yoga mat bags, guitar soft cases (which I am still woo-ing from afar) and the best part: fabulous dresses. I currently own THREE Downtown Betty Dresses; The convertible, the stable dress and the t-shirt dress. I love all three. They're made with a portion of bamboo fabric in Canada, fit beautifully and even work well with leggings. I especially love that each dress (and item) has a little bicycle tag sewn somewhere on the dress. My convertible dress is on year three... and still perfectly fabulous.

My only reservation with Downtown Betty: the unease I feel with their First Nations fashion... it just strikes a little too closely to cultural appropriation. Especially since their models are obviously NOT First Nations. That and their ridiculously sexually posed models (really- why the convertible half pulled up showing her panties???? bah).

In Halifax you can purchase Downtown Betty at Bhavana Yoga Boutique on Quinpool (just above Heartwood).

2. Tonic:
This is also a west coast Canadian company with yoga and daily wear that rocks! All their clothing is made in Canada and many have a portion made with sustainable (esque) materials such as bamboo. I love love love their yoga wear, a higher quality than Lululemon (kinda like what Lulu USED to be before they sold out and had their clothing Made in China) at a similar or lower price.

Currently I own a fantastic wrap (four years old and still looking fantastic!), two leggings (which are also ridiculously awesome) and a yoga top and bottom. I especially love my new Tonic dress which is so comfortable and looks amazing. I can wear it with leggings at work and it's perfect.

You can also peruse and purchase Tonic at Bhavana (seriously, if you're in Halifax and looking for eco-wear, this is a great store to check out).

3. Crimson and Clover Consignment Boutique:
They've just recently opened up their second floor and expanded. I never knew consignment shopping could be so much fun and give me such fabulous designer finds! (All gently used, so eco-friendly!)

Check out my blog post on them a few months back and definitely check them out if you're in the city!

There you have it! What are some of your favourite new eco-clothing company finds?

article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. I wish they would make eco-friendly clothing for tall people! Unfortunately, even some eco-friendly companies that attempt to make tall clothing (Tonic), the inseam is still too short! And don't get me started on fitting a chest into specialty eco-friendly clothing. Hello Gap, Old Navy and Lululemon....not so eco-friendly.

    1. ah yes- eco-friendly clothing still isn't the 'norm' enough to be very all encompassing. I find it difficult for certain things for my 'boobally impaired' self as well.

  2. Well, you already know that the globe is my "local" so I'm not a huge adherer to the "buy local" movement. But I do try to "buy ethical" and shop from companies that use fair-trade inputs and pay fair labour wages in good conditions, no matter what country they are paying them in.

    When it comes to clothes I think one of best ways to be eco-friendly is to buy second-hand! While it's not really practical with yoga clothes (second hand sweat, yuck!), second hand shops are always my first stop for things like skirts, sweaters, accessories and winter jackets! In the UK there are now even online second-hand shops - don't know if there is anything like that in Canada yet!

    1. online second-hand shops! cool! i'm sure they would be available to my online shopping (if they shipped to Canada) but i haven't heard of this before :)
      Crimson and Clover, my third option, is a second hand store and they carre Lululemon actually!

  3. A bit off-topic, but I really like how Canada uses the phrase "First Nations." Not that I think "Native American" is a poor choice or anything, but First Nations just sounds more respectful to me.


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