Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Want to Buy Canadian, But Not Sure Where To Start??

You are probably starting to hear everywhere that we must return to buying from Canadian-owned companies to support our lagging economy. 

Maybe you've made to decision for yourself to support Canadian companies with your hard-earned money. 

But now you wonder "How do I actually FIND any?"

Well, you could check out FLARE's article- Made In Canada,  10 Homegrown Fashion And Beauty Brands, OR you could simply continue reading here, since I posted them all here for you. :)

Green Beaver

This family business was founded in 2002 by the science-brained husband-and-wife duo Alain Ménard and biochemist Karen Clark. The pair drew inspiration from their newborn son, and his affinity for eating bath bubbles, to develop a range of personal care products free of all harmful chemicals. Green Beaver makes it a priority to use Canadian-grown, certified organic ingredients whenever possible, and its Ecocert-certified Hawkesbury, Ont., production facility strives for complete transparency with its genuine open-door policy. Available at natural health stores across Canada.

(***This is a favourite line in my home. We've been using Green Beaver in my home for a few years now. The shampoos/conditioners are oh-so-yummy smelling and my 5-yr-old will ONLY brush his teeth with the green-apple-flavoured, flouride-free toothpaste. Definite thumbs up from THIS household***)

Birds of North America

Ryerson University alumna Hayley Gibson established her self-described vintage-classic womenswear line Birds of North America in 2007, featuring covetable frocks, high-waisted trousers and blouses fit for the ultimate cool-girl-about-town. Being both designed and manufactured in Montreal since day one has allowed Gibson to maintain complete control over the production process and ensure worker rights are always in check. Now available at more than 30 independent boutiques across North America.

(**** Pop-up Shop at White Elephant, 133 James St N Hamilton, ON****)

Judith & Charles

Power couple Charles Le Pierrès and Judith Richardson began their women’s clothing business under the name Teenflo some 20 years ago and rebranded as Judith & Charles in 2009. Their desire for quality control, consistency and shorter lead times is what keeps them producing locally (mainly within Ontario). The brand imports luxury fabrics from Europe and Japan to produce its über-wearable collection of tailored separates and versatile dresses. Available at Judith & Charles stores in New York City, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver

Rapp Eyewear

Founded by Mel Rapp 30 years ago, this family affair that began as Rapp Optical, a high-end eyewear shop in Toronto, has since expanded to Rapp Eyewear with the addition of a local fabrication facility. This allowed the company to begin designing, producing and globally distributing its own line of avant-garde, limited-edition, hand-crafted frames—an endeavour that launched in 2006 after years of planning—that are recognizable by the brand’s distinct combination of titanium and acetate. Available at select optical stores worldwide. 


Sunny Fong was the obvious winner of Project Runway Canada in 2009, which helped catapult his luxury ready-to-wear line, (est. 2004), into the national spotlight. The designed- and handcrafted-in-Canada brand, known for its impeccable construction and sophisticated femininity, has since become a regular fixture at Toronto Fashion Week and has even been sported on such high-profile red carpets as the Cannes International Film Festival, TIFF and the Grammy Awards. Available at The Room at The Bay in Toronto and Vancouver, with an online shop coming soon.

Bare Love Beauty

Founder Rebecca Cook developed her three-product skin care line in Ottawa in 2012, hoping to take her beloved beauty oil to the next level. With the development of her uniquely buttery “firm oil” formula for body, face and hair—with eye and lip products set to launch in the fall—she’s done just that. The products are manufactured in Montreal, with environmental sustainability and all-natural ingredients remaining as the brand’s non-negotiables. Available online at, and, and in select stores and Moksha Yoga studios nationwide.

Naked and Famous

For Naked and Famous founder Brandon Svarc, producing his jeans locally is a no-brainer. Since his family has been in the denim business in Montreal for more than 65 years, he feels it’s his duty to keep the tradition alive. His five-year-old company sets itself apart from competition by sourcing raw, untreated denim from Japan and opposing the industry status quo by shunning celebrity endorsements and offering high-quality jeans at a reasonable price. Available at luxury boutiques in more than 30 countries worldwide, including Barneys New York.

Consonant Skincare

After suffering from a slew of skin problems in his 20s and unexpectedly finding relief through the homemade concoctions of a colleague, Bill Baker launched Consonant Skincare in 2008 with the goal of producing an assortment of healthy, fragrance-free and innovative products that weren’t readily available at the time. With a stand-alone store in downtown Toronto and production out of Thornhill, Ont., this award-winning company continues to value its Canadian home base, even sourcing its packaging and raw materials in-country. Available at 2479 Yonge St. in Toronto, select boutiques across Canada and online at

Vasanti Cosmetics

Pinki Gosal and sisters Priti and Monal Patel found their niche in the expansive beauty industry by setting out to fill a void they discovered first hand for an ethnically inclusive line suitable for a diverse range of skin tones. Launched in Toronto in 1999, what began as three basic products has since grown into a vast array of more than 150 skin care and cosmetics offerings that continue to be manufactured within Canada. Sold at select Shoppers Drug Mart and Rexall locations and online at,,, and

Bite Beauty

Founded four years ago by former perfumer Susanne Langmuir, it’s no surprise that this rapidly growing lip care company is a perpetual beauty editor favourite. Not only does Bite Beauty offer a vibrant range of chemical-free, statement-making lipstick and nourishing lip care—with organic, food-grade ingredients making it truly good enough to eat—but all of its products and packaging are hand made in the company’s own Toronto lab by its 51-person staff. Available in 300 Sephora stores throughout North America and online at 

If you have made the decision to buy Canadian, I applaud you. If you have made the decision to buy from local companies right in the city where you live- even better!

If we can support our local vendors, we will breathe life into our cities, cut down on pollution (from shipping goods from the other side of the earth), and perhaps cut down on the death-inflicting, cost-cutting measures taking place in Third-World countries.

If you live in Hamilton, here are some of MY favourite local vendors.

Peace friends.

Let me know if you have any favourite Canadian companies that YOU love to support!

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