Local Laundry is a Canadian-made clothing company manufacturing garments for social good. We’re determined to make the most socially conscious and most comfortable garments possible. We make garments that make you look good and feel good.
Co-founders, Dustin Paisley and Connor Curran have built the Local Laundry brand from the ground up starting from a simple Google search, ‘how to start a t-shirt company’. When the pandemic started, Local Laundry only had one full-time person. During the pandemic, we doubled our revenue, and our team has grown to 5 full-time people. This is our story about how Local Laundry started, come join us on our journey!
Let’s dive into it
It all started when co-founder, Connor Curran, picked a fight with a laundry machine. Connor lost the fight but had an aha moment in the scuffle: What if all of our laundry was local? Like really, genuinely local? And from the ashes of that fight, Local Laundry rose. Today, Local Laundry is headquartered in Calgary and proudly Canadian, from our manufacturers and garments to our employees and customers. But the clothes are just the beginning: Our community is the heart of our story.
When Local Laundry first started, Connor had zero experience in clothing, e-commerce or fashion, he just had an idea, so he did what all people with a view do, he Googled it and watched a YouTube video on how to do it. From there, Connor became obsessed with seeing how big of an impact he could create with clothing. From there, Connor met Dustin, the other Local Laundry co-founder. Connor & Dustin started by trying to sell to just one person and going from there they worked on the business part-time for two and a half years, not paying themselves, and putting all the money back into the company.
“When we first started, we were using drop shipping and on-demand printing. We didn’t fully understand the manufacturing process and the impact it has around the world”, said Connor. “We quickly learned some places were more responsible than others when it came to taking care of their people, the planet and ultimately the product and how they made it. We kept asking how come no clothing company knew of what manufacturing their garments here in Canada.”
After some research, we found out that before 1989, over 70% of all clothing bought and sold in Canada was made in Canada. Fast forward to 2015, and now less than 5% of all clothing is made here in Canada. We were determined to reverse that trend. Manufacturing in Canada is more expensive, but it’s for good reasons. Canadians manufacturing in Canada are paid a liveable wage, work in safe working conditions, have health benefits and are adhering to strict Canadian labour and environmental laws. It turns out when employees are taken care of; they produce a better garment. When you create a better garment, it will last longer, making sure it stays out of landfills longer.
Since pivoting from overseas manufacturing to producing everything we create to made in Canada, Local Laundry has grown over 300% in the last five years. Part of the success in our organic growth was the time our team spent on getting to know our customers, from personally hand delivering packages, hand-written notes, even jumping on the phone with them, we wanted to build a community. In a world that revolves around transactional relationships, we want Local Laundry to be different and be a business that everyone interacts with from customers to retailers to strategic partners and manufacturers. We’ve made it our goal to remember birthdays, acknowledge life goals and achievements, show our support and say thank you to the people and stakeholders who created a monumental impact.
“It gives our community a reason to get involved, a reason to be part of something that’s bigger than themselves, bigger than ourselves even,” said Dustin. “Just because we’re a small business doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact.”
Starting Local Laundry, Connor and Dustin had decided early on that Local Laundry should be a brand that gives back to the community, volunteers, works with other small businesses and donates back to charities. Today we have over five employees working full-time. We sell our garments to people across Canada and beyond. Since its inception and to its current state and beyond everyone at Local Laundry gets the chance to work with exceptional individuals and organizations who share the same values and vision for a better community as we do.
Our goal is not only to donate a million dollars to Canadian charities by 2030 but be one of Canada’s top clothing brands and the most socially conscious clothing company in our space. We hope you join us our journey and keep your laundry local!