When we first started Local Laundry, we didn’t know or understand the importance of manufacturing in Canada. Our garments would show up in a magical box from a location unbeknownst to us, and we would happily put our designs on it while proudly saying that all our garments were “designed in Canada”.
At the time, we felt that was good enough. If our clothing was designed in Canada, that was good enough as we were building community and creating a positive impact in other ways. However, over time, we realized that the labour standards, quality standards, and environmental standards were not in line with what they should be, or our own company values... and that just felt wrong to us.
What does “designed in Canada” even mean? Essentially, that often the easy and cheapest part was done in Canada, but the hard and expensive part of manufacturing our garments was done in a country we had never been remotely close to. We didn’t know what the factory standards were, if they were paying their employees anywhere near a livable wage, or if they had any environmental standards in place.
This is why last year, we decided to switch to complete Canadian manufacturing despite the extra work and cost. We did it because we believed that it was the best decision to create the most positive impact on the community. It was a difficult decision and an even more difficult transition for us and our retail partners, but now looking at it from the other side more than a year later, it was the best decision we ever made. We are now extremely proud to say that ALL of our garments, ranging from hats, to socks to sweaters and pillows and more are all made in Canada.
Designing clothing in Canada is only the first step, the actual design part of a clothing company impacts so few, on the grand scale of things. The actual manufacturing has the potential to reach and create an impact on so many more than that. From the dying to the milling, to the cutting, sewing, printing and finishing, each garment that is made in Canada has the potential to touch and impact hundreds of people. Each one of those people is getting paid a livable wage by a company that adheres to Canadian labour and environmental laws while contributing to a diverse Canadian economy. Last year, we actually got the chance to go visit all the facilities involved in this process and get to know the people behind the making of our garments. It made us really proud and we knew right away that we made the right decision.
That’s why for our Spring 2019 collection, we wanted to come out with garments that showcased our pride in the fact that, while it isn’t always the easiest or cheapest route to go, all of our garments are now proudly Canadian made. Buying clothing should represent something bigger than just a neat design that you like. They should express your values and what you believe in. Showcasing that you are proud to support Canadian manufacturing and those companies that choose to go to great lengths and the extra mile to produce their products here in Canada.
Simply designing in Canada is too easy and doesn’t do enough to move the needle to create a positive impact on the community. If we want to see real change in our communities, then we need to commit to supporting businesses and organizations that are themselves committed to creating that positive impact.
Our “Proudly Made in Canada” line is now available for you to showcase your Canadian pride and what matters most to you. Because we believe you should be proud of Canadian made products and wear that pride on your chest.
If you ever have any questions or comments feel free to fire us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org