T H E 

M A R K E T P L A C E

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Our shop is a curated marketplace, a collection of personal favourites, from small businesses that I respect, have worked with in the past, and would recommend to anyone. These products are exceptional quality, seamlessly blend sustainable design with an appealing aesthetic, and help us make better decisions when it comes to reducing our impact.

 

I have chosen to bypass giants like Amazon, whose values and ethos are questionable, and instead, work directly with these incredible small businesses, to bring you this intentionally designed list of products that I personally use. This is an easy way for you to see my top recommendations, as well as a way for you to shop worry-free, as all the products here have been vetted by me and checked for greenwashing and false claims. All you have to do is browse, and click!

 

As always, I encourage mindful consumption, so only buy if you need something! This is a wonderful way to support small businesses, which in turn boosts our local economy. Let’s use this opportunity to create real change in the way we shop!

 

 Please note that this is an affiliate shop, where you will browse for product here, but place your order on the individual brand’s websites. I sometimes make a small commission off of your purchases, at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting this platform!


 


 

Lifestyle

Description

Innovation meets sleek design at Karst, a paper company that makes stunning notebooks, without the trees, water, chlorine or acids. In what seems like an impossible process, Karst uses stone to make paper. The result? Smoother, brighter, and more durable sheets that connote analog luxury in a digital age. Thoughtful, well-designed and exceptional quality, Karst parallels the values that I hold dear, giving us a reason to slow down, scribble, and reclaim screen-free moments. Having become part of my daily journaling ritual, these notebooks elevate my writing experience and lend themselves to a time where stationery was functional and beautiful.

How They're Sustainable

Unlike traditional paper that is made from our precious and threatened ancient forests, Karst uses one of the most abundant substances on earth – calcium carbonate. Taking it a step further to ensure long-term renewability, Karst only sources recycled stone, repurposed from the mining and construction industry. This stone is crushed into a powder and combined with a non-toxic, recyclable binding agent to make the paper. No water and no trees are used. With a manufacturing process powered by solar energy, Karst has a 60% smaller carbon footprint than traditional paper.

Description

Solving one of the most tedious aspects of travel, PROJECTKIN’s packing cubes are functional and sustainably-made. A first of their kind, these beautiful cubes are made from flax linen, and are designed by award-winning Nordic designer Thomas Bentzen. PROJECTKIN is based out of Copenhagen and is committed to finding eco-friendly travel options for the conscious wanderer. Unlike their static-inducing polyester counterparts, these linen cubes are a much lovelier place for one’s clothes to travel in.

How They're Sustainable

Using materials from nature, PROJECTKIN’s line is raw, natural, and biodegradable. Using fibres like natural hemp, flax, vegetable tanned leather and biodegradable plastics, this brand is changing the static travel accessories industry to provide options that have a lighter footprint. Where possible, they use recycled and biodegradable materials in their production, as well as choosing to partner with growers who do not contribute to deforestation or water depletion.

Description

The gateway product to sustainable living, Credo Bags has designed reusable bags for everyday life, helping even the most change-resistant amongst us get excited about conscious living. This line includes the first North American-made reusable mesh produce bag, an eco-alternative to the unnecessary thin plastic bags. Credo’s Market String is an ode to the iconic French shopping bag, demonstrating that sustainability can be incredibly chic.

How They're Sustainable

500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are thrown away every year, with an average in-use lifespan of only 15 minutes. After their 15 minutes of fame, they often end up in landfills, the ocean and in the stomachs of unsuspecting marine life. Credo helps us combat this wasteful resource, by ethically manufacturing their line using sustainable and reusable fabrics such as organic and recycled cotton, hemp and organic linen.

Description

The resurgence of natural dyeing as a modern medium is perfectly encapsulated by Wild Woven Collection, a slow, intentional brand that uses plant botanicals to create modern heirlooms for the home. With a soothing colour palette derived from kitchen and garden staples, these pieces are unique, exquisite, and completely natural, devoid of harsh chemicals that most dye bases are made of. My love for natural dyeing is brought alive by Katelyn and Christine’s vision, and their standard of quality is equal to my own, making them a brand I highly recommend to anyone looking to texturize their spaces. Designed to fit all the essentials, use this toiletry bag to pack for a weekend away or to corral the basics in your gym bag. 

How They're Sustainable

Mainstream dyes are known to be highly toxic and carcinogenic, severely impacting local waterways, which pollutes the water supply, degrades soil and causes death of aquatic life. People working in textile factories are often exposed to these harmful vapours and chemicals, causing health and reproductive issues. Furthermore, those of us who purchase these items are exposed to the same chemicals. Wild Woven Collection’s range of ethically and naturally dyed textiles are derived from staples such avocado pits, onion skins, leaves, root powders and more, showing us that beautiful shades don’t have to come at a personal and environmental cost. All products are ethically made and botanically dyed in Canada. In this collection, the toiletry bags are made using a natural cotton canvas, and the Desert Rose rose-toned pink colour is made using avocado pits and skins. The Olive green is a marbled, deeply pigmented olive made using marigold flowers and minerals, and the hand-painted Black Walnut & Olive Green combines WWC’s signature brushstrokes in neutral tones derived from black walnut husks and olive green made using marigold and minerals.

Description

The resurgence of natural dyeing as a modern medium is perfectly encapsulated by Wild Woven Collection, a slow, intentional brand that uses plant botanicals to create modern heirlooms for the home. With a soothing colour palette derived from kitchen and garden staples, these pieces are unique, exquisite, and completely natural, devoid of harsh chemicals that most dye bases are made of. My love for natural dyeing is brought alive by Katelyn and Christine’s vision, and their standard of quality is equal to my own, making them a brand I highly recommend to anyone looking to texturize their spaces. A set of these tonal throw cushions look great on a neutral couch or bed. Dyed using the heartwood of Acacia Catechu, a small thorny tree found in India, Burma, Peru and Indonesia. The wood is steeped in hot water, and this liquid is then dried and ground into a powder that is used as a dye. The dye material is called “cutch” and it’s become a quick favourite for its ability to provide a range of tones including the rose and terracotta colours featured on these cushions. These throw cushion covers are handmade from organic cotton muslin.

How They're Sustainable

Mainstream dyes are known to be highly toxic and carcinogenic, severely impacting local waterways, which pollutes the water supply, degrades soil and causes death of aquatic life. People working in textile factories are often exposed to these harmful vapours and chemicals, causing health and reproductive issues. Furthermore, those of us who purchase these items are exposed to the same chemicals. Wild Woven Collection’s range of naturally dyed textiles are derived from staples such avocado pits, onion skins, leaves, root powders and more, showing us that beautiful shades don’t have to come at a personal and environmental cost. All products are ethically made and botanically dyed in Canada.

Description

With a mission to create a waste free future, Pela is a leader in compostable phone cases, being the world’s first phone case to ever fully biodegrade. These phone cases are unique in that you don’t need to take them to a special facility – they will biodegrade in your backyard compost! Durable, strong and available in a multitude of colours and designs, these cases are the only ones I’ll ever buy!

How They're Sustainable

With more than 1 billion plastic phone cases sold ever year, Pela is the world’s first 100% compostable phone case, fighting against landfill waste. Pela cases have 25% less carbon emissions, 35% less water usage, and 70% less waste production than conventional plastic phone cases use in manufacturing. The fact that they are 100% compostable means they are zero-waste at the end of their lifespan.

Description

Taking inspiration from the road less travelled, LOHN creates scents designed to transport you to another time and place. Believing that scent is part of our personal journey, LOHN candles and perfume create a sensory experience that are designed to remind us of moments in time. In the ancient world, trade routes developed in part around the pursuit of perfume ingredients like amber, tea and spices. Vic and Kat, the Toronto-based duo behind LOHN imagined the scents of the mountains, seas, forests and fields along that journey. With scent profiles that are truly swoon-worthy and unlike any candle brand I’ve ever smelled, LOHN has perfected the art of blending delicate fragrances that instantly transported me to the lush places I had visited. Not only do they sell perfumes and candles, they also own a custom scent blending studio in Toronto!

How They're Sustainable

LOHN’s candles are hand-poured by founders Vic and Kat in Toronto, made with clean scents and use sustainable coconut and soy wax. Their packaging is recyclable and they’ve collaborated with a local artist on their gorgeous candle box art. Wicks are non-toxic, and every candle is vegan, paraben-free, phthalate-free, cruelty-free, and non-toxic. It’s clear that Vic and Kat know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to blending scents, as each candle is expertly layered with notes that compliment and intrigue the senses.

Description

A leader in Turkish towels, Stray & Wander offers a curated collection of ethically-sourced products from Turkey. With a focus on bringing handmade and fair-trade products to the global marketplace, Stray & Wander is on a mission to help us value our bathing rituals, while helping to preserve the ancient traditions behind these art forms. Believing in the beauty of imperfection that handmade products carry within them, each towel also carries the energy of their maker, something so unique to each piece. In an industry inundated with poor replicas, cheap materials from China passing off as the real deal, and unethical production, Stray & Wander is a pioneer in bringing authentic Turkish towels to the Canadian market. Choose from their hand towels, full-size towels or “roundies” – a circular piece that’s perfect as a towel, baby blanket or picnic blanket!

How They're Sustainable

Lisa, the founder of Stray & Wander has a background in non-profit work, which is what propelled her to start a brand that fully supported local artisans and women makers. Working with women’s cooperatives, family-run businesses and individual artisans, Stray & Wander buys directly from the artisans who set their own prices for their goods, and are thus paid fairly for their work. Each product is made one at a time, by hand, in the traditional Turkish way. By supporting these women artisans, Stray & Wander is able to help create sustainable livelihoods for those living in rural communities, giving back to the areas where their partners live and work. Devoid of any polyester fibres, all products are made from organically-grown Turkish cotton that is as luxurious as it is sustainable.

Description

These gorgeous meditation pillows will take your daily practice to the next level, with their cushiony filling and beautiful covers. With an interior lining that is filled with buckwheat hulls, you can add or subtract to the filling to create your own personal level of comfort. These meditation pillows are completely unique, with no two being alike, as each cushion is made from a unique combination of rescued fabrics, shades and geometry. Conveniently, the outer shell can be unzipped for hand-washing, and also has a side handle for easy carrying. These make great gifts for yogis, new moms, or anyone who wants to add some textual interest to their living spaces.

How They're Sustainable

Made in Minnesota, these cushions are called Zero-Waste Meditation Pillows because of their truly zero-waste design and creation process. Maggie, the founder of Ethel Studio is on a mission to eliminate global textile waste, and to do so, she sources all of her fabrics from scraps, swatches and damaged garments. She sources what she can, naturally dyes some of the salvageable fabrics, and uses the pieces to create stunning pillow covers, with a design that is a modern take on the traditional quilt. Any pieces that are too small to be sewed onto the cover are used for pillow fill or made into paper! What’s even better is that Ethel Studio provides a truly closed-loop process, encouraging customers to send their cushions back if they need something fixed. Mending services are available anytime throughout the product’s lifetime. From every purchase, Ethel Studio is donating 10% of sales to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center.

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Kitchen

Description

Aiding us along in our zero-waste journeys, Lekko Life Goods aims to help us ease single-use plastic out of our lives, by embracing beautiful kitchen staples that are earth-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing. These bowl covers negate the need for wasteful cling wrap, and are perfect for allowing dough to rise safely, transporting snacks, or storing leftovers. Made from linen, one of the most sustainable and durable fabrics, they’re biodegradable at the end of their long lifespan.

How They're Sustainable

Americans use around 10 million boxes of cling wrap a year, a product which takes more than 1000 years to decompose. Switching out plastic wrap with a reusable bowl cover or linen napkin saves the lives of millions of marine animals, not to mention the quality of our water and soil. With a made-to-order model, Lekko helps reduce production wastage, ensuring the creation process is as intentional as can be.

Description

The gateway product to sustainable living, Credo Bags has designed reusable bags for everyday life, helping even the most change-resistant amongst us get excited about conscious living. This line includes the first North American-made reusable mesh produce bag, an eco-alternative to the unnecessary thin plastic bags. Credo’s Mesh Produce Bags are the perfect accompaniment to grocery stores and farmer’s markets, helping to drastically reduce your single-use plastic bag consumption.

How They're Sustainable

500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are thrown away every year, with an average in-use lifespan of only 15 minutes. After their 15 minutes of fame, they often end up in landfills, the ocean and in the stomachs of unsuspecting marine life. Credo helps us combat this wasteful resource, by ethically manufacturing their line using sustainable and reusable fabrics such as organic and recycled cotton, hemp and organic linen.

Description

A traditional staple in Indian kitchens and homes, stainless steel containers are making their debut in the west, with an increasing number of people beginning to understand the detrimental health concerns that plastic Tupperware poses. Stainless steel is a far better option, as it is BPA/BPS-free, non-leaching, doesn’t absorb bacteria, non-staining and non-porous (prevents contamination and why it is so often used in commercial kitchens). Plastic containers begin to break down immediately upon washing, and when heated, the break down rate is accelerated 55x, meaning any endocrine disruptors or chemicals are just seeping into your food. This BIPOC-owned brand makes their products at an incredibly high grade, making them long-lasting, not to mention beautiful in your home. Their straws are a personal favourite, as they are light-weight, easy to carry around, and come with a cleaning brush. Learn more about stainless steel products here.

How They're Sustainable

Stainless steel containers don’t just save you money in the long run, but it also prevent more plastic waste from entering into the landfills. Plastic Tupperware can take up to 500 years to decompose. It is estimated that around 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws are in the world’s oceans and shorelines. Dalcini’s products are 100% reusable but also 100% recyclable, as they don’t contain any silicone, plastic or chemical resins. Stainless steel is infinitely recyclable – 75% of the tin cans and stainless-steel products produced in the last 100 years are still in circulation! In terms of ethics, Dalcini manufactures all of their products ethically, in India, where skilled craftsmen have been making these products for over 200 years. No child labour is ever used.

Description

An absolute favourite of mine, sponge cloths (or reusable paper towels) are the must-have kitchen staple for a low-waste life. I’ve collaborated with Ten and Co to create my very first product, a beautiful sponge cloth that features everything Forage inspired – herbs, mushrooms and delicate flora for a vintage and nature-inspired look! If you haven’t heard of sponge cloths, they’re are a total game-changer, and have been used in Swedish and European kitchens for decades. The point is for them to replace paper towels and J-cloths, both of which are incredibly unsustainable. Paper towels are made from bleached paper which comes from our precious ancient forests, and J-cloths are made from plastic fibres, which break off and head into our waterways as microfibres (one of the worst forms of plastic waste). These cloths can be used for up to 6 months! They never stink as they are made from plant cellulose fibres, making them naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Ten and Co has the cutest designs, and we love these the most!

How They're Sustainable

More than 13 billion pounds of paper towel is used every year in the US alone. To combat these wasteful single-use sheets that require clear cutting of forests, sponge cloths are a far more sustainable option, where one cloth replaces 17 rolls of paper towel. Each cloth can be used for up to 6 months and is fully biodegradable and compostable in your home compost, making them fully zero-waste.

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Beauty & Wellness

Description

Skincare has become synonymous with self-care in recent times, but Eluo takes the traditional benefit of masking and turns it into a ritualistic art form, elevating your skincare practice into an experience of cleansing, mindfulness and sensory engagement. This collection of soothing clay masks is rooted in ancient historical beauty rituals, one frequented by the revered Cleopatra. Seamlessly blending slow, age-old skincare within a modern dialogue, Eluo digs deep into the earth to bring us clays that naturally refresh and restore. One of my personal favourites, using Eluo masks is a weekly ritual I immensely look forward to. Read more about Eluo here.

How They're Sustainable

Devoid of harsh chemicals, preservatives, and synthetic exfoliators, these masks are purely clay-based with natural ingredients and essential oils. Better for our skin and for our earth, you don’t have to stress about washing this mask off and letting it go down the drain, as the natural ingredients are not harmful to our waterways, compared to other chemically-formulated masks. Eluo masks come in paper boxes and beautiful glass vials making them low-waste and recyclable.

Description

Inspired by the landscapes of New Zealand and the world, Wild Lather was an idea born over the Pacific Ocean by husband + wife team – Liz and Conrad. Their soap-making is a slow living process in its entirety, where clay and solar infused botanicals are swirled together with steam distilled essential oils, and then left to air-cure for a full month. This time-honoured practice is slow, but so worth the wait, as the soap bars are nourishing, cleansing, and hydrating, nothing at all like the oil-stripping mainstream options. The unique triangle shape reminds us to breathe, and infuses mindfulness back into our daily cleansing ritual. Wild Lather’s scent profiles are swoon-worthy and I really love the way these feel on my skin! Learn more about palm oil-free soap here.

How They're Sustainable

Plant-based, palm-oil free, free of synthetics, and made by hand using organic plants. These bars are multi-use to encourage less consumption and plastic waste, and can be used for full body bathing, shaving, hair wash, face wash and sustainable travel. We throw away 552 million plastic bottles a year from shampoo and conditioner alone. These multi-use soap bars are packaged in paper to combat waste in landfills.

Description

Thoughtfully blended herbal teas, Living Apothecary aims to target your inner health, while providing a moment of calm in your every day. Created by Kara, a naturopathic doctor, these tea blends are potent botanical infusions that helped her heal own ailments. Whether it’s painful periods, sleepless nights, anxiety or the need for some tranquility, Living Apothecary teas are hand blended in Toronto in small batches with the highest quality ingredients, providing a dash of calm as well as effective health benefits. A few sips a day keeps the stress away!

How They're Sustainable

With a strong focus on sustainability, Living Apothecary has a refill program where you can purchase blends in bulk to fill your jar at home. Each bulk bag is compostable kraft paper, and is mailed in a compostable mailer. As most tea bags contain plastic, loose leaf tea is the best way to keep our bodies and our planet safe.  Living Apothecary has also partnered with One Tree Planted, where every purchase plants a tree.

Description

Recapturing that antiquated experience of shaving, Well Kept is the epitome of slow living. Turning what is usually a hasty run over with a plastic razor into a slow, intentional and luxurious experience, these safety razors are self-care in their entirety. It’s hard not to feel completely present when using these razors, a dose of something we could all have more of. Providing a super close shave, we’re given a peek into what our grandfather’s grooming practice was like.

How They're Sustainable

Over two billion plastic razors and cartridges are discarded annually in the US alone. Well Kept’s razors are made from solid brass and designed to last a lifetime, significantly reducing your usage and impact. The razors are plastic-free, have recyclable packaging, and come with recyclable blades as well.

Description

The only Ayurvedic brand proven with clinical results, Sahajan is a brand that I 100% stand behind. BIPOC-owned and local to Toronto, every Sahajan product is an effective and luxurious experience, rooted in 5000-year-old Ayurvedic wellness. This ancient science originating from India has deep understandings of skincare. Sahajan has effortlessly blended these ancient teachings to fit our modern lifestyles, offering products that are effectual, gentle and deeply cleansing. The Essential Oil Cleanser is a personal favourite, one that I literally can never be without! It effortlessly and gently removes any trace of makeup on my face, including stubborn waterproof mascara. The result is clean, hydrated and silky soft skin, with no oily residue or stickiness. I will easily use this cleanser for the rest of my life!

How They're Sustainable

Natural, organic, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and local (made in Canada), these beautiful glass bottles are easily recyclable (not the plastic tops). Sahajan’s gentle ingredients promote healthy skin, while maintaining the health and preservation of our waterways and environment – no harsh chemicals mean a non-compromised water supply.

Description

Based in the UK, Fysha (which means natural and handmade in Greek), uses high-quality ingredients in their soaps, like Extra Virgin Olive Oil that has been ethically cold-pressed in Greece. Choosing to blend their ingredients to make the most luxurious soaps, this BIPOC-owned brand believes in products that complement the earth and our skin. Frustrated with synthetic, liquid soaps and gels that strip our skin of its natural oils and that come in wasteful packaging, Amina, the founder of Fysha, decided to create what she couldn’t find. Through finding her saving grace, olive oil, when visiting her husband’s family in Greece, Fysha was born. I absolutely love these blocks of soap – the scent profiles are subtle and the soap lathers so luxuriously. Learn more about palm oil-free soap here.

How They're Sustainable

Each bar of soap is made with cold-pressed EVOO from Greece, using wooden spoons to mix together the ingredients and protect their vibrational qualities. Each bar is handmade and cured for 60 days, the individually hand-stamped, and hand-wrapped in plastic-free packaging that’s FSC Certified, biodegradable and recyclable. The bars are all 100% palm oil-free, vegan, cruelty-free, and use only 100% plant oils and natural ingredients.

Description

The resurgence of natural dyeing as a modern medium is perfectly encapsulated by Wild Woven Collection, a slow, intentional brand that uses plant botanicals to create modern heirlooms for the home. With a soothing colour palette derived from kitchen and garden staples, these pieces are unique, exquisite, and completely natural, devoid of harsh chemicals that most dye bases are made of. My love for natural dyeing is brought alive by Katelyn and Christine’s vision, and their standard of quality is equal to my own, making them a brand I highly recommend to anyone looking to texturize their spaces. These eye pillows are the epitome of relaxation, as they are filled with locally-sourced French lavender and organic flax seeds, making them therapeutic in their scented and weighted design.

How They're Sustainable

Mainstream dyes are known to be highly toxic and carcinogenic, severely impacting local waterways, which pollutes the water supply, degrades soil and causes death of aquatic life. People working in textile factories are often exposed to these harmful vapours and chemicals, causing health and reproductive issues. Furthermore, those of us who purchase these items are exposed to the same chemicals. Wild Woven Collection’s range of ethically and naturally dyed textiles are derived from staples such avocado pits, onion skins, leaves, root powders and more, showing us that beautiful shades don’t have to come at a personal and environmental cost. These eye pillows are made from tencel, a sustainable fabric that feels like washed silk, and the inserts are made of unbleached cotton.

Description

Adapt Daily is the first ever Health Canada approved adaptogenic gummy to help increase our resistance to stress. Concocted with the best of Ayurvedic ingredients, these gummies are a potent blend of Ashwagandha, Amla Berry, Holy Basil and Reishi, helping increase energy levels, reduce fatigue and calm the nervous system.

How They're Sustainable

Made with the highest quality ingredients sourced from their points of origin in China and India, Adapt Daily gummies are Kosher, ISO, Halal Certified, GF, Non-GMO, tree and peanut free, 100% certified organic, sugar-free, and Keto-friendly. The jars are recyclable glass and are also reusable.

Description

Founded by Sarah York, this incredible soap company has a few core values that they stand by: simple, natural, ethical and transparent honesty. Only using high-quality, natural ingredients, Bell Mountain Naturals is free of the fillers that mainstream soap brands use, such as parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, dyes and artificial fragrances. Their line of adorable little gem-shaped soaps is not only great for gifts or travel, but the fact that they won’t strip your skin or render it irritated is a win-win. I love the Santa Ynez Mini Gem the most, but all of these soaps are rich, smell incredible and keep your skin clean and hydrated. Learn more about palm oil-free soap here.

How They're Sustainable

With a pledge to always be palm oil-free, Bell Mountain Naturals prides themselves on sourcing ethically and sustainably harvested raw ingredients. All their products are made with natural botanicals, mineral rich clays, plant-based oils and butters, and therapeutic-grade essential oils. The brand is cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny Certified. Their packaging is also recyclable, reusable or compostable, for a zero-waste experience.

Description

This therapeutic body care line is BIPOC-owned and handmade in Montreal using natural and organic ingredients. A one-woman show, Alexe had been making body products for her friends and family for 3 years in her kitchen. She started getting requests from other people for her products, and slowly, her passion transitioned into a business. Apprenti Ôr’ganik’s mission is to raise awareness against harmful chemicals and artificial components that exist in our everyday products, while promoting healthy and earth friendly living. Alexe finds that the beauty industry is toxic and very superficial, so it’s become her personal quest to get people to reconnect with nature and what’s real. By being aware of what we eat and put on our bodies, we slowly open a door to a healthier and happier version of ourselves.

How They're Sustainable

All of Apprenti’s products are slow-made by hand, using “active” ingredients. With a belief that nature has so much to offer, this brand believes that it is important to reconnect our body and soul with it. Apprenti Ôr’ganik’s products are devoid of synthetic ingredients, parabens, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, petroleum and mineral oils. They only use natural ingredients, plant-based food grade oils, steam distilled therapeutic essential oils, and certified organic ingredients. The products are cruelty-free, don’t test on animals and are vegan.

Description

Blending a traditional Indian tea experience with a contemporary interpretation, Ahista itself means “at a slow pace”. Bringing to mind the art of slow living, this BIPOC-owned tea brand encourages us to take a step back, and savour each sip with intention and thoughtfulness. All the tea blends are handmade and sustainable, reaching a level of quality that has landed Ahista at various Michelin-starred restaurants, cafes, and boutique hotels worldwide. I’ve personally tried a bunch of their blends and am blown away by the quality, exceptional taste and feelings each sip evokes.

How They're Sustainable

All of Ahista’s teas are produced with a high degree of skill and craftsmanship. Their Premium teas are handcrafted and produced with minimal mechanical intervention. Choosing to work with local tea farmers in famous tea regions of India, Ahista ensures they protect and positively affect the climate and land, while also supporting the livelihoods of the marginalized tea farmers in Assam and Darjeeling. They also have ventured into lesser known tea producing areas such as Sikkim, Nilgiri, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, a practice that helps sustain the organic revolution by supporting more farmers to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs. In terms of product sustainability, Ahista’s boxes are paper, with vegetable-based inks, and their tea bags are 100% biodegradable, made from plant-based materials – a blend of abaca (made from banana plants and PLA).  Additionally, Ahista’s partnership with Save the Children allows for an underprivileged child in India to be fed for one month, with every gift box sold.

Description

Handmade in Toronto, this blend of nourishing oils, magnesium and probiotics is a beautiful and potent composite that helps you ground into the healing powers of Mother Nature. Earth Connection Oil is wonderful to help you fall asleep at night (I drift off so easily whenever I apply this!), is great for anyone struggling with Restless Leg Syndrome, nerve function, sore muscles or skin issues. It’s a blend of organic cold-pressed oils such as sunflower oil, magnesium citrate and mycobacterium vaccae. Use it on your entire body, including face!

How They're Sustainable

Made by hand by MJ Renshaw, a Manual Therapist in Toronto, this oil uses sustainably-sourced, organic, cold-pressed oils and is produced in very small batches. The bottles are glass and are gorgeous, easily reusable or recyclable. MJ is doing her part in being an ally for Black lives, so any BIPOC can use her discount code LOVEEQUALITY for 22% off.

Description

Eu-Genia in Greek means the “origin of goodness”, and that is exactly what you will find in a tin of Eu’Genia Shea butter. There is nothing better than a simple moisturizer that is devoid of chemicals and petroleum-based additives, one that delivers skin-nourishing goodness and healing properties when applied. Touted as amazing in the Oprah Magazine, Vogue and various other publications, this BIPOC-owned shea butter brand is probably one of the best out there, available in three different strengths of shea, from a little to a lot, depending on what your skin needs. With a special pregnancy formula specially formulated to target stretch marks, this makes for an amazing gift for a new mama or mama-to-be. Use it on your lips, hands, feet, elbows or any dry areas!

How They're Sustainable

Eu’Genia Shea is family-run social enterprise, dedicated to all natural premium shea butter moisturizers. The brand is dedicated to fair wages and opportunities for their female workers in Ghana, donating 15% of profits back to them in the form of an education fund. This brand is a mother-daughter duo, gifting the world their grandmother’s best kept midwifery secret – raw, unrefined Ghanian shea butter. The butters all come in tins, making them easily re-usable or recyclable, completely devoid of plastic. I’ve personally made the switch from Vaseline for my dry lips to Eu’Genia’s shea butter, and I won’t ever go back – the results are incredible and I love knowing that I’m supporting an earth and person-friendly product!

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Clothing & Footwear

Description

One of my favourite footwear brands, Nisolo is a leader in design, quality and sustainability, in an industry that is notorious for unethical practices. With a highly transparent approach, this brand is open about their factories, workers and wages, giving us an unfiltered glimpse into the world of shoemaking. Choosing to work with skilled craftsmen in Peru who have been passing down the art of shoemaking for generations, Nisolo is an American company in foreign lands that chose to sustain a long-held tradition, instead of exploit. These sandals are comfortable, versatile and perfect for traveling, easily my go-to when the weather is warm.

How They're Sustainable

Read in depth about their living wages here. Nisolo combats climate change by protecting trees from deforestation in the Amazon Basin. So far, they have protected 138,180 trees from getting uprooted. They’ve also partnered with Soles4Souls, a program where they collect old shoes, giving them to micro-entrepreneurs in the developing world, allowing them to resell them in their community. This program provides employment opportunities to people who would like to start their own shoe business but lack the capital to do so, and is an affordable source of shoes for the underserved local population. This initiative also helps combat the excessive amount of landfill waste that fast fashion has created.

Description

Founded by a husband and wife team who left their jobs at the UN to start a footwear brand, Alice + Whittles’ entire ethos is built around sustainability, ethical manufacturing, simplicity and craftsmanship. Known best for their chic rubber boots, this BIPOC-owned brand doesn’t compromise on style or quality. These have quickly become one of my favourite pairs of boots, perfect for wet springs and cool autumns. Knowing the importance of the depth of their research, the founders of Alice + Whittles embody true change-makers, choosing to reside alongside the craftsmen who produce their products, from Sri Lanka to Portugal.

How They're Sustainable

This brand is deeply engaged with all aspects of the value chain, ensuring fair pay, good working conditions, advance payments, and the improvement of the position of women and disadvantaged groups. Their rubber is 100% naturally fair traded, made from the sap of rubber trees in sustainably managed forests in Sri Lanka. The boots are 100% plastic-free, lightweight, waterproof and use 80% less energy to produce.

Description

Redefining basics, Tradlands makes clothing that lasts, unlike fast fashion alternatives that fall apart after a few washes. Sadie, Tradlands founder, noticed that men’s clothing always seems to be made better, is longer-lasting, with fabrics and styles that are classic and simple. She wanted to create the same option, for women. Tradlands ensures durability, favourites that can be worn over and over again, and an inclusive range of sizes and options for anyone. They create archetypal clothing, like button-ups, t-shirts, easy dresses, and chinos – all made responsibly.

How They're Sustainable

Wearing clothing 50 times instead of 5 (the fast fashion average) reduces carbon emissions by more than 400% per item, per year. This is why quality is of the utmost importance to Tradlands – so that the clothing they make holds up and can be worn over again. Tradlands makes their clothing in small batches to avoid overproduction and wastage. Their entire design process is slow and thoughtful, with development that is properly planned out, instead of new drops every 2 weeks. They believe that a beautiful garment means nothing if human beings and the environment are exploited in the process, choosing to work with factories that have high-standards, social welfare policies in place, living wages, clean, airy environments, and never any children. This includes US-based standards of working hours, over-time payments, and never any triple shifts.

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Accessories

Description

Tricia, the founder and artist behind this BIPOC-owned brand is a magician with thread. These bags are a personal favourite, as I love the trendy yet timeless look of them. Perfect for travel, busy marketplaces, and a hands-off vibe, these bags are so well-made, stylish and super chic. The love and care she infuses in each bag is tangible (so much better than anything mainstream or factory manufactured). With a philosophy centred around timelessness and goods that are made to last, Tree Fairfax hopes to change how we move about in the world – lighter, carrying only what we need.

How They're Sustainable

All the leather used is from 100% local sources that are traceable and native to the region (Fairfax, VA). Tricia is a one-woman team, making her bags from her living room couch, for the most authentically hand-made experience there is. She diligently hand-stitches each bag to perfection, working from a made to order plan which helps reduce waste while simultaneously ensuring that each bag is made with the utmost attention to detail and the highest quality possible.

Description

Scrunchies are back and we’re thrilled about it! Not only do they hold back hair and double as cute arm candy, they’re the nostalgic nod to the 90s that I so dig. Due to their current popularity, many are being churned out faster than ever, meaning they’re often made from unsustainable materials and questionable ethics. Sammi of Soft Focus has created what she calls “The Zero-Waste Scrunchie”, produced here in Toronto. In an array of soft and neutral colours, choose one for every day of the week and feel good about supporting a small business. I love these scrunchies and am amazed at how soft, strong and beautiful the fabric is!

How They're Sustainable

Made locally in Toronto, The Zero-Waste Scrunchie is aptly named as it comes from the cut-offs from Soft Focus’s loungewear sets. Choosing not to waste the leftover fabric, Sammi, the brand’s founder, decided to fulfill a demand for hair accessories while making use of the excess fabric. These scrunchies are made from the sustainable fabric Tencel (lyocell made from cellulose fibres), and are 100% Tencel twill.


 

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