On my recent trip to Montreal, I had the opportunity to explore the local slow fashion scene. There seemed to be quite a few shops that fit the “ethical” model by satisfying the criteria of local production, fair wages for workers, environmentally-friendly fabrics, and more.
My first stop was Général 54, a boutique in the Mile End district, that features independent, ethical designs. I bought this black mock neck top by Jennifer Glasgow. Not only is it super cozy, but it’s also made primarily of bamboo! Whenever I go shopping, I am drawn to bright colors and fun prints, but what I actually need are more basic, versatile pieces, so this fit the bill perfectly.
I also visited Belle et Rebelle, another boutique featuring local, Québécois designers. I love that this store helps support Maison Passages, an organization that provides emergency shelter to women in crises. At Belle et Rebelle, I bought a beautiful floral kimono by Annie 50. I love how it can be tied up as a wrap dress or worn open, kimono style. This dress even made it into my capsule wardrobe for the fall 10×10 challenge.
This reversible necklace is also from Belle et Rebelle. It’s black on one side and brown on the other, so it can be worn with a lot of different outfits.
Finally, I visited a few of Montreal’s vintage/second-hand shops, many of which are located on St.-Laurent Boulevard. The largest of these has got to be Eva B. It doubles as a cafe, and on a Sunday afternoon, it was swarming with people. As much as I want to support second-hand fashion, I found this place pretty overwhelming and didn’t stay long. For me there’s just something anxiety-inducing about big crowds in cluttered spaces. Regardless, I really love the pieces that I did buy, and I think they will stay in my wardrobe for a long time to come.