Given the economic and environmental climate of today’s society, I thought it would be important to speak about ways that we can actively do our part in supporting small businesses through this pandemic.
With consumerism on the rise, and shopping becoming as easy as the click of a button, it is important to remember that everything we do has an impact far greater than what we can see. Shopping sustainably is one of the simplest ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment through investing in safer and more sustainable businesses.
Here are 5 sustainably focused small businesses to support through COVID-19 and everyday!
1. Eco + amour | https://ecoandamour.com
Eco+amour is a Toronto-based beauty and wellness brand whose business is built
around a zero-waste future. Eco+amour offers a variety of eco-friendly alternatives to traditional household products including bamboo toothbrushes, reusable produce banks, and bulk cleaning supplies. They also offer a variety of reusable containers and sell refills for a multitude of products including conditioners, shampoos, soaps, body scrubs, dish soap, cleaners, laundry detergent and more. The unique thing about their refillable products is that customers can purchase the refills at kiosks located around the GTA as can be found on their websites. Check out their website to book your in-store shopping experience where you can bring your own containers to fill!
2. Soft Focus | https://insoftfocus.com
Do you know where your fabrics are being sourced? Are you looking for comfort that will also help lower your carbon footprint? Well, Soft Focus is a Toronto-based company that is all about comfort, ease and sustainable fabrics. Founded by Sammi Smith, a Ryerson fashion design graduate, Soft Focus offers a variety of modern and fashion forward lounge wear pieces.
Their selection of pajamas, slips, robes, accessories and more are all inspired by the comfort that is necessary to work from home. The unique part about Soft Focus is that they make their clothing out of sustainable materials including Tencel, which is a plant-based fabric made from sustainable wood cellulose! They also ensure to save fabric off-cuts and make small pieces such as scrunchies with what would regularly be put in landfills.
3. Lithe Lashes | https://lithelashes.com
Everyone loves a good lash strip to elevate any makeup look. That being said, it is important to remember that with this, comes a huge amount of single use strips that are bought, used once, and trashed in a continuous cycle. However, Lithe Lashes offers a variety of reusable and ethically sourced faux lashes that are both chic and sustainable. Serving as an excellent alternative to traditional mink and silk lashes, Lithe Lashes are not only beautiful, but also affordable. Being eco-friendly, vegan and cruelty-free, Lithe Lashes serve the perfect middle ground between quick beauty hacks and a sustainable lifestyle.
Not to mention that their packaging is made from FSC certified paper which is 100% recyclable!
4. Uncle Studio | https://unclexstudios.com
Sustainable fashion alert! Co-founded by Toronto Influencer Allegra Shaw, Uncle Studio’s is doing amazing things to ensure they do their part to decrease their carbon footprint. Made from recycled, sustainable and deadstock fabrics, Uncle Studio’s offers a variety of comfortable basics as well as simplistic designs. Deadstock fabrics are leftover fabrics from other clothing brands that would traditionally be placed directly in landfill and 100% wasted. On top of all of this, Uncle Studios introduced “Our Total Impact”, which shows updated emission, energy and water saved through their sustainable business practices. They also have a blog called “No Posts on Sundays”, where they allow for the community to speak out about current issues including indigenous rights and privilege, as well as other topics spanning from music to wellness.
5. Omi Woods | https://omiwoods.com
Who doesn't love a gold accent piece? Founded by Ashley Alexis McFarlane's, Omi Woods jewelry offers a wide variety of contemporary and traditional pieces ranging from necklaces and bracelets to anklets and wedding rings! Their wide selection of jewelry pieces are all ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold as well as globally sourced conflict-free fine metals. Sourcing from small-scale artisanal mine allows for the company to support the well-being of miners and their communities through paying miners a fair wage as well as contributing to improved health care, education, safety and living conditions on the continent. Additionally, as a way to honour Ashley’s grandmother's legacy, Omi Woods donates a portion of sales to a local or global non-profit, social organization, charity or cause each year.
The list of Canadian sustainable businesses is never ending! As active members of sustainability movements, it is important that we continue to research and look into alternatives that satisfy both our shopping desires as well as benefit the planet.
By making small lifestyle changes, or simply buying locally from companies with strong CSR values, it has never been easier to make changes to help reduce our carbon footprints and do our part. There are a limitless number of ways to live more eco-friendly, hold brands accountable for their impact on the world, and rewarding those who are ethically running their practices.
Remember: Your small purchase can help guide the way to a more sustainable future.