Welcome to our home turf production factory in Victoria, BC. Located on the same site as our HQ, warehouse, ecologyst films' studio, and a shoppable showroom for our community to visit. A move in early 2021 from a small-scale factory on Fort Street into this beautiful heritage space at 2110 Store Street will allow our friends and guests to come and see where their clothing is being made.
We're a clothing brand that actually makes clothing. All our clothing is made in North America, but we're championing bringing it all back closer to home, to our factory, with barely a few metres between where the clothing is made and where its shipped or purchased from.
Here, we have the full circle of clothing: from inspiration to design, manufacturing to selling, and even our repair program for those rare times your clothing needs a fix; extending its longevity. Coloured spools line the walls, tactile all-natural fabrics are laid out ready for cutting, fresh adventure-worthy product waits to be encompassed into the next photoshoot. Our creators are hard at work, measuring here, cutting there, the sewing machines hum.
Just some of the durable, sustainable clothing to come out of our Canadian factory are The Market Pant and our plastic-free puffy alternative: The Quilted Collection. Our superiorly soft and sustainably-made Camel Overshirt is an exclusive small-run this year. As ever, our Anorak in sunny Yellow and classic Navy has been one of the most popular pieces you've been out adventuring in. An all-natural, weatherproof style that's ready for days at sea and a sudden change in the forecast.
Scrapping the Status Quo
Appreciation for the beautiful backyard we call home and the creativity it fosters has long been part of who we are. When the expansion of ecologyst (then called Sitka) had led to overseas production and its accompanying social and environmental impacts in the early 2000s, something had to change.
Conventional fast fashion primarily uses offshore production that’s often “linked to dangerous working conditions" and "workers suffering from long working hours and low pay.” Companies also regularly have to meet high minimum orders when outsourcing overseas, creating increased waste when products aren’t purchased and in turn aren’t recycled.
Made in Canada
So in 2014 we started to scale right back, now embracing local production onsite at our Victoria business hub to a wealth of positive outcomes. What’s surprising to many is that the production team behind our adventurous apparel is down to just three employees — small, but mighty. Our product manager, Darci, Mira, our factory manager, and our highly talented sewing technicians: Anna, Joline, Carrie, and Juliana.
Creating in-house means transparency around ethical wages and the safeguarding of workers' rights. We focus our dollars on high quality fabrics and our employees, rather than outsourced production/wholesale costs and shipping. Avoiding social/labour issues that have arisen overseas across the fashion industry such as child and forced labour, underpayment, and poor working conditions and the environmental toll of staff travel to factory sites and long-distance shipping of materials in the process. Onshore, we are also accountable to living wage requirements, while our team enjoys contributing to our vibrant local economy whether it’s whipping up a local gin cocktail or grabbing morning fuel from a local roastery.
Durable, Not Disposable
We’re rejecting the status quo, challenging the belief that “gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years”. Ecologyst is a community, your brand, and by moving to a direct-to-consumer model, we’re closer to your feedback. Designing based on what you really need for a lifetime spent outside, creating less wasteful and more efficient production processes.
It's part of our passion for our community investing in fewer, but better: pieces that last a lifetime, hold up between beach break and mountain top. Aligning with the encouraging insight that “increasing the average number of times clothes are worn is the most direct lever to capture value and design out waste and pollution in the textiles system.”
We resist fast-fashion throwaway culture by creating small runs in durable, all-natural fabrics over petro-chemical based fibers. Reinvesting our efforts into textiles we can all rely on out in the wild — from adventure-ready weatherproof Ventile to the surprising all-natural performance powerhouse that is wool.
Nature immersion left your gear a little worse for wear? Our repair service has you covered. Brought to life because we’re committed to keeping our gear from adding to the 85% of all textiles that go to the dump each year. Not to mention our creations rooted in higher quality materials equate to far less repairs, something we can keep up with!
We’re grateful for the creative culture and inspiring landscape we get to call home. Join our community by following us on our Facebook and Instagram accounts. Sign up for our email updates at the bottom of the page. Here you’ll be first to know about pre-releases and never miss out on our bi-weekly e-newsletter full of events, films, resources and more!