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Toronto Fashion

We recently decided to crack down on our research. By research I mean, getting to know what other brands are doing that is helping them move forward in their success. I don’t think that I would use the term “competition” solely because we truly hope that everyone makes it, but then again, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone... did it?

These are our observations... including our personal opinions. Canadians don’t like being clumped together with other nations; we believe that every nation is different in their own rite. We feel that we bring something a little different to the table... kindness. We are also very careful in considering the fact that we cannot be too loud or too proud of this kindness because that would take away from our humility. Even though sometimes (unbeknownst to us, of course) we carry a proud smile on our faces, and walk with a little more pep in our step when people talk about how nice we are and how much they love the toque, plaid, and boot wearing people of the North or more formally known as Canadians.

Without the ill intention of necessarily excluding brands from other provinces, we just found that each province kind of moves to the beat of their own drum. Toronto brands specifically tend to be just a little more boastful and outspoken in their Canadian Pride being somewhat careful not to come off as pretentious.

Some of the most successful  brands have apparel that boast sayings like “Canadian Built”, “Home is Canada” (The Peace Collective) and “We the North” (Raptors), or more commonly seen throughout many brands “The true north strong and free” one of the most quotable lines from our anthem. Brands like Teedot Apparel will have you walking around with your chest pumped up with shirts like “Fear the North” or show love to city’s like Mississauga with their “Port Credit, Streetsville, Malton, Meadowvale, Cooksville” Tees. We will proudly add the Canadian leaf to our logos or tags, have it sewn into our shirts, hats, sweaters and even painted onto our coffee mugs. Every now and again we might take a jab or two at some of our closest neighbours with sayings like “Canada has been great.” (Fly By Design). Even sometimes a little more discretely we will simply add our favourite red and black plaid just to give it that true Canadian look, which we at Sisa &co. love to do in some of our own pieces!

Torontonians, as well Canadians nationwide are the supporting cast for some of our most beloved sports teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, The Ottawa Senators etc. (albeit with a little rivalry). The Toronto Raptors, and the Toronto Blue Jays have been making us chant, scream, and bite our nails with excitement and anticipation... and in true Canadian fashion I’ll say “This is our year”. Brands have found much success in collaborating with our athletes. Peace Collective can even brag having the likes of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and David Price proudly wearing their “Toronto Vs. Everybody” crew neck sweaters. Yo Sox, can flaunt collaborations with Kevin Pillar, Patrick Patterson, and Crystal Emmanuel.

Keeping with the theme, true to some of our most endeared attributes... being kind, friendly, and our tendency to have a  loving nature a lot of our smaller scale brands have proved to be very altruistic. (I use the term “smaller” loosely because many of the brands that I came across in my research have garnered a lot of popularity, as well as national and international attention. I use it more in comparison to luxury worldwide brands). I noticed that we love to make a difference a lot of our brands have a cause or a bigger purpose. Having some kind of social or environmental impact will gain the hearts and loyalty of your Canadian customers. Anywhere from feeding the hungry, to donating to local shelters, helping clean the oceans and even good old body positivity Canadians love to be beneficent. To name a few, Ten Fed, Thank You Toronto, The Saltwater Collective, and 3rd Floor Studio.

A lot of these brands have found success in their being Canadian made. Canadian designers hiring community seamstress’ and ensuring they buy Canadian textiles from home grown shops, even hiring our neighbourhood photographers ...because supporting local business’ helps our economy!

In conclusion, Toronto brand owners and customers are quietly patriotic amiable philanthropists. But, maybe I’m just bias...

Why Buy Local?

 

We have compiled a list of what we find to be the MOST IMPORTANT but not the ONLY reasons why you should support local businesses. If you seriously consider the topic at hand here, there shouldn’t be any convincing necessary BUT if you’re the stubborn “I need the cold hard facts!!” Type... here you go!

Economy

One study shows that for every $100.00 spent at a local business $68.00 of that money stays in the local economy whereas only $43.00 for every $100.00 spent in big corporations remains. Another great thing is that entrepreneurs opening locations within their community creates more jobs!

 Also reviews have shown that thriving community companies help to add value to surrounding homes and neighbourhoods.

 Community

When you support local businesses you help build a sense of community. Often book stores, local shops, cafes, and even individuals will host events. These events bring together the locals, and create the feel of a closer knit environment. Studies have shown that where there is this sensation of closeness within a neighbourhood, it tends to thrive, and individuals will be more likely to host book groups, children’s events, play dates, and knitting clubs (more fun!).

Identity

One of the key components in making a city great is in keeping its unique qualities. Entrepreneurs have a home grown interest in highlighting all the beautiful features of their own cities, be it art, food, music, history, and/or fashion. Local business owners have a vested need in maintaining and serving local tastes because it holds true to and engages locals in their culture. Also, keeping the local identity attracts tourists, and draws the attention of future entrepreneurs to the individuality of their own home.

Entrepreneurship

This allows people to follow their passions and actually do what they want, there is this beautiful ripple effect where others will then want and do the same! People who are constantly introduced to entrepreneurism have said that they are more likely to have high self esteem, utilize their creative freedoms, and tend to feel that they have more control over their own lives.

Unique

Have you ever gone to the mall and found pretty much the exact same items of clothing, perfumes, jewellery etc. in more than one store? Or, gone out for a night of hanging with family and friends and bumped into someone with the same outfit? How about my personal favourite, buying someone a gift only to have them tell you they already have it! If you buy from local artisans, designers, and shops you will rarely if not never run into these issues. The great thing about this too is that you will often find things you could almost never find at a mall. Large companies base their products on a national level and not necessarily to meet the needs of the individual communities therefore lacking in product diversity.

Personal Touch

Having the owner close by makes it easier to have the product(s) tailored to your liking. You will find that you may even receive better service based on the fact that the “sales reps” in this case care about, and know their product completely. If you keep going back to the same shops the owners can get to know you on a more personal level and may begin to offer suggestions based on your previous purchases. Calling a 1-800 number in hopes to resolve an issue is often a long drawn out process, which may at times end with “I’m sorry we wish there was something we could do to help you!” The sales reps and customer service reps are so far removed from the decision making process that they have little to no concern in losing a customer.

and last but, most definitely not least...

Friendship

When you personally get to know the person(s) behind the brand you may enjoy a connection with someone you may otherwise have never gotten the chance to meet. If a small local business succeeds you get to be a part of the process and celebrate in their accomplishments.

 

You never know, we could even become great friends!

Needles to say buying local may be just as good for you as it is for the small business owner!

10 Everyday tips men need to keep in mind

 

  1. Cleanliness

Showering, (we would hope) is a major part of your daily routine. Just the idea of feeling fresh and clean can be a major confident booster. I think I speak for everyone that after a long day of sitting around the house feeling bummy, a shower makes us feel like a functioning member of society. Now, in order to ensure you keep feeling fresh all day, make sure to apply deodorant and cologne! These things make a huge difference as the day drags on, you may be working late, but you still smell fresh.

  1. Mouth hygiene

Chances are you had coffee and breakfast this morning, and everyone knows morning breath is pretty awful. Aside from the fact that keeping a clean mouth has so many health benefits it’s also visually, and aromatically pleasing. If you’re talking to your girlfriend, crush, or co-worker fresh breath is a breath of fresh air (pun completely intended). Keep a pack of gum/mints on your person at all times, just in case lunch/dinner breath also decides to linger.

  1. Chap Stick

If your lips look crusty, cracked, and dry you just look like you came off of a deserted island or haven’t had a glass of water in weeks. We know the weather can be tough on your lips, especially for those of you who work outdoors. Using a chap-stick regularly will keep your lips looking healthy and extra kissable (trust us!).

  1. Moisturize

Making sure your skin looks healthy simply shows you care about taking care of yourself. Ensure that you moisturize EVERYTHING, your body, hands, and your face! Plus, in the long run it helps to maintain you looking young and healthy. Keeping your skin moisturized is super important.

  1. MANicures

We get it you work hard, and your hands can take a real beating! That doesn’t mean that your hands don’t need love, if you feel silly going to a salon, you can easily do it at home too (keep in mind you can always take a female friend, we love that stuff). If doing a MANicure is out of the question the least you can do is keep your nails trimmed, and clean.

  1. Grooming

However you decide to grow your facial hear is completely up to you, we appreciate men of all facial hair preferences, long, short, or smooth as a babies bottom, you’re all loved equally. This being said whatever style you choose make sure it is maintained! Keep hair looking evenly cut, clean, combed, and properly lined up. Scruff is nice as long as it doesn’t look like laziness. This also goes for the hair on the rest of your head!

  1. Sole Cleansing

Whatever shoes you decide to rock, be it sneakers, boots, or dress shoes you should always keep them looking fresh. Unless you’re working, or getting things done around the house they should not like you walked a million miles in them. If we know one thing about women is that we love shoes! To know that a man pays attentions to these little details shows a lot about how much he takes care of himself.

  1. The Right Fit

Making sure your clothing is the proper fit takes you from someone who looks like they still wears the clothing his mother bought him in high school to someone who dresses himself with ease. Make sure collars, sleeves, and pant legs fall in the right places. (Here is an easy guide)

 

 

This is also especially important for casual outfits; it keeps you from looking sloppy. Wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt can look great if you’re wearing pants and a shirt that hug you in all the right places.

  1. Shoes and belt should match.

Nothing shows that you’re completely clueless when it comes to fashion like not paying attention to the details. Wearing black leather dress shoes, with a tan leather belt looks careless. Make sure that your belt and shoes go well together.

  1. 10. Wrinkle Free

We know ironing can be a bit tedious but even if you make sure you did everything else on this list and you walk out with a crinkled up shirt, you will look sloppy. Dress shirt, T-shirt, tank top, it doesn’t matter you don’t want to look like you pulled it out of the back of the closet in a balled up mess. Take the time to look neat, and (un)creased, use an iron!

 

I will leave you with this:

“A man should look as if he bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.”

-Hardy Amies

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