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...