Toronto’s sustainable clothing brands: Alder Apparel

Part one of our sustainable style series focuses on a women's outdoor apparel brand that prioritizes inclusivity

Sustainability is a buzzword in the fashion industry, and Toronto fashion entrepreneurs are taking note. First up in our sustainable style series, where we put a spotlight on local brands straying away from fast fashion, is Alder Apparel.

When Mikayla Wujec was travelling abroad, she found herself pretty unsatisfied with outdoor clothing for women. And, as she discovered through endless conversations with other women, she wasn’t the only one.

Women either get hyper-performance options or, well, leggings. So when Wujec floated the idea by her friend Naomi Blackman — an avid hiker with plenty of fashion marketing experience — they decided to do something about it. Enter Alder.

Alder Apparel, one of Toronto’s sustainable clothing brands, is a line of outdoor recreation apparel for women. The brand focuses on inclusivity, body diversity and sustainability.

“It was important to us both to create products that women actually want and need,” Wujec says. Crowdsourcing was deemed the best way to glean knowledge, and two surveys and more than 600 women later, the answer was clear. Women craved pants.

“Unsurprisingly, women wished for a high-waisted fit and possessed a deep longing for many, functional, flattering pockets,” Wujec says. Also, offering sizing from XS to 4X was a non-negotiable.

“We’re used to seeing a really narrow depiction of people in the outdoors,” Blackman says. With Alder, she says, the goal is “to move away from the archetype of the hyper-intense athlete and represent and encourage a variety of women spending time in the outdoors.”

Another must was a sustainable fabric choice that was as comfortable as it was breathable. Fortunately, carbon-neutral Lenzing modal — an innovative fibre made from beech trees — more than met their standards.

Having reached an impressive 956 per cent funding on Kickstarter, the pants are available for pre-order on Indiegogo, delivering in March 2020.


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