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  • Elliot Figueira

Before you get too excited, let me make one thing clear:


There aren't many options for #sunglasses made in #Canada.


I've managed to find a total of three #Canadian companies who manufacture their #shades in-house. That being said, these three brands make incredible products that deserve to be on your radar - whether you're committed to buying products made in Canada or not.


Generally speaking, products made in Canada are of a high quality, and that's important when you're shopping for sunglasses. Although buying a pair every #summer from the gas station is certainly an option, there are those of us who want sunglasses we can rely on.


If you're looking to invest in a pair of shades that can potentially last you an entire lifetime, check out these three brands:


Loch Effects



Loch Effects is one of the most interesting #eyewear brands I've ever come across. All of their sunglasses are made from wood, which seems to be a growing trend in the industry.


However, Loch Effects doesn't just use any wood to make their sunglasses. They use only #wood that has been reclaimed from the bottom of lakes and rivers in Canada. This lumber has been lying underwater for upwards of 500 years.


So why would you want to wear sunglasses made from this type of wood? Well, as any #lumber expert will tell you, wood actually begins to rot the longer it's exposed to light and oxygen. In the cold, dark, and oxygen-deprived confines of water, wood is preserved incredibly well.


It also becomes more beautiful as it absorbs the tannins and minerals found in the surrounding soil and water. Depending on various factors, the lumber can take on a distinctive shade of olive green, grey, or even gold.



Perhaps the most notable benefit of this wood in the context of sunglasses is the fact that it's extremely durable. Because Loch Effects uses old-growth #timber, the wood grains are extremely dense. Submerged wood is also apparently very hard, solidified by the process of being submerged and waterlogged for so long.


What this means is that Loch's sunglasses stand the test of time. Although other wooden sunglasses might be prone to cracking or breaking, the quality and durability of the wood used here means Loch shades are a lasting investment.


As far as style goes, wooden sunglasses are something of an acquired taste. They might not be for everyone, but the general aesthetic seems uniquely Canadian. For anyone who likes the #outdoors, earth-tones, or a down-to-earth vibe, these shades are a solid choice.


Loch Effects also deserves to be praised for their use of #sustainable, eco-friendly materials. No trees are being cut down to make these sunglasses. These sunken logs are at the bottom of lakes where no one can get them. Reclaiming them has zero impact on the #environment.


Canadian Sunglasses



Their name might not be very imaginative, and the story behind this brand probably isn't as interesting as the aforementioned manufacturer.


That being said, Canadian Sunglasses are exactly what a lot of people are looking for. Classically designed, #aviator shades with quality materials and #craftsmanship.


Made on Prince Edward Island in a factory with a long history of eyewear creation, Canadian Sunglasses is all about the #vintage #aesthetic. The cool thing about these sunglasses is that they're not just trying to replicate the retro-cool styling of decades past. They are relics of those past years.


These sunglasses were actually made in 1988. The company basically found a surplus of these sunglasses and started selling them again. Some of their most in-demand shades include hand-crafted #leather detailing.


If you'd rather avoid using animal products, they also sell a "basic" model called "Rainbow Gold," pictured above. These sunglasses feature real #gold electroplating, which provides protection against corrosion and the elements.


There's also a range of lens colors to choose from, including reflective and solid variants.


At $200 each, these sunglasses are the probably the cheapest option if you want quality sunglasses made in Canada. In addition to their classic styling, this is one of the main reasons I'm grabbing a pair next summer.


Fellow Earthlings



Fellow Earthlings makes gorgeous #designer sunglasses in Canada. With a notable footprint in the fashion industry, these shades have enjoyed a lot of attention from mainstream media, including Fashion Magazine and the CBC.


They're actually produced in the same factory as the aforementioned Canadian Sunglasses - a small plant called "Tannereye." The two brands are under the same umbrella, and they rightly brag of returning a once thriving eyewear industry to #PEI.


In contrast to the vintage-focused brand Canadian Sunglasses, Fellow Earthling shades are produced today in small batches from cellulose acetate. You might think that's just another fancy word for plastic... Maybe it is. In any case, cellulose is unique in that it's one of the earliest forms of plastic, and it's made from cotton - not oil.


In addition, all of the cellulose acetate used by Fellow Earthlings is #recycled from would-be waste products. Again, there's very little impact on the environment with these sunglasses.



There are some amazing styles and silhouettes to choose from when you visit their site. You can even customize your own pair by picking the material, the frame shape, and the lens. There's a slightly higher price point for these shades, but that's to be expected with their small-batch approach.


So why is it important to buy sunglasses made in Canada?


Consider this: 75% of all designer frames are made by the same manufacturer. This includes big name brands like Ray-Ban and #Oakley.


At the end of the day, there's nothing special about these brands anymore. They're created alongside budget names by the same people using identical machinery.


This manufacturer is also located in #China. That means three quarters of all designer sunglasses are produced in a country with questionable labor laws, a reputation for poor working conditions, and a track record for human rights violations.


I get it. Cheaper sunglasses are hard to say no to. If you need to save money, I'm not going to judge you.


On the other hand, if you think you can do better and make a positive choice for #ethical manufacturing and #sustainability, consider the three brands I've mentioned here. Remember, quality craftsmanship means that you can rely on these shades for longer.


In the long run, you'll probably end up saving more money because you won't have to constantly replace sunglasses of a continuously plummeting quality.


It's definitely something to consider.

  • Elliot Figueira

It's one of the most common questions asked by #Vegans, and we still don't really have a clear answer.


In truly political fashion, the official statement from #converse seems to be that they can neither confirm or deny the presence of animal products in their footwear. For me, that's enough to write them off as far as animal-friendly brands go.


If you're still not convinced, consider that fact that Converse uses leather patches in many of their shoes.



It's a real shame, since at first glance a pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars seem like a go-to option for #Vegans. They're made from canvas, they feature rubber soles, and they exude a classic aesthetic that complements just about any outfit.


I'm not going to get into why Converse aren't vegan, because I'm not even sure if I know the truth. The answer seems to change with each person you ask. Is it the glue they use? Is it something to do with the way their factory operates? One thing's for sure, something is preventing Converse from coming out and clearly stating that their products are vegan, and that's enough to dissuade a lot of animal-conscious people - including me.


With all that said, there's plenty of amazing alternatives out there, and the brand I'm going to focus on today is The Good Guys.



Otherwise known as Good Guys Don't Wear Leather, this Paris-based #footwear company has followed in the footsteps of the Converse aesthetic while adding their own unique touch. In my opinion, these shoes are actually far better than a pair of Chuck Taylors - with the added benefit of being 100% Vegan.


Not only are these kicks vegan, but they're also ethically produced in Portugal, Spain, or Italy. Humans deserve rights too, and you can be sure these shoes were made by people who were working under fair, humane conditions.


The material used to make these shoes is also #sustainable and eco-friendly.



The bottom line?


If you're searching the web trying to figure out whether Converse are vegan or not, let me save you some time - you'll never get a clear answer.


What you can do is grab a pair of shoes from The Good Guys instead. Problem solved.




  • Elliot Figueira

Updated: Jan 26


In terms of sheer durability and timeless style, it's hard to beat a leather jacket.


Hard... But not impossible.


I've been searching for a jacket with that same rugged appeal for quite some time - something that could deliver the same general vibe without the addition of any animal products.


I was looking for a replacement, a substitute.


But what I found in the end was something far superior. At least in my opinion.


Enter the waxed denim jacket.


Of course, this is nothing new. Waxed denim and cotton has been around for ages, and it's always been considered a top-notch fabric. It's an extremely heavy, rigid textile favored by bikers, metalheads, and fashion enthusiasts all over the world.


Say what you will about waxed denim, but you can't deny that there's nothing else quite like it. It seems to have this perpetual "wet" look, with a dull shine not unlike leather.


The waxing process gives the denim a slightly battle-hardened, tastefully scuffed pattern with real character.


But despite its rugged, renegade look, waxed denim is surprisingly versatile. Wear it into the mosh pit, or to a casual brunch the next day. Waxed denim has that timeless, vaguely formal vibe which leather claims to have a monopoly on.

The particular waxed denim jacket I'm wearing here is from Raised By Wolves, and it's made in Canada. The fabric, however, is made in Scotland by Halley Stevenson. These Scots have been going since 1864, which is pretty spectacular.


Waxed cotton is a very British tradition, and quite a few old companies in the UK have been making these fabrics for countless years. Another prime example is British Millerain, which specializes in waterproof, waxed cotton gear.


And that's yet another benefit of waxed denim. It's completely waterproof. If you live in the rain forest of British Columbia like I do, this is a pretty big deal. Yes, wearing raincoats all day every day DOES get old after a while.


When I did wear this jacket out in the rain, I was pretty impressed. The water just rolled right off the fabric, dripping away in beads without soaking the jacket.

British Millerain's motto is "Home & Dry," which is pretty fitting. They definitely deliver on their promise.


I won't spend too much time talking about the brand of this jacket. Why? Well, it's pretty simple really... You can't actually buy it right now. Raised By Wolves sells almost entirely limited edition stuff.


So when it's gone, it's gone. But who knows, it might pop up on their site once again someday...


Denim also seems to look better the more you wear it.


The natural fade means that years from now, you'll love your denim jacket just as much as you do now - maybe even more. I can't wait to see what my jacket looks like in 5 or even ten years!


I'm not sure you'd get the same effect with faux leather or even real leather. There's definitely something cool about an old leather jacket, but it's not going to fade and transform to the same extent as high quality, raw denim.

So if you're thinking about buying faux leather, you might want to step back and ask yourself if that's really the right choice.


For me, it definitely filled that empty gap that a leather jacket would have otherwise filled.

 

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British Columbia, Canada