Ever heard of a Certified B. Corp? It’s a company that puts the planet and people before profits. Encircled, a slow-fashion brand in Toronto (and maker of the very cool plastic-free and vegan UnMoto Jacket), is an excellent example of such a business, making super-chic clothing with sustainably sourced, ultra-soft fabrics and a whole lot of love. We chatted with founder Kristi Soomer about what it takes to be part of the earth-friendly fashion movement. —Vita Daily
Hi Kristi! When and why did you launch Encircled? What makes your clothes unique?
I launched Encircled in 2012 with the mission of helping women travel lighter and live more with less. Over the years, the brand has evolved to focusing on how our customer can create their own streamlined capsule wardrobe at home. The idea is that if you have fewer but better pieces, such as clothing that is more versatile, high-quality, responsibly made, comfortable and stylish, then you don’t need as much in your closet. All of our clothes are made from premium, sustainable fabrics like Tencel, Modal or Organic Cotton, and we are proudly 100 per cent Canadian made. Our mantra is that our customers never have to make any compromises with ethics, sustainability or versatility. Encircled is the wardrobe that does it all.
Encircled is one of the few apparel brands that is a Certified B. Corp.; what does this mean?
We are very proud to be a Certified B. Corp! To get this certification companies need to demonstrate they are committed to balancing profit goals with a purpose that has a positive impact on the community and meets high environmental and transparency standards. We are legally required to consider how our business impacts everyone along the way, not just shareholders. It helps us create a great working environment and helps our customer trust they are making a positive impact with their decision to buy from Encircled.
What’s “slow fashion,” and what are your top tips to get people on board with dressing more sustainably?
The concept of slow fashion is about producing clothing in a way that doesn’t encourage over-consumption and allows for time to produce quality clothing. All our products are made in small batches which means that we have little wasted fabric and less unsold items at the end of a season. It also means we aren’t producing 1,000s of new styles every week like some of the major fast fashion retailers, which ultimately make cheap clothes that are designed to be worn only a handful of times before they end up in a landfill. Our mission is to encourage customers to be more thoughtful and intentional about their clothing—and choose pieces that will last a long time in their wardrobe. A top tip for dressing more sustainably is to challenge yourself to actually wear what you own. On average, we wear just 20 per cent of our clothing, so challenging yourself to buy fewer but better pieces that you’ll actually wear is more sustainable. Try this: flip your hangers around in your closet, and as you wear each piece of clothing – turn the hanger the other way. Revisit your closet every three months to see how much you’re actually wearing. Use this as a tool to evaluate what you’re buying, and what you truly need in your wardrobe.
What’s your bestselling piece, and why?!
This changes depending on the market and time of year but in general our Dressy Sweatpants are really popular! There isn’t really a competitor in the market who offers a comparable pant. They’re the perfect blend of an elevated timeless style meshed with comfort. Although we call them sweatpants, they’re actually made from a dressy blend of sustainable, knit in Canada MicroModal fabric. It’s quite a luxurious fabric and has a slight sheen to it. Previous to 2020, we had customers regularly wearing these to work, travel and at home. Now I’d say they’re basically the perfect work-from-home pant.
Win! A $250 UnMoto Jacket Or $250 Gift Card From Encircled!
One lucky Canadian winner will receive an Encircled UnMoto Jacket in their size (if not available, winner will receive a $250 Encircled gift card)! To enter, follow @encircled_ and @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and follow the entry rules on our corresponding post. Contest opens April 9th, 2021, and closes April 16th, 2021. Rules and regulations here. Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.