You know what’s funny? I’ve been perpetually going over the East/West debate in my mind in Toronto. While most of the time my tastes swing East (I’m an in-bed-by-10-up-by-6-even-on-a-Saturday kind of girl), every time I find myself in Kensington Market, Parkdale, Dufferin Grover or on the Ossington strip, I find myself saying, “West is best.”
Magenta from Grassroots recommended I check out Freedom Clothing Collective, a local co-op shop near Bloor and Ossington showcasing local Toronto fashion and accessory designers. I’ve never been much of a fashion girl (she says draped in a too-large hoodie and generic Old Navy jeans) but I’ve always looked at locally-made clothes differently. It feels like I’m not just buying/wearing clothes — I’m buying/wearing art! I’m showcasing creations made by individuals working hard to make this world a funkier place, and who wouldn’t want that?
Here’s a bit about my experience at Freedom Clothing Collective: First of all, I was pleased as punch that Freedom is not just about clothes — in fact, I was far more enthralled with the accessories and sweet home accents. With sweet earrings, nifty printed cards and big ticket items like tables and lamps, I was legitimately close to outfitting my life with items from this shop.
But alas, here’s what I walked away with: A locally-made (vegan!) glossy botanical lip balm, two pairs of earrings (they have a two-for-one sale, so I picked up some sweet black rose earrings and some great green button earrings, as seen on me here) and, of course, a chocolate bar. I’m sorry, but I can only walk by those things so many times before I cave. Much like my time at Grassroots, I felt really relaxed in the store. Jelena was not only really friendly (to be expected in a place like this) but she didn’t do the whole retail-pressure thing. We mostly talked about vegan cheese, socks, and why Bloor and Ossington rocks.
I may or may not have taken a foray into Bloomer’s a block away for some vegan muffins and even a coffee with a shot of vegan Bailey’s. Yep, I’m shameless.
You can find Freedom Clothing Collectige online, on Facebook or on Instagram to check out all the latest pieces of amazing fashion and accessories they carry. If you’re looking to get into local and want to showcase some real art through your clothing, this is the place!