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Why Made in Canada Is Important to Us

by Erin Torrance July 01, 2019

Why Made in Canada Is Important to Us

Since Scout’s beginnings on Roncesvalles to its expansion to our second location with Scout Leslieville, supporting Canadian makers and brands has always been part of our store’s foundation and that’s not about to change. This July, we wanted to offer up a little highlight on just a handful of the 70+ brands that we’ve stocked since Scout opened its doors in 2011.

Our first window display, designed by Jacqui Gardner and Craig Hopgood, featured two over sized maps of eastern and western Canada with buttons proudly placed over the Canadian cities, towns, and villages where our makers created the products we stocked.

Scout Roncesavalles storefront window with map of Canada installation

Photo Credit: Leah Eyles

From those beginnings, we’ve continually placed an emphasis on carefully curating everything we carry in store, sourcing products from coast to coast. We’ve put a priority on partnering with Canadian brands for a few reasons:

For the Community: At Scout, we’re all about community. We want to know the story, the people, and the work that goes behind all that we stock. Whether we meet them at a market, on social, or by phone or email, we are proud to be partnered with so many creative individuals bringing to life imaginative cards and goods all meant to have a positive impact on our customers or recipients. The heart and hard work that goes into everything makes our curated collections feel so special to us and we hope that you can feel all that warmth and joy the moment you step into Scout and start exploring the shelves yourself.

For the Environment: The reduced carbon footprint created from working with Canadian makers and suppliers rather than shipping contents from afar allows us to help our customers have a smaller impact on the planet while purchasing thoughtful gifts, cards, and treasures that bring them joy. When the weather is cooperating, some of our makers even deliver in person or by bicycle. We’re also able to have a stronger partnership with our makers and offer feedback—from us and our customers—when we see areas in which we can lower our environmental impact together.

For the Workers: We work with a few Canadian companies who are headquartered here but manufacture outside of Canada. For these companies, manufacturing in the United States or abroad reduces their costs and enables them to sustain their company long-term. We’re then able to pass along a cost benefit to our customers. We still do our research to ensure these brands are utilizing factories and suppliers that offer safe and clean working conditions, fair wages, and quality materials. These partnerships allow us to ensure we’re able to offer beautiful, quality options for customers of all budgets while supporting Canadian companies.

Let Us Introduce You to Some of Scout’s Long Standing Canadian Brands

We love all of our makers but if we were to gush on about all of them, this would become quite the novel. Instead, we’re highlighting just some Canadian makers who have been on the journey with us since starting as one small shop on Roncesvalles, but we encourage you to come visit us in-store to explore many, many more!

Erin Templeton

Erin Templeton sitting in her studio in front of her handmade leather bags

Photo credit: Matthew Chen Photography for DailyHive.com

Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Erin Templeton started creating leather accessories more than 20 years ago while studying shoemaking in England. Since then, Erin has studied leatherwork in Australia, returned to Vancouver, upgraded her studio from the boiler room of a local tailor shop to the tailor shop itself, and opened a storefront. A lover of vintage, Erin’s designs are handmade in her Vancouver studio out of recycled leather, imported cowhides, or a selection of exclusive and locally tanned elk and bison. Simple, modern designs, durable construction, and in-house production makes these one-of-a-kind bags a wise investment for reducing your environmental footprint with an heirloom-quality bag. 

Availability: Erin Templeton is currently carried in our Roncesvalles store with a few options available online. 

Kara Yoo

Kara Yoo creating handmade jewellery at a desk in her Vancouver studio

Photo credit: Kara Yoo Jewelry

Tucked in between a mix of Vancouver cafes, heritage homes, local businesses, and industrial factories, sits the Kara Yoo jewelry studio. Inspired by her sister, who introduced her to jewelry-making in high school, Kara studied Jewellery Art & Design in Vancouver and opened Kara Yoo Jewelry in 2012 with the intent to focus in on versatile, minimal, thoughtfully-crafted pieces that would allow the wearer’s character and personal aesthetic to shine through. Her main mission is to redefine the everyday classic for a modern lifestyle. Made to last, Kara Yoo pieces utilize high-quality materials, with most pieces carried here at Scout being made of tarnish-resistant argentium sterling silver and 14-karat gold fill.

Availability: Kara Yoo is carried in both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles stores with a selection available online. Stock varies between online and in-store so call us first to see whether we have what you’re looking for!

Made in Brockton Village

 

Malika and Tomas of Made in Brockton Village in their booth at the One of a Kind Show, Toronto

Photo credit: Made in Brockton Village Instagram

We’ve been a card-carrying supporter of Made in Brockton Village since the beginning and yes, that pun was 100% intended. Born in 2012, Made in Brockton Village is a Toronto-based paper goods design house founded by Malika Pannek, the illustrator, and Tomas Urbina. At its core, Made in Brockton Village is driven by its eco-conscious values, playful attitude, and imperfect artwork. Sustainability is a cornerstone to this business, which is one major reason we absolutely adore them. Ninety-percent of their products are made of 100% recycled paper, all paper is FSC certified, and they’re currently phasing out plastic so that by the end of 2019, all of their cards will come in compostable plant-based cello sleeves (biodegradable!). Perhaps the biggest impact of all, though, is in their production process: powered by renewable energy using a waterless printing process and VOC-free inks, Made in Brockton Village is able to significantly reduce the water, carbon emissions, and petroleum-based supplies used in the making of their products—and that’s huge. 

Availability: We have just a tiny sampling online but you can find plenty more selection in both our Roncesvalles and Leslieville stores.

Knotted Nest

Kristen Wulff of Knotted Nest in her studio in the Beaches, Toronto

Photo Credit: Knotted Nest

Another sustainable brand that has captured our heart, Kristen of Knotted Nest has been making recycled fabric creations since 2009. Based out of Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood (not far from our Leslieville location!), Kristen is a self-proclaimed fabric enthusiast who’s always dreaming of the next vintage curtain or pillowcase she can upcycle into wallets, passport covers, reusable napkins, coasters, and more. A testament to the fabrics she’s salvaged, Kristen’s handmade items are created with care and intended to last. The environmental aspects and the thrill of finding a new (to Kristen) vintage pattern to add to an already extensive mix is what drives Knotted Nest. We love the playfulness of these products, their unique patterns and pop of colour, and low environmental impact.

Availability: At this time, Knotted Nest is only available in our Roncesvalles and Leslieville stores.

Organic Quilt Company

Photo Credit: Pierre Obendrauf, Canwest News Service

Organic Quilt Company is another brand we welcomed to the shop in the early days of Scout. Becky Stone began her company in 2007 in Hudson, Quebec when her love for quilting and the environment had her considering alternatives to the conventional cottons she was using. Being a mom to three, it felt like a logical progression to create responsible goods for kids and babies. Starting out with certified organic cotton receiving blankets and quilts, her line quickly progressed into more offerings for babies including hats, bibs, and bedding. Using organic in the brand name is no gimmick here. Becky carefully sources and uses only the finest GOTS-certified organic fabrics. GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard, which means the fabric must fall under a set requirements based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic pesticides or fertilizers. Materials used in Organic Quilt Company goods are also fairly traded and dyed with low-impact natural dyes. This can mean a slightly higher cost, but the there are long-term environmental advantages that Becky deems to be priceless. 

Availability: We carry Organic Quilt Company at both our Leslieville and Roncesvalles locations

Dot + Lil

Anne Dardick in the Montreal Dot + Lil studio creating their signature tea-cup candles

Photo credit: Valeria Bismar for Dinette Magazine

Gorgeous packaging and uncomplicated bath and beauty essentials had our hearts from the start. Now an heirloom-inspired beauty atelier headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Dot + Lil began out of owner Anne Dardick’s bath addiction and was officially founded in 2008. Products are all handmade in the company’s Rosemont studio and are inspired by amazing women of the past, the immense universe of flowers, and beautiful traditions. Simple and uncomplicated are the underlying threads with most products being anhydrous—that’s containing no water—so the company can nix preservatives from their formulas. It also means products are more concentrated, allowing them to last and be loved for longer. While the majority of the line is vegan and products are free of phthalates and parabens, some contain synthetic fragrances to get the right scent without resorting to using unsafe, albeit more natural, forms. (We’re always happy to chat more about those little details if you come visit us in-store!) Bath milk sachets are a luxuriously silky addition to a restful bathtime, and Dot + Lil’s light bath and body oils are a great addition to a little Sunday self-care routine.

Availability: Perfumes, bath sachets, and body butter are available online but you’ll have to shop in-store for the complete bath and body lineup from Dot + Lil, stocked in both Leslieville and Roncesvalles.

Featured photo by Caroline Aksich from Toronto Life

Have a Canadian brand or maker you think we should know about? Give them a gorgeous little shout-out in the comments below. We love meeting new makers!





Erin Torrance
Erin Torrance

Author

A frequent shopper at the store over the years, Erin joined the Scout team when we opened in Leslieville in November 2018. She prides herself on giving the perfect heartfelt card and may be considered your go-to source for brunch and coffee recommendations in the East End.


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