Tell us about your company and what inspired you to start it
I’m 4th generation in my family’s manufacturing business. When I took over, it happened by fault because I was actually only around for a few months to originally help my father shut down. He has put all of his blood, sweat and tears into the business for decades and was ready to retire. I was on my way to California to teach at a fashion school! I had a couple months between leaving Miami and heading to California so I went to Winnipeg to lend him a hand. And as we can now all see, clearly, things went differently LOL.
The line itself launched a few years ago. I lived and breathed outerwear my entire life. My father was London Fog for 46 years. I wanted to still be in the fashion space but have a bit more of a “good feeling purpose” behind a collection because I was a new mom and had a rescue dog that I was very protective of. I had always dreamt of putting a “fun-fur” collection together but now, with my own factory, I could give it purpose and meaning – zero waste. Hence, FREED was born.
How specifically does it relate to sustainable design, production and/or consumption?
Sustainability is our focus. Because we own our domestic factory, we have total control of fabric ends and inventory. We do our best to not let anything go to waste by repurposing styles and using up our ends to create accessories.
What community or customer behaviors are you hoping to create or reinforce?
I am hoping people realize we are a quality maker that is doing our best to create zero waste while remaining fashion-focused and fashion-forward. There aren’t many like us in Canada. We have over a century of know-how, a century of excellence and here we are again with something new, exciting and sustainable. I also hope people have an interest in supporting businesses in their backyard – I have staff that has been with my family for over 40 years!
What is one of the most helpful or enlightening lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Trust yourself, your vision, your gut, authenticity is KEY.
What’s the biggest problem you’re currently trying to solve?
Exposure. Not a lot of people know we exist yet. I have full faith in the product we produce, I just need people to know we are here.