By: Zane Woodford Metro Published on Sat Sep 12 2015
Twist around and pull out the tag on your shirt.
What’s it say? Made in Bangladesh? India? Vietnam, maybe?
A new clothing store in Halifax wants to change that.
Canook on Barrington Street will sell nothing but Canadian designed, Canadian made clothing.
“It’s all about kind of reinforcing and reigniting the Canadian fashion industry, and supporting the individuals that are working hard and not getting the same margins out of it, but just doing it because they love it,” said owner Max Schaper.
Halifax-born-and-raised Schaper has long been wary of big brands that push their allegiance to Canada – or certain regions in Canada – but don’t actually manufacture their clothes in any of its provinces or territories.
“You go and you buy that kind of stuff and it says Canada this and Canada that, but you’re not really supporting Canada by purchasing that; you’re more so just supporting the individual,” he said.
Canook is a different story.
Its flagship store is like the picture next to the definition of ‘Canadiana’ in the dictionary: exposed wooden beams, stone on the walls, old plumbing for clothing racks and a chandelier made of antlers – all put together by a carpenter from Chester.
And they’ve got the insulated and plaid-clad product to back that appearance up.
They’re selling brands like Montreal’s Naked and Famous Denim and Moose Knuckles Outerwear, or Toronto-based 18 Waits that keep their entire process within Canada’s borders.
Canook’s retail buyer, Christina Beazley found some of the brands by searching the hashtag #MadeInCanada on Instagram and seeing what popped up.
She used to work at a “fast fashion” retailer – think H&M or Forever 21 – and finds that people feel more connected to their clothes if they know where they came from, and she said the staff at Canook will be well-trained on the back story of every brand they carry.
The store is set to open up shop at 1669 Barrington St. on Sept. 21, and Schaper has hired four or five staff for the store, along with Beazley and store manager Jenn Foster.
He might have a hard time letting his staff run the show though; Schafer will be living right upstairs.