As unique and diverse as we claim our home to be, there’s a few brands that really dominate the casual fashion world—especially in the summer. For activewear, it’s Lululemon. Birkenstocks have the sandal category dominated. And when the sun goes down, hikers and campers everywhere pull over the Patagonia.
Folks here love the California company (yes, it’s based in the states, not its namesake in South America) for its eco-friendly mandate: using recycled and recyclable materials, environmental activism, and making clothes that are meant to last a lifetime. It’s a solid brand. But it’s not local.
Ecologyst (formerly named Sitka) is—it’s based on Vancouver Island, and all of their apparel is made there, too. The brand has been around for twenty years; they started in surfboards, but now largely focus on outdoor clothing and activewear. They use sustainable materials and have a lifetime guarantee on their products. And something big has been in the works for the last year or so: they’re expanding to a much larger factory/retail space in Victoria. They open their doors to the public on July 15, but we got some early behind-the-scenes photos of the brand-new facility. Spoiler alert: it’s transparent to the max.
The new open-concept space has retail in the front and manufacturing in the back.
Shoppers can peruse lifetime-guaranteed apparel in eyeshot of the folks who are making them.
The new facility has storage piled high.
In the back of the new space is a cutting room.
A "before" photo.
A shot of Ecologyst's industrial-chic entrance.