FC EVENT: Sarah Portway Launches New Book at FC Queen!

Happy Family Day!
Family is such an important part of life, and I don’t like to stop at the people you share blood with. I think in life we create our own families, little gaggles of people that mean the world to us. I am lucky to have a  pretty amazing family, and a great extended family of friends that spreads across the world!
Of course, I am always referring to my coworkers as my FC family – and that’s not just because of the convenient alliteration, it’s because I really believe it to be true.

On that note, I’m excited to share with you that one of the members of that family has some big news: our very own Sarah Portway is publishing a book! To celebrate this awesome accomplishment, we are hosting her book launch event this Thursday at our Queen Street Store (and you’re invited)!

Learn more about this book in Sarah’s own words:

sarah portrait

Hello Fresh Collective fans,

This isn’t my first guest-blog, but for me this is the most exciting. Over the summer I had my Master’s thesis published and we are launching my book at the Queen Street store (692 Queen Street West) starting at 7PM on February 21st. I’m thrilled to share my years of research with you and possibly entice you to add my book to your shelves (along with some great local fashion for the closet on the same night). As a fashion academic and educator in the sustainability field, I don’t often get to nerd-out to my full capabilities; I’m saving it all for you next Thursday!

My book is entitled Regenerative Abundance: Fast and Sustainable Apparel Production in Toronto. It’s a mouthful, but sometimes great things come with long titles! What I’ve been working on for the last few years is a solution. I know this audience won’t be surprised to know that many small-scale local fashion designers are having a hard time competing in today’s retail market. I decided to look at what might be responsible for that. According to my research (and many other scholars and market strategists in the field), consumers are demanding what we currently call ‘fast fashion.’ Fast fashion pieces are generally of lower quality but are pointedly on trend, and available at a low cost. These pieces come in and out of the wardrobe quickly and not bought with the long-run in mind. These goods also cycle through stores very quickly, meaning the fashion season is being shortened. This trend in purchasing behavior and retailing shows no sign of stopping anytime soon, which means that if local design is going to thrive in Toronto, we need to negotiate new terms which meet contemporary demands.

But meeting new demands isn’t enough; there is the planet to think of! Fast fashion encourages large quantity buying, lots of the pieces will only be worn a few times before being disposed of. So my research had to dig deeper. How can we as local designers nourish the planet at the same time as our own wallets and local economy? Authors McDonough and Braungart pose some very convincing strategies in their book Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way we Make Things. The new terms that I have negotiated for designers bring the Cradle-to-Cradle strategies into perspective in real terms. I’ve answered the question: what would a fast and sustainable fashion industry look like in Toronto? How can we get there?


Not to toot my own horn, but people seem to like what I’ve come up with (I hope you do too!). I’ve presented this work at international conferences and am on track to continue this work at Cornell University next year as I begin my Ph.D. in apparel design and fiber science. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an acceptance letter any day now! I currently hold a Master’s degree in Fashion from Ryerson, a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Guelph and I split my time between teaching at Ryerson and helping you find fabulous local design at Fresh Collective’s Queen Street store on the weekends.

I look forward to meeting you all! Can’t wait to be my nerdy self and get down to the business of fashion.

XOXO -Sarah Portway

P.S. My book will also be available for electronic purchase that evening and after the event these print-to-order beauties will be on their way directly to your door! If you would like to pre-purchase your copy and have it signed the night of the launch, CLICK HERE to do so.

Click the RSVP button below to see all the event details and RSVP! See you Thursday!

rsvp button


BONUS: We’ll also be giving away a brand new Penny Dress from Paper People Clothing’s Spring 2013 line that night! Good Luck!



www.paperpeopleclothing.com :: Paper People on Facebook


This Weekend at Fresh Collective: Lois Laine, Desserts & Skirts, Michelle Carey!

We’ve got a weekend jam packed with exclusive events in our stores. Not only will you get the chance to meet a designer new to FC, but you’ll get a first look at new spring items from some of  your favourites!

Introducing: Lois Laine



Born out of the love of earth and beauty, Lois Laine is a contemporary women’s clothing line that is both elegant and playful.  Lois Laine believes that clothing can be beautiful, comfortable, and pleasurable.  We double the pleasure by being ecologically responsible.  What could feel
better than a beautiful, timeless garment made from sustainable fabric?
We want our customers to feel good in every way.


Creator, Lois (Elaine) Van Koughnet has a background in
both theatrical costume and interior design who showcases the influence of historical shapes as well as architectural lines in her garments.  Lois is also a nature lover with a deep connection to the natural world drawing inspiration from
seasonal energies as well as animal and plant forms.

Meet the designer and shop Lois Laine at Fresh Collective Roncesvalles this Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-5pm as she hosts a special guest trunk show! 


Spring Preview: Desserts & Skirts / Michelle Carey

Our Queen St store is also full of fun this weekend, as designers Nicole Boudreau and Michelle Carey will be on-hand to show of new spring designs AND sell off past season’s stock at great prices!

Desserts & Skirts - Spring 2013

Desserts & Skirts – Spring 2013

MC Amy pink front

Michelle Carey – Spring 2013

Both designers will be in store Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-5pm. Stop in, say hello, and grab something special for yourself!

As always, keep an eye on the FC EVENT CALENDAR for upcoming events, sales and trunk shows!


Introducing I’Moniq Accessories

We’re pleased to welcome another gorgeous line of accessories to the Fresh Collective family! These beautifully crafted accessories featuring gorgeous textiles will be making an appearance at FC Queen THIS WEEK!
blk n white head shot
About the Designer:
Monique Anderson successfully received a BA in fashion design from Ryerson University in 2004. Although her love for apparel was very apparent, it was while visiting India that she was inspired to realize her true calling. Her adoration of unique textiles and secret obsession for jewellery meant more than just a shopping experience – it was a way of life. Having been surrounded by colourful textiles and intricate artwork all her life, as a result of an Afro-Caribbean upbringing, Monique’s Indian excursion sparked an interest that had remained dormant for a long time. Monique then took her two loves – jewelry and textiles – and fused them together to give birth to I’MONIQ Accessories.


About I’MONIQ Accessories:
          I’MONIQ Accessories incorporates rich textiles offering a new and fresh take on costume jewelry. The silk scarves used in each piece are hand-dyed in different cities and villages from around the world including Bali, Thailand, and Chennai. These colourful and luxurious scarves are then knotted and combined with diverse materials and transformed into amazing new art forms. A great deal of time, craftsmanship and care goes into each piece resulting in intricate and unique jewelry to complete the finest of collections.
Hand-crafted in Monique’s Toronto-based studio, I’MONIQ offers limited runs of necklaces, bracelets and earrings composed of strong mixed metals, crystals and vibrant silks from cities and villages across the globe. Prices range from $50 – $350.
“I’MONIQ is the perfect marriage of classic and current designs, with a signature twist. The intricate designs and detailed craftsmanship of this jewelry are incomparable to anything I’ve seen. You can see the love and inspiration put into each piece.”
–       Melanie Fiona, Singer, Grammy winner

Check out some stunning designs at the I’Moniq pop up shop this Wednesday and Thursday (Feb 13th and 14th) at our Queen Street store! 1pm-5pm daily.

FC Event – Bullfrog Power Party Snaps

We got our fab party snaps back from our great event photographer! Check out the great fun we all had at last weeks Bullfrog Power event at the Roncesvalles store!

Special thanks to:
Ashlea Wessel (our fantastic and talented photographer)
Steamwhistle (for the delicious beer)
Hidden Bench (for the equally delicious wine)
Sweetpea’s (for the beautiful flower arrangements)
Rowe Farms (for the tasty treats)
Glory Hole Doughnuts (for the surprise snacks)

And to our amazing designers, FC ambassadors and store staff for filling the Roncesvalles location with fabulous people! We’re so proud to be Bullfrog Powered!