I love big name brands just as much as the next person, but there is a certain level of satisfaction in supporting small shops, creative people, and picking up fresh pieces that make your friends ask, “Hey, where’d you get that?”
I’ve been fascinated with discovering cool new lifestyle brands lately. Whether I’ve found them myself or they’ve connected to me through my Instagram or Twitter accounts, their passion and grass-roots drive to build and offer something different is apparent.
If you are looking to stand out from the crowd and support passionate, creative entrepreneurs, you might want to check out these brands. In most cases, they are giving back to charitable organizations, parks, or trail systems. Not only are you supporting them, but also those who help us enjoy the wild.
I apologize in advance to you and your bank accounts after you’ve read this post!
“…embrace adventure and outdoor activity wherever it can be found.”
The name “Anywhere Wild” comes from a classic quote by John Muir. When wanting directions out of town he was asked by the man “Where do you want to go?”, to which he replied “Anywhere that is wild”.
I discovered Anywhere Wild through Instagram when I searched hashtag #Adventure to see what I’d find. I stumbled on an image of a woman canoeing through a marsh wearing the “Long Live the Wild” hat. All I could think was, “I want that hat!”
I ordered it along with some of their badges. I LOVED the hat as soon as I touched it; super soft and comfortable fabric. I’m a big fan of this company and wore my hat proudly the entire long weekend. It’ll be a staple on future hiking and camping trips.
“Definition of Give’r: To give it your all, go for it.”
I’m Ontarian born and raised, so I’m not too surprised that this brand came about through a 7-day kayaking expedition in the wilderness of Killarney. Read more here.
I’m certain a lot of Canadians have used the phrase time and time again. It’s been said numerous times in my household, more often than not, as a result of getting some kind of vehicle or ATV stuck in mud or snow. “Just Give’r, Matthew!” As a mantra for living life, it’s even better. I smiled when I saw it; such an obvious (and awesome) brand name!
I’m headed to Killarney at the end of October to hike “The Crack” and look forward to picking up some pieces at the only Ontario retailer, Killarney Outfitters. The fact that products are sold there makes me appreciate Give’r that little bit more. I personally love their t-shirts and hoodies, but considering their 4-season gloves went bonkers on Kickstarter, you might want to check them out before the snow flies.
“Created by adventurers for adventurers.”
I came across Dolly Varden Clothing Company through Instagram after they liked one of my photos. The company is based in Calgary (production is in California) and the first product came to market in the Summer of 2015. Dolly Varden’s name comes from a species of trout known for its vibrant colours and constant movement. That the fish was named after a fashion line in the 1800’s couldn’t be more ‘full circle’.
It’s sometimes the most random things that make you love a product. In the case of Dolly Varden, I fell for the bug print fabric on the Biscayne Hoodie and the word “Punks” on the Doers, Drifters Hat. I haven’t ever identified myself as a punk, but we all have a bit of badass in us somewhere. I am patiently waiting for both to arrive in the mail any day now.
“Built on the simple idea that nothing smells better than the forest.”
Juniper Ridge got put on my radar by my best friend’s husband, Corey. He’s been working with the company for a while and spoke highly of their products. The fact that they harvest everything by hand for their scents kind of blows my mind. Then I read an article from AlpineModern.com about the brand and its founder, Hall Newbegin and was amazed.
Product descriptions alone make me want to try them. A room spray smelling of: “Woody, warm, green Glacier fed river, sun-washed boulders, mountain cedar on the campfire, pine pollen on Gold Lake, the first hint of autumn air in the High Sierra summer”?
Umm…yeah, sign me up for some of that!
Juniper Ridge products can be ordered online, or if you’re local to Toronto-ish, you can find places that sell their line here.
“If it’s not comfortable, it’s not Camp.”
There is a lot of truth to the statement above and Camp Brand Goods has made it their mission to create high quality fleece and casual wear for pretty much every occasion.
There must be something in the water out west because Camp Brand Goods is another Canadian lifestyle brand hailing from Calgary, Alberta. Not only did I find the clothing pretty neat, I also enjoyed the added components of their website, like the “Good” posts in their “Good Times General Journal”. So much to go back and read!
“A brand that represents everything we love about the Okanagan – a wildly fun, active, unbridled and easy going lifestyle!”
I first visited the Okanagan just over a year ago with the sole purpose of buying wine. Little did I know how much it had to offer outside of that. I completely fell for the Okanagan area and hope to get back to explore more in the near future. Had I known Okanagan Lifestyle Apparel Company existed, I’d have likely tried to pick up a piece or two.
I love that this brand speaks from a place of pride, community and honouring roots. I may not be a local, but I left a piece of my heart in the Okanagan and their products make it feel not so far away.
“What’s in your sight line?”
I was really pleased to find Sight Line Provisions . Their products are beautiful!
As a photographer, the concept of “sight line” resonated loudly with me. Edgar Diaz, Founder, coined it perfectly, “…what we see in our sight line is personal and most often what makes our time on the water or in the woods special.” I can’t agree more.
If you’re looking for a unique gift for a special person, check out their collections. I can think of a few people in my life who would love these.
“Live the lifestyle.”
Happy Camper Company launched just this summer. I can’t not smile when I hear the phrase and love that they’re developing a whole line of products around it. How can anyone be in a bad mood if they’re wearing a shirt that says “Happy Camper”? It’s impossible!
I’m particularly fond of their t-shirts and tanks, but the guys stuff is fun too. Looking forward to seeing how Brody and his company evolves!
“We believe good things come from people spending time outside.”
I came across Outdoor Project’s clothing line before I realized that they are far more than a lifestyle brand. They are an amazing resource and community that encourages adventuring outdoors.
One look at the Outdoor Project website makes me want to drop everything I’m doing and go outside. I don’t think there is anything like them in Canada. So cool! The product line isn’t huge, but I did really think the Icon’s Shirt was great.
10. Apache Pine
“Take nature with you.”
I have never been a watch person, but I think Apache Pine‘s watches are beautiful. I tend to gravitate to anything made from wood, so it stands to reason why I enjoy their products.
The quote engraved on the back of their watches, “We belong to the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us.” is something I try to remember on the daily and it’s a truth I feel more human beings need to recognize.
11. The Old Fort
“A lifetime of adventure.”
The Old Fort is a relatively new brand out of north-eastern British Columbia, Fort St. John.
I enjoy this brand for a few of simple reasons. The children’s line promoted building forts, which I spent countless hours doing when I was young, the designs included awesome pen and ink drawings like pictured above, and there is something so iconic about the image of the Fort.
I haven’t seen anyone using a fort image before so it immediately stood out.
12. Stix & Stones
“Leave it all behind for a while. Make that a really, really long while. You are meant to be outside.”
I grew up in a family with a long history in hunting, fishing and trapping and I’m confident my brothers would love this brand. I’ve been buying t-shirts for them my entire life and I’ve always looked for something with a bit of edge and outdoor theme.
The beliefs that Stix & Stones’ Fenn Loucks shared on their website is particularly cool and the “Good Times” t-shirt is probably my favourite. They also have some cute designs for women too. For those who like to cook and are into the hunting and fishing lifestyle, you should check out all their Field to Plate recipes. Super yum!
“More than pink camo.”
I was intrigued by Huntique Boutique when I discovered them. I’m not a hunter. The first time I shot a gun was my last and I have never been someone who wears pink. If I was, it wouldn’t be in the form of pink camo. That’s not a judgement, however it is the primary reason I liked this brand.
I respect that the apparel line aims to service those who are passionate about the tradition or sport, yet shy away from being stereotypical. They’re relatively new and I look forward to following them and seeing what else they come up with.
That was a longer list than originally planned but I hope you discovered some new brands to try out!
Thanks again to everyone who generously contributed beautiful images and made me feel so welcome.
Wild and Found
* None of the brands mentioned in this post paid me to mention them. If there is one thing that made me really happy, it was the consistent kindness I received when I reached out. In most cases they went out of their way to help me, provided images, offered to share the information and wished me success. As a new blogger, I found this refreshing and inspiring. It’s easy to support brands when they have excellent customer service and wonderful manners.