On the long march to equality, women have become well versed in the power of collaboration. So in anticipation of this year’s International Women’s Day, we celebrate three new empowering collaborations and capsules by strong Canadian women standing up for one another.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg tee by SophieGrace
Fed up with the lack of simple, classic workwear basics on the market, former lawyer Emma May launched her own line of clothing last March for short-on-time working women everywhere.
In February, her Calgary-based brand, SophieGrace, introduced its new Cupro Collection, a made-in-Vancouver capsule in cupro satin, a plant-based, biodegradable, and zero-waste-emissions fabric. Designed for elegant professionals, the three-piece capsule is named for some of the brilliant women who have contributed to COVID-19 advancements: scientists and vaccine developers Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Katalin Karikó, and Sarah Gilbert.
This month, continuing its efforts to support women and female entrepreneurs, SophieGrace now introduces its Vancouver-made Ruth Bader Ginsburg T-shirt, inspired by the late Justice Ginsburg’s words of wisdom: “But if you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful life is—living not for oneself, but for one’s community.”
The brand will donate 20 per cent of the T-shirt’s proceeds to Momentum, an organization in Calgary that helps those facing financial hardship by providing them with resources such as micro loans and community economic development education.
Available at Sophiegrace.ca
Ela x Christi pouch
While I strive for all things to be equal between the sexes, handbags were not necessarily meant to be equally sized. Men easily make do with practically doll-sized wallets that fit snugly in their jeans pocket, but what are we supposed to do as we valiantly struggle with the bottomless pits of our purses (um, asking for a friend)?
Holt Renfrew’s H Project offers the perfect solution: a collaboration between two kick-ass women—Canadian handbags and accessory brand Ela and Michif (Métis) artist Christi Belcourt—resulting in a smart but smaller purse that still handily holds all of our essentials.
Launching on International Women’s Day, the Ela x Christi limited-edition vegan pouch features a design based on Belcourt’s Water Lilies artwork and an interior made from recycled water bottles.
“I respect plants with a sense of gratitude for what they do to keep all living species alive on this earth,” Belcourt says. “Most people are unaware that oceans provide the earth with 50 per cent of its oxygen. Water plants, both sea and freshwater plants, are natural filtration systems. The water lily is also a powerful medicine—it not only cleans the water but is food and medicine to many species on Earth.”
In addition, $10 of each sale will be donated to Oceana Canada, a charity that works to protect and restore the world’s oceans.
Available in-store and online at Holtrenfrew.com
The She’s Mercedes Power Suit Project
As the saying goes, behind every great man is an even greater woman (or maybe that’s just a saying in my marriage), and Bertha Benz is the poster child for this mantra. In 1888, the wife and business partner of Mercedes-Benz founder Karl Benz promptly took his new Benz Patent Motor Car on an unprecedented 180-kilometre journey, thereby validating the very concept of the automobile and laying the foundation for a new industry.
Today the She’s Mercedes platform captures that ethos with a global initiative dedicated to inspiring, connecting, and empowering women to encourage their collaboration and innovation. So for International Women’s Day, Mercedes-Benz Canada collaborated with Canadian fashion label Pink Tartan and three Canadian powerhouses—singer Mitsou Gélinas, TV personality Melissa Grelo, and model Stacey McKenzie—for the She’s Mercedes Power Suit Project.
Launching March 8, three limited-edition suits designed by Grelo, McKenzie, and Gélinas in conjunction with Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan reflect each woman’s interpretation of the power suit and explore how women express their own power differently.
Pink Tartan will donate 15 per cent of each suit to Dress For Success, a not-for-profit organization that equips women with professional attire and support to enter and thrive in the workforce.
Available at Pink Tartan as of March 8.
L’Occitane Solidarity Hand Cream
Since the 1980s, Provence’s L’Occitane has, through its foundation, supported the education and entrepreneurship of the women in Burkina Faso who produce its shea butter.
This year in conjunction with International Women’s Day, the brand’s yearly shea butter project launches as the hibiscus-scented Solidarity Hand Cream. With more frequent handwashing due to COVID, it makes sense to stock up—plus 100 per cent of profits from each purchase will be donated to finance NGO projects promoting women’s leadership in Burkina Faso.
As part of its commitment to women’s empowerment, L’Occitane will also make a donation to support Toronto’s Black Women in Motion.
Available in-store and online at l’Occitane.
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