Jules & the preloved team had the privilege of sitting down with Kristi Soomer the founder of Encircled and taking a tour of their Toronto HQ.
Kristi a self-taught fashion designer and Jules a self-proclaimed accidental environmentalist, bonded over their similar beginnings. Kristi shares, “I built this business because I wanted to follow my passion”. Encircled began back in 2012 with a passion for ethically-made, sustainable and sweatshop-free clothing. Encircled is a Canadian company that designs versatile capsule wardrobe essentials and each piece is designed with simplicity and versatility in mind, right here in Toronto.
“I built this business because I wanted to follow my passion”
Kristi kicked things off by giving preloved a behind the scenes tour of her Toronto office and showing us where the magic happens. To date, 25% of all fabric knitting and dying takes place less than 35 km away from the Encircled HQ.
Each piece is created with the intent to be a modern basic and have a multi-way design. One garment can probably be worn 5 different ways, which is why Kristi says, “we like to really highlight the pieces... which is very different from most fashion retailers”. Take for example The Dressy Sweatsuit, a dressy sweatpant and sweatshirt can easily be combined to create an outfit that’s perfect for the office to afternoon strolls and post-workout errands.
Much like preloved, Encircled also takes pride in the idea of circularity. Doing your part and taking responsibility for your own. “When we have stuff from quality control that doesn’t meet our standards, instead of donating it, number one we try and repair it. So say it has a small snag in it, our team will try and repair it to put it into full retail and if we can’t, we save it and then we do a sample sale online. This way it finds a new home, it’s not being donated or trashed”, Kristi explains. Sustainability is at the core of Encircled’s beliefs and isn’t just incorporated into their garments but their business practices as well.
So the next time you’re shopping for clothes ask yourself, “what need does this fulfill within my wardrobe?” In no time you can streamline your wardrobe and curate a closet that’s more with less!
PHOTOS BY YUKO
WRITTEN BY KEANA