Under $10Kayla Rocca
Although she’s only nine years old, Mya Beaudry is already tapping into the legacy of strong Indigenous women who came before her by creating scrunchies out of kokom scarves, which were traditionally worn by elders. (In fact, kokom means “grandma” in Algonquinian languages.) Beaudry originally began making the colourful scrunchies in support of the Summer Solstice Pow Wow in Ottawa, but when that event was cancelled due to COVID-19 and she continued receiving messages from people who were desperate to get their hands on a scrunchie, she decided to start a business. “Kokom scarves are special to me, and now I get to modernize them to make something new,” says Beaudry. Indeed, the simple act of tying up your hair in one of these graphic floral prints acts as a powerful daily reminder of the women who fought endlessly so future generations could grow up with a connection to their roots as Indigenous people. Bianca Millar
Kokom scrunchies ($10 each), at kokomscrunchies.ca.
Under $15Kayla Rocca
This year, we’ve thought about our choice of socks…often. (Shoes, it turns out, do not top the list of pandemic must-haves.) KOTN, started by husband-and-wife duo Ben Sehl and Mackenzie Yeates alongside their business partner Rami Helali, makes the cushiest pairs. The Canadian certified B Corp currently works directly with 690 family-owned cotton farms in Egypt to help to lower their costs and increase their yields and earnings. “We offer subsidies, like agricultural consultants and fertilizer, as well as guaranteed pricing,” says Yeates. The model also ensures full product traceability: The cotton used for its socks, for example, was grown in Fayoum, a desert oasis 100 kilometres southwest of Cairo. Since KOTN launched in 2015, the company has funded the construction and operation costs of seven schools in the Nile Delta and hopes to bring that number to 10 after donating 100 percent of proceeds from its upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Victoria DiPlacido
KOTN crew socks ($12), at shop.kotn.com
Under $35Kayla Rocca
Charcuterie boards have had their moment – but seacuterie? That wave is just rolling in, thanks in part to Scout, the newly launched chef-led cannery that’s dedicated to making the kind of chic conservas that have a long history in Europe, using certified-sustainable fish. “Having been raised in PEI, the seafood crown of Canada, means I am passionate about the revival of craft canning as a traditional way of preserving quality local food for easy entertaining,” says chef and co-founder Charlotte Langley. And the benefits extend beyond supporting a cool local B Corp business: Shellfish is one of the sources of protein with the lowest carbon footprint, and opting for canned goods eliminates significant food waste. (Also, all the cute packaging is recyclable!) So your next five-minute cocktail snack? Paprika-spiked mussels on toast, served with a crisp glass of white. Salud. Kathryn Hudson
Wild Albacore Tuna in Organic Olive Oil ($30 for 4), at enjoyscout.ca
Under $40Kayla Rocca
After selling their stake in luxe leather goods company Want Les Essentiels, Montreal-based designers (and twins) Byron and Dexter Peart started ethical e-commerce website Goodee. “Goodee is very much a reflection of the ‘less but better’ consumption [ethos],” Byron told us when the site launched last year. “Each product needs to be made with a purpose and an intention, and there has to be a plan for what to do with it after we’re done with it – whether that’s to pass it on, resell it or recycle it.” While Ekobo’s plates, made of a bamboo-fibre plastic alternative, are technically sold as children’s dinnerware, we see no reason not to use them well into adulthood. “Dexter’s kids had been loving them for years,” says Byron. “The style, durability and ease of care coupled with the company’s unwavering commitment to sustainable materials made Ekobo a very natural fit.” Pack them alongside a blanket and your favourite local takeout to elevate your next park picnic. Victoria DiPlacido
Ekobo Gusto Medium Plate – Blue Series ($38), at goodeeworld.com
Under $60Kayla Rocca
When heirloom-furniture craftsperson Mary Ratcliffe found herself reeling at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, she poured herself into her work – quite literally. “The furniture side of my business had slowed, and I just needed to make something that would feel like a kind of response to the hectic-ness of everything,” she explains. So she began crafting these perfectly one-of-a-kind composite stone catch-alls, each one hand-mixed using natural stone pigments and designed to last literally forever – a core aspect of her process, which prizes lasting, pass-it-down-to-your-kids quality. “I wanted to celebrate and elevate little daily rituals, like taking your jewellery off before getting in the shower or putting your keys down somewhere safe when you get home,” she says. “Those little moments are so amplified right now, so why not try to bring a little bit more beauty to them?” Kathryn Hudson
Mary Ratcliffe Catch All ($55 each), at maryratcliffe.studio
Under $100Kayla Rocca
These hand-printed Canadian-made shirts raise graphic tees to their highest form: eye-catching, thought-expanding zine manifestos that go off on some of the most foundational issues facing our society, from racism to women’s rights to education – and all profits go directly to local non-profits. The project is the brainchild of well-known Montreal creative Fred Caron and the city’s unmissable streetwear boutique and event space, Lopez. “Fred’s vision for this project meshed perfectly with our own punk aesthetic, our desire to give back to our community – and to make a truly 100 percent local project,” says Graeme Anthony, partner at Lopez. Watch for the upcoming drop of a limited-edition Puma collab collection – branded with the dare “Do Something Say Something,” which we think should probably be the motto of 2020. Kathryn Hudson
1106 Zine cotton shirt ($80), at lopezmtl.com
All photos were shot on location at Superette Summerhill in Toronto.
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