PRELOVED 881 Queen West, 416-504-8704, preloved.ca.
In Canadian fashion circles, the big loss from last winter's Queen and Bathurst fire was the Preloved boutique, home to Toronto's trailblazing sustainable fashion empire. The industry rallied around owner Julia Grieve. Her team opened up a temporary store in the basement of their nearby headquarters and previewed their woolly autumn line during Fall Fashion Week in March.
Finding a replacement shop space proved harder, until manager Shelley Whelan clicked on a Craigslist ad for the former FLUF storefront across from Trinity Bellwoods park. The lofty space offers customers more shopping room and a dream basement stockroom (imagine a Vogue fashion closet à la The Devil Wears Prada) where you can pick through each design's one-of-a-kind variations.
"I always call myself the accidental environmentalist," says Grieve. "The eco angle wasn't at the forefront when I started 14 years ago." Sixty thousand recycled sweaters later, it's at the top of Preloved's priority list, and Grieve has pounced on the opportunity to build a boutique as earth-friendly as the clothes, organic tissue paper, biodegradable shopping bags and all.
Photo By Kathryn Gaitens
Preloved picks: Three pairs of vintage wool trousers and two sweaters are recut into the cap-sleeved Margo dress, $179; the high-waisted Butterfield skirt hides a pair of pockets, $139; layer up with the Miss Vale short-sleeve tunic, $149.
Look for: The official opening bash on September 3.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 11 am to 7 pm, Thursday and Friday 11 am to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.