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    News — shop local

    How To Stop My Dollar From Supporting Sweatshops?

    When you go Christmas shopping this fall, will you think about the ramifications of your purchase? Will you ask once and for all, how to stop my dollar from supporting sweatshops? If you want to change how your clothing is made and distributed there is a way; stop going to the mall and buying from these massive corporations that place profits ahead of people. Start exploring your community for local designers. You’re depriving companies that use sweatshops of your support, and place it in the deserving hands of someone in your community.

    how to stop my dollar from supporting evil sweatshops?


    In the last 20 years, much of us in the Western world have become conscious of where and how our clothing is being made. The majority of the clothing we see in big stores has originated from sweatshops in poorer nations. The outcry for change has been huge. Major clothing brands in the West have made attempts to improve conditions in many of their overseas operations, but time and again we see news stories of these same mega-corporations reverting back to using sweatshops. It’s easy and cost effective for them to exploit impoverished nations. When the consumers in the West hear of terrible conditions, child labour, or accidents resulting in death there is always a huge backlash. That backlash leads to the company at fault apologizing publicly and changing their ways. Then when things have settled in the media, a lot of these corporations go right back to exploitation to maximize profits for the shareholders. This leaves myself, and I’m sure many others, asking how to stop my dollar from supporting evil sweatshops?

     how to stop my dollar from supporting evil sweatshops?

    people walking around major corporation, stop supporting big sweatshop companies


    Many people think that their spending habits may not have the ability to effect change, but they’re wrong. Just like voting, every dollar counts. When we choose to buy our clothing locally, we disrupt the profits of the shareholders in these massive corporations. Companies are run much the same way that politicians run our governments. If they get the votes they make the legislation. If a company has healthy sales, the investors are happy, and so they can continue with business as usual. When we vote in another party or stop supporting a company with our purchases, changes come. Shareholders will see the dip in sales and change up the senior management and seriously contemplate the pressure on them to change their ways.


    Finding local businesses doesn’t have to be hard either. This can be done in many ways, most popular of all is a simple google search, type in the product you’re trying to find followed by the city or country you want to shop in. You can also use the filter on Etsy to search and browse only local Canada shops. When you open up Instagram try searching #handmadeinCanada #MadeinToronto or #Canadianmaker on Instagram and shop their feeds or ask your friends! Word of mouth is a great way to source out awesome creatives for gifts and yourself. You could also try shopyourneighbourhood website. CLICK HERE. 

    blank tags on white background, supporting local shops like etsy, local hashtags and word of mouth for shopping local

    how to stop supporting evil sweatshops?


    We cannot avoid the obvious reason why so many people still support these companies after decades of atrocious stories. Their products come with the cheapest price tag, and who doesn’t want to save money. Who cares what the price is… what’s the quality? We've all gone to a big chain to buy something before. We feel great when we see that the price is so low. However, something we have all encountered before is that it falls apart within days, weeks, or months. This is not just clothing, it applies to all the products in our lives. It leads me to believe are you really saving money when you have to replace these items every year or two? Most of the time spending more on a higher quality product means you have it for years! You really do get what you pay for!

    banking card supporting local shops and organizations instead of evil sweatshops


    So I’m challenging you, try a new way to search for local products in your area, hashtags. Word of mouth, local hashtags, local filters on Etsy or googling local cities are all great places to start shopping locally. 

    Until next time,

    carissa from copious handmade and designed clothing in canada


    Kickstarter- Canadian Made Fabric

    Over years of running Copious there have been major ups and downs but finding out that my quilted fabric was being discontinued was a blow that hit harder than I even expected. When I found out, I instantly jumped into making a plan and started scouring my wholesalers to find a replacement. I definitely considered a couple options, but there was always something that made it subpar to the original; most didn’t have enough cotton, making the fabric itchy and giving it a shiny look, fabrics like that never wash well and would look old very quickly. The reason the Alice Sweater was a garment my clients and I loved was because I knew it was something that could be worn weekly and never show that kind of wear but grow to be a staple in their wardrobes.If I couldn’t find a fabric that was up to the Copious standards, I started to come to the decision that I would not make the Alice Sweater anymore and honestly started to harbour feelings that maybe my clients were tired of this sweater and ready for a change. Throughout the winter though, I kept getting emails asking about the Alice Sweater and was it available in the Plum or Navy. Then the Spring OOAK show was upon me and more clients were asking about the sweater, this just confirmed that I had to figure out a way to keep this GREAT style going. Being an artist there is a certain amount of self-doubt that comes into play, I learned a long time ago it was easier to admit it, rather than ignore it. Hearing from all my clients about this style just affirmed that I had created exactly what I had always wanted Copious to be. A company that creates comfortable, stylish clothes that women love and feel confident in. It helped me see I needed to find a fabric that was equal to the original, and once I knew I would have to make it,  I knew it could be even better because it would be Made in Canada.

    After an exhausting amount of emails back and forth, I found Fine Cotton Factory, a mill that could create my coveted quilted fabric and dye it for the Alice and Sophia style. I was relieved to have found them but disappointed to learn what their minimums and cost would be. I felt like I was back to accepting that this style would be no more. I sat with this and had almost resolved myself to believing it BUT I just couldn’t let it die! I am unbelievably stubborn and started doing the math and knew if I launched pre-orders I could raise the funds to help move forward with producing the exact fabric I wanted for this style. Like many business owners, I bet on myself, my design and on my clients support of me.

    You can Pre-Order your Alice Sweater or Sophia Dress through my Kickstarter Campaign, click here to see the reward levels. 

    Of the traits of the brotherhood of writers, savans, musicians, inventors and artist nothing is finer than silent defiance advancing from new free forms. W. W.

    Bridal Story- Katrina

    Katrina was my golden bride, she wanted to be ethereal with a pop of colour and this vibe matched her personality perfectly. She is a very go with the flow, free spirit kind of woman but when she spoke you were 100% focused on her because she is so eloquent! I adored how each of my brides knew themselves so well they chose fabric and designs that suited not only their styles but personalities as well, this is something I stress to my brides. So many people come to me for a custom dress and they want something so different then themselves, but I always say; 1, you want to be comfortable and 2, you still want to be you!

    The Kaja Dress was the perfect option for Katrina, it has structure in the bodice and flowed beautifully in the skirt and we could do a pop of colour in the back. Everything she wanted, plus with the Kaja Dress you have the added bonus of everyone seeing the pop of colour while you walk down the aisle and it being an extra surprise.
    Her lovely friend and step daughter were also wearing Copious originals. 
    Katrina's Final Thoughts
    "At first, the idea of having a custom dress for my wedding was daunting. But I knew from the Copious website how well Carissa did structure and colour and knew I would be in good hands.  On my wedding day,  wearing the dress was like wearing a summer day – full of light and colour!"

    Cinnamon Solstice

    Cinnamon Solstice

    At the end of each season a twinge goes off in my heart for the passion, love and work that went into that collection. The S/S 2017 Collection, Cinnamon Solstice, was particularly passionate for me because the inspiration came at a moment when I was feeling directionless.

    After being less than inspired for a collection that needed to be urgently designed, an incredible opportunity presented itself where I got to take a road trip with my best friend and see California for the first time.

    At first I found the states' lack of colour bizarre to see. Being October my Canadian brain was trained to search for red, orange and yellows, but all I saw was browns and greens. As we continued our drive I began to see all the different shades of green, the pops of colour from the tropical plants and the endless blue sky. Just like that, visiting a new area, hitting the road with my friend who helps me navigate my thoughts and one of my best collections was born. 

     I am beyond lucky to know a group of creatives that collaborate so beautifully together. One thing I hate to do is put limitations on their own ideas, so going into this shoot I told them picture two girls on a road trip who have collected vintage items along the way. Together this is what we created... 

    Photography: Kaja Tirrul, Kaja Photo
    Assistant: Kamara Morozuk
    Model: Jana Galley
    Model: Leyla Djira
    Styling: May Mustapha
    Set Styling: Brittany West, Gloss Events & Decor
    Makeup: Megan Roberts, _2bu_
    Hair: Stephanie Richardson, Richardson Hair Design
    Airstream: Kasey Boudreau, Cellar 82
    Videographer: Emma Jones

    Vien Avec Moi & Copious

            Are you still searching for that perfect fall dress or looking to start your holiday shopping early, stop by Vien Avec Moi at 1338 Wellington Street West in Ottawa and check out the Fall Collection Maple & Wool. I have admired this store for many seasons and their choice in designers is always the best of the best, so I am honoured to be among those designers they carry! 


    The lovely ladies at VAM will be carrying a variety of the Fall 2015 Collection and I am thrilled to be in a store that is paired with many incredible accessory designers to be styled with my pieces, including Krista Norris, who makes the most incredible scarves, perfect for pairing with your Copious dress for Fall.


    These are the select pieces they will be carrying this season:

    From left, top to bottom: Sofia fox dress, Mila quilt dress with faux leather insert, Victoria plaid dress, Alice quilt top with floral elbow patches, Maya fox dress with faux leather collar, Kaja quilt dress, Hilary floral dress