Future Fashionings

Slow fashion is not a seasonal trend that comes and goes like animal print, but a sustainable fashion movement that is gaining momentum (Kate Fletcher)

contemplateIf I say eco-fashion or slow fashion this may convey an image of a burlap sack or an ill-fitted off-white t-shirt that you will throw to the back of your closet. It may cause you to think of ‘granola’ clothing, or perhaps something that is not for you, something too expensive or not modern.

But maybe it may convey thoughts of INNOVATION, creativity and beauty. Perhaps, like us you are uneasy with the current fast fashion model, which promotes quantity over quality most often at the expense of those who make our clothing and the natural environment.

Maybe you find yourself walking down the main street of the bustling hub of a city you inhabit searching for the innovative fashion you know exists to add to your professional wardrobe, but there just seems to be a lack of appropriate wear that fits your budget and stylish aesthetic.

This was the dilemma Consuelo and I found ourselves facing when we began to envision Local Buttons what sometimes feels like a lifetime ago;). We knew we could NOT be the only ones in search of accessible, affordable, stylish and well-made work appropriate wear.

Local Buttons has been a crazy journey. We have been so fortunate to meet the most amazing people along the way in both Canada and Haiti. We often say that ‘pepe’ is our passport anywhere. We have met inspiring entrepreneurs, artisans, innovators, academics, designers and mentors. We are excited to begin the next phase of Local Buttons and look forward to bringing you a more interactive way to engage with our line and those who make it. We are eager to introduce you to the men and women who make our clothing and source our garments from the pepe markets in Port-au-Prince.

We want to bring you inside the design and manufacturing process. To show you the detail that goes into making a pocket, the craftsmanship required to find the perfect lining and buttons for each vest and the beauty of seeing a garment come to life for a second time.

We invite you to share any and all burning desires and questions you may have regarding our process. We promise to answer in the best way we can-if we can’t use words we might just try to dance it out for you.


Guilty Pleasures Sale

Come by for a custom fit!

Come by for a custom fit!

This Saturday we will be at the Drake Hotel taking part in the Guilty Pleasures Designer Sale.

Come join us and indulge in a day of fashion and brunch from 9am-4pm.

The Sale offers 2 floors of fashion, from 20 different local designers including yours truly, fashion shows and a silent auction. We look forward to seeing all you beauties there!

Guilty Pleasures For Web and Posters

Yard Trunk show and clothing SWAP

Join us this long weekend for our first ever Yard trunk show and clothing SWAP. You will find beautiful clothing, good tunes, sangria and chocolate.

We leave for Haiti on the 7th and would love to see you before we leave.

Bring your gently loved clothing and swap for some new finds, and browse the LB vests.

We would love to see you there this sunny long weekend!

We will be spending some time working at an orphanage run by a friend of ours while in Port-au-Prince. If you have any travel toiletries and no use for them, we ask that you bring them along to the event. We will bring the toiletries/school supplies etc to the orphanage. 


Guilty Pleasures Designer Sale and Fashion Show

Come check the Local Buttons booth on the lower level at the Drake this Saturday February 4th! We would love to see your lovely face(s) there!!!




Guilty Pleasures for Eco-Fashion

These cold, wet, grey January days can lead to feeling a little gloomy and in need of a little sunny reprieve.  It’s days like this where we like to wrap ourselves up in our most comfy sweater, throw on a pair of knee highs, set the soup to simmer and sip cup after cup of soothing tea and contemplate life in it’s most mysterious intricacies.

While this indulgence is not always possible, these rainy days do serve as an opportunity to look within oneself and contemplate the next step-be it figuratively or literally.

For us at Local Buttons, our next steps are definitely exciting!

Our vests have been placed with care at Fashion Takes Action showroom in the Distillery District. Located on 55 Mill St, our vests share home with the likes of Meemoza, Miik, Rescued and Sole Rebels. They are nesting within the walls of the Artscape building #74, studio #202.

The space is beautiful, artistic and inspiring. Kelly Drennan and Sarah Kear of FTA have done an amazing job bringing a creative work space to life. Set to open the beginning of February, the FTA showroom is sure to bring in an array of eco-fashionistas/fashionistos from Toronto and beyond.

Local Buttons Vests at the FTA Showroom

FTA Showroom

Our latest purchase order is presently having its finishing touches added at INDPECO and will be en route to Toronto on Friday just in time to complete our stock at the showroom, to fill our first purchase order (Cottons in Nelson, BC!) and to be used at the upcoming Guilty Pleasures Brunch and Fashion Show at the Drake.

On February 4th, we will be taking part in an all day local fashion sale at the Drake complete with brunch and multiple fashion shows! Details here and here. It’s going to be an amazing day of beautiful fashion and delicious eats! We hope to see you there!

Year End…And Beginning!

There is something incredibly attractive about transportation.

Humber River Pedestrian Bridge

The movement creates the sensation of change, and for any conscious individual, change is good. Change is really good, I’m sure you’ve been told “Change is the only constant”?

The movement I experience en route begins to satiate my desire to arrive at change. I have never believed in stagnancy, it always seemed too limiting, unnatural. I remain convinced that keeping things the same is either more difficult or impossible. I’m not fooled though, changing things is not often an easy task. Therefore, I’m interested.

Notice the infrastructure required to support any form of transportation. The presence of bridges for example is fantastic. It’s no short task to build a bridge. And a worthy experience to cross one! There is a curious contradiction of simultaneous movement and rest and both are only significant in relation to the other. Why have a bridge if there’s no reason to cross?

It’s not all so unrelated to fashion and the year of Local Buttons.

There is so much beauty and strangeness created from the interdependence of matter. Amazing urban tapestries like Toronto and Port-au-Prince have inspired Anne and I to create the leading designs  of Local Buttons. The movement encouraged in cities has brought us the experiences that inspired our goals and facilitated our achievements. It’s both terrifying and delightful to reflect on 2011. There were so many frights and joys.

Anne and I did an entire photo shoot of our vests themed after Transportation. For us the theme illustrated our desire to take fashion somewhere closer to its ethical potential. We created sustainable jobs for tailors in Haiti and up-cycled hundreds of used garments into new designs to be re-sold as appealing pieces on par with high street fashion.

Fashion in Motion: Faderr Blak models a Local Buttons Vest

Tripping to Haiti was our most exciting decision…that we made twice. The friendships we struck up remain vibrant and inspiring to this moment. The experiences we had in the presence of sorrow and joy whilst in Haiti continue to help us make our decisions in Toronto on a daily basis.

Our experience in Port-au-Prince and resulting clothing line gave us  the opportunity to speak to Ryerson fashion students, recruit two student interns from the master fashion program at Ryerson, and meet those inside and outside of the fashion industry in Toronto, Montreal, and Nelson. Word of mouth soon brought us into correspondence with an international network. It’s an experience we are thankful for. I love the social aspect of our work, it is so lively and interesting.

There is incredible momentum behind us to move forward in 2012. We can’t wait to see you at our show room in the Distillery District for starters!

New stores are on the horizon.

More online activity is a promise.

Great travel stories are inevitable. Obviously.

And…another party or two? Absolutely.

A celebrity appearance in a vest? No doubt.

Heck, there’s even another fashion show coming up in March…

We are so thankful for this experience. We vibe each others creative energy behind Local Buttons and we’re inspired by your support. It’s because of you that we’re looking forward to 2012, business is not in session without people. And business is worth it when great people are involved, need I point fingers? Nope. You know who you are, and we’re not just talking about our parents!

2012 is a gift, Let's put it to great use!

Dear all! We wish you an abundant 2012 and can’t wait to drum up more opportunities to see everyone. Let’s enjoy the gift of a new year together!

Press Release: Local Buttons Launch Party

Attention fashion editors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 21st, 2011


Toronto’s newest eco-brand hosts ReFashioned: a Night of Live Fashion

[TORONTO] – A new line of eco and ethical clothing will hitToronto on Friday, November 25th at ReFashioned, a public event launching refurbished vests with a story of rebuildingHaiti. Local Buttons, a new small enterprise based inToronto, has partnered with Haiti-based NGO INDEPCO inPort-au-Prince. ReFashioned will show the first hand experience of manufacturing inHaiti to the public with the added opportunity to buy our ethical eco-high street fashion vests.

“Not only do these vests make for desirable fashion, they develop sustainable jobs inHaiti,” says Local Buttons co-founder, Consuelo McAlister.

The vests uphold ethical standards of production, and provide a new life for clothing that would otherwise end up in landfills. The vests are made from used clothing sourced from the second hand markets inPort-au-Prince. A Haiti-based NGO of tailors (INDEPCO), finalizes designs and leads the manufacturing and finishing of the garments inHaiti.

“What matters most to us is to consciously take a proactive approach to the fashion industry – an industry that otherwise uses unethical structures of production and trade,” says Local Buttons co-founder, Anne Pringle.

Local Buttons is a social enterprise creating ethical wage structures in a country that is recruiting manufacturing companies with their cheap labour as determined by the government and trade agreements. Pringle and McAlister work as innovators and environmentalists advocating for ethics, environmentalism, human rights and fair labour standards in the global fashion industry.

Event Details:

Live Fashion Show and live DJ with local eats and drinks

Friday November 25th, 2011


352 Sunnyside
In Roncessvalle


Anne Pringle, Co-Founder 416-230-9303

Consuelo McAlister, Co-Founder 416-660-8697

Email: swayanne@gmail.com

Web: www.localbuttons.ca

Twitter: @LocalButtons
Local Buttons Mission Statement:

We believe in creating positive change through an awareness of the purchasing decisions we make and the impacts these decisions have both locally and globally.

We strive to expose and make readily available ethical alternative purchasing markets within the Toronto community, in essence creating avenues for conscientious consumption.