International Women’s Day was started to recognize and advocate for the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This year, we encourage people to celebrate by supporting local businesses that are empowering women and non-binary folks in our own backyard!
In honour of International Women’s Day, Feet First Clinic is highlighting 4 incredible female and non-binary-owned businesses in Toronto. Read on to see out how these businesses are breaking boundaries in their industries and the community at large!
Frustrated with poor quality, expensive tights? Threads has your answer! Xenia Chen began Threads after struggling to find affordable and well-made nylons when working as an investment banker. Threads’ mission is to provide high-quality hosiery for a reasonable price. Their tights are made in Italy, where the company works directly with the factory to cut down on costs without compromising quality. Threads offers one-time delivery or a monthly subscription so you’re never caught in a run!
2. Mini Mioche
The perfect store for the little trendsetter in your life! Alyssa Kerbel founded this children’s clothing boutique over a decade ago when she couldn’t find comfortable, gender-neutral basics for her newborn daughter. Today, Mini Mioche‘s clothes are made locally and ethically, with as little impact on the environment as possible. 1% of all sales go to organizations that support children’s mental and physical health. Looking stylish and supporting children’s wellness? That’s a win for both parents and kids!
3. Toni Marlow
Representation and inclusivity are at the core of Toni Marlow, featuring locally made high-quality undergarments for all genders, sizes, shapes, races, complexions and abilities. Uniting people in comfort, Toni Marlow empowers their customers to be their authentic selves. Jaymin Luces-Mendes began this company in 2015 to make undergarments that make customers feel confident and comfortable in their skin. “We believe in defying gender norms, challenging stereotypes and building a positive, powerful and progressive future.” This mission extends beyond their products, by also giving back to the community to promote positive social change: “For people who redefine gender norms, those challenges are extreme and often lead to significantly higher rates of depression and suicidal feelings and behavior.” That’s why Toni Marlow has a goal of donating 1 million dollars to suicide awareness and prevention, with $1 of every garment going towards the cause.
From a women’s shelter to the pages of Vogue, EVIO was a labour of empowerment for Brandi Leifso. EVIO’s goal is to break the stigma around self-care through affordable and conscious cosmetics that celebrate everyone’s beauty, free from gender constraints. It all started from a bed in Vancouver a women’s shelter. “Ever since, I have dedicated my life and career to breaking stigmas and building community fuelled by kindness,” says Leifso. In 2018, EVIO had the first ever partnership between a cosmetic company and a publicly-traded cannabis company, using hemp and natural, environmentally friendly ingredients to create socially conscious luxury cosmetics. By 2021, EVIO had donated 500 thousand dollars worth of self-care products to women’s shelters across North America – an ode to where their founder first had the idea for the company.