7 Small, Independent Vancouver Brands to Shop Instead of the Shein Pop-Up

Let's support local, ethical, slow fashion... now and forever.

You may have already seen that “leading global online fashion retailer” Shein is popping up IRL in Vancouver this week. Some local publications have reported on it; influencers are sharing it on social media. Maybe you said “Shein” a little too close to your phone and now social media is barraging you with ads for $7 shapewear or cowboy boot-shaped shot glasses (yes, I’m being personally victimized by my algorithm).

Here’s a take that can barely be considered hot: Shein (and other brands like it) does not deserve your money. There’s the horrific environmental impact of fast fashion, the sketchy-at-best working conditions, the accusations that the company has ripped off small artists and more. Mosey on over to Google if you’re in the mood for some truly depressing reading.

Google said it, not me.

Anyway, we’re not ones to dwell on the negative. So instead of going on a rant about capitalism or consumerism or corporate greed or pollution or forced labour or artistic integrity or why Facebook is telling me I need “1pc Compressing Full Shapewear Romper Plus Size High Waist Body Shaper Tummy Control Faja Shorts Waist Trainer Girdle” (this is exact text), I thought I’d just share some local, independent brands that are doing good work. If you actually need new clothes, take a look at these.

Or, don’t buy anything. Go for a walk. Touch grass.

And if you want details on Shein’s pop-up sale in Vancouver this weekend, look somewhere else.

Vancouver Slow Fashion Brands to Shop at Instead of Shein

For Reversible Swimwear and Bras That Are Actually Comfy: Free Label

You know them, you love them, they’re constantly selling out (in a good way). Read more here.

Free Label.

For Hand-Crocheted Goods That Are Adorably Grandma-Chic: Atelier Solana

Tessa Kassinger is handmaking beautiful, intricate garments right here in the city. Read more here.

Atelier Solana.

For Mix-and-Match Sets Perfect for Summer: Slate Wearables

We love linen, and Vancouver designer Shelby Wick does too. Read more here.

Slate Wearable’s Ballina vest and trousers
Slate Wearables.

For Whimsical Colour-Blocked Clothing: Ization Studio

This slow fashion brand uses deadstock fabrics to create wacky, wavy and wonderful wares. Read more here.

Squiggle long sleeve comes in seven colour combinations.
Ization Studio.

For Architectural Denim That’s Made to Last: Givers and Takers

What happens when a fashion designer has a background in interior design? Spectacular structure. Learn more here.

Black kimono worn
Givers and Takers.

For Lightweight, Eye-Catching Statement Earrings: Scandinazn

Big earrings don’t have to weigh you down, and they don’t have to create more waste, either. Learn more about this Vancouver brand.


For Sleepwear Made for the Female Gaze: Seray

This cult fave brand is new and hot (but not in a sweaty way). Read our review here.

Photo: Seray