What inspires sustainable fashion? Cultural currents? Paris fashion week? Broken suitcases?
“I was packing for a yoga retreat, trying to shove all of this stuff in a bag and my suitcase ripped, the zipper literally ripped open. I had to put everything into a much smaller bag, and I just starting thinking, ‘I wish I had stuff that I could actually wear multiple ways’.”
Kristi Soomer, a former management consultant with a fondness for surfing and yoga retreats, definitely falls in the broken suitcase camp. As the founder of Encircled, a Toronto-based sustainable fashion brand that blends street-style edge with yoga-wear ease, Kristi was intrigued with minimalism. “I liked the idea,” she says, “of doing more with less.”
Encircled’s first multipurpose piece, the Chrysalis Cardi, took six months to design.“Everybody thought I was crazy,” recalls Kristi, “and even production people would say to me, ‘Why don’t you just make T-shirts?’
She laughs at the memory. “But I was very passionate about it. Once you start travelling, you realise how little of your wardrobe you’re actually wearing. You’re literally living out of a suitcase and that’s more than enough for you.”
And that broken suitcase? “I had it repaired.” Kristi smiles, “we still use it.”
Available at encircled.ca:
Kristi Soomer (left) – Founder and CEO of Encircled, wearing The Chrysalis Cardi, a versatile piece which can be worn 10 different ways.
The Retrograde Kimono (right) – Layered or solo, there’s enough street-style here to go from yoga class to après brunch.
The Dressy Sweatpant (left) – a crowd favourite that’s comfy, but with a cut that says Chelsea boots not flip-flops.