Parks Canada Original: Wearing Our Pride

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Parks Canada Original unites two of my favourite Canadian heritage brands: Parks Canada, our national historic and natural treasures, along with our favourite department store, The Hudson’s Bay Company. These are clothes that are wholly Canadian-made of the highest-quality, ethically sourced cotton, designed with classic Canadian casual style, from caps to t-shirts and hoodies. I was excited when I received an invitation to attend the launch event. The event was hosted at Hudson’s Kitchen by The Mint Agency, and brought together bloggers, writers and taste makers. We previewed the collection, sipped on Canadiana influenced cocktails and local brews, and ate some campfire-inspired gnosh, like their delicious version of s’mores served on tree trunk trays, pictured below.

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It makes sense to me  that two of the more iconic and recognizable institutions in Canada would join forces on an inspired fashion collaboration. After all, Parks Canada oversees The Hudson’s Bay Company historic outposts in some of the more remote corners of the country and their historic influences are intertwined in the Canadian experience.

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The collection of casual menswear and womenswear is relaxed with a vintage influence, characteristic of the signature design aesthetic of Creative Director, Roger Edwards, pictured above, speaking to guests at the launch. “I’ve always had a vintage take on my designs,” said Edwards. “You can feel the quality.  The cotton is knit in Canada – the fabric is made here.” It really is some of the softest cotton I’ve felt in ages. Attention to detail, like distressed embroidered logos, give the line a lived-in look. Yet, it remains very high-quality and is built to last endless summers at the cottage (trust me, you’ll be wearing it to the cottage). The clothes will make many Canadians feel nostalgic, as it uses the instantly recognizable “Original Beaver” logo used on Parks Canada signs in the 1970s. Of course, a portion of profits from the apparel, available for sale exclusively through Hudson’s Bay, will benefit Parks Canada programs and places. Everyone loves a good souvenir and Parks Canada Original offers Canadians a chance to take home some style and contribute to the preservation of our parks.

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Even if you haven’t been to a national park lately, the images of our national landscape are etched into our collective consciousness, and Parks Canada is entrusted with preserving that incredible natural heritage, not only for Canadians, but for the world. “This isn’t about royalties,” confirmed a Parks Canada representative. “It’s about brand awareness and the connections of so many Canadians to our national parks, for our memories and experiences. We want all Canadians to know Parks Canada.” It’s a tangible expression of our patriotic pride and our determination to enjoy our beautiful and revered landscape for generations. When I was a teenager, our youth group would take trips to canoe and portage our way through some of the lakes in Algonquin Park, listening to loons and building camp fires. My pack was nearly as big as I was.  The nights were so dark, we could literally lie back on the rocks at the waters edge and shine our flashlights into the sky, picking out our favourite stars. So, I’m happy to have another opportunity to support and promote the protection of our world-famous natural environment, as are many Canadians. Thank you so much to Erin and the entire team at The Mint Agency for inviting me to the Parks Canada Original launch.

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Here are my top three picks from the Parks Canada Original collection – click to shop!

PARKS CANADA ORIGINAL Flocked Beaver Logo T Shirt - RED - Large PARKS CANADA ORIGINAL Felt Beaver Logo Cap with Adjustable Back - NAVY PARKS CANADA ORIGINAL Parks Canada Raglan Shirt with Flocked Logo - BLACK - X-Large

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About the Author

Angela is founder and editor of Sasstainable, an insider voice on sustainable lifestyle and ethical luxury. She serves on the board of directors for Toronto Zooshare Biogas Co-operative. In 2013, she completed her MSc in Environmental Management at the University of London, at the Centre for Development, Environment and Policy. Her passion for the environment grew out of her family's rural property in Raglan, Ontario, now a designated Natural Heritage System area in the Ontario Greenbelt. In 2009, she was granted Ryerson University's Top 30 Under 30 Alumni award, because of her work as a motivational speaker, in partnership with Participant Media and Me to We. She inspired over 30,000 high school and university students across North America. She is a published writer, contributing articles to Geez Magazine, Eluxe Magazine and Feelgood Style, among others. She enjoys fashion, cooking, art and yoga. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada, with her daughter, Charlotte.
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