Shopping In Vancouver

Blog Vancouver Shopping FluevogLast week I took part in an epic road/railway trip from Calgary to Vancouver. I’ll link to that story when it’s published, but as part of the expedition, I was taken on a shopping tour of Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood. Specifically, we went shopping in ethically- and evironmetally-concious boutiques like John Fluevog (pictured above) and Oak & Fort (pictured below) that were born in BC, but have expanded their reach all over Canada and the US.

Blog Vancouver Shopping Oak and Fort

The Gastown style really appealed to me not just because these brands are committed to sustainable production, but they also capture off my current style vibe, which I am calling “Summer Goth.” Lots of monochrome, lots of layers and a deconstructed silhouettes.

Blog Vancouver Shopping Dutil

Speaking of deconstructed, at Dutil they actually take old denim apart and reassemble it.

Blog Vancouver Shopping Poppy and BarleyWe also visited shops that carry other Canadian designers.  Nicole Bridger stocks her own, ethically conscious clothing collection as well as  accessories like these lovely leather shoes by Edmonton-based makers Poppy Barley (pictured above).

Blog Vancouver Shopping LichtfieldOne of last stops was the lifestyle store  Lichtfield. They offer everything from kitchenwares to stationery but what really caught my eye was the sexiest selection of utilitarian totes  that I had ever seen. Functional yet super luxurious, like the carryalls by Montreal’s Want Les Essentiels pictured above. Until that moment, I was able to talk myself out of buying anything because I didn’t have room in my luggage to take anything home. In fact, my suitcase had developed a crack on my way back from Baselword, so I knew it was on its last trip and I didn’t want it to explode on the airport conveyor belt because it was overstuffed.

In fact before I left, I was investigating getting some investment luggage — spending a little extra on a piece of luggage that would last me the rest of my life. Which is how I ended up with this amazing Heavy Duty Mark II Duffel from Vancouver outfitters Red Flag Design.

Blog Vancouver Shopping Red Flag Design

Why did I buy? Wheelies are great when you are in an airport or train station, but are kind of a pain to manouvre anywhere else. Most of my travels are short, and I have plenty of canvas weekenders, but sometimes you need to check you baggage, so I was looking for a carry-on that was a little more robust. As the Heavy Duty’s name implies, it is built for the rough stuff with water resistant zips, an abrasion-resistant Hypalon body and military specification nylon webbing handles that work as grab handles or backpack straps. The shopkeeper at Lichtfield told me that she had bought a Red Flag bag 10 years ago and was still using it for travel today.

It’s basic. It’s black. It goes with everything. Mr Andrew is already signed up to borrow it for his upcoming trip to Israel.