July 20, 2019
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Cult California Brand Reformation is Expanding into Canada

Photography Courtesy of Reformation

The brand’s first store outside the US opens at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall today.

It’s 6:30pm and I’m poolside at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, gently abstaining from rosemary and grapefruit cocktails and enjoying the view as influencers conduct impromptu photoshoots in the golden hour light. A needle revs from the flash tattoo bar set up in the corner. I’m at the launch of Reformation’s first shoe line, comprised of blink-and-you’ll-miss-them strappy sandals made from vegetable-tanned leather, but really I’m here for another top secret reason – Reformation happens to be opening their first store in Canada in July.

As of July 11th (today!), the brand, whose breezy dresses are beloved by everyone from Busy Phillips to Kendall Jenner, will be hawking their signature brand of California cool to Canada in Toronto’s Yorkdale mall. The Canadian store is Reformation’s first brick-and-mortar store outside the US and everyone at this party seems just excited as me – and for good reason. Reformation is one of the most visible brands in the fast fashion space that’s actually making an effort to be sustainable. (According to their cheeky slogan, “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2.”)

We have a ton of Reformation fans in Toronto, so when we thought about expanding internationally, it made sense as our first permanent location outside the US,” says founder Yael Aflalo. When she founded Reformation in 2009, Aflalo sold only one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. But demand was high and as the business began to grow, Aflalo was determined to scale up while remaining true to her roots (aka her desire to create a positive impact on the world).

As a result every single element of the supply chain is rigorously evaluated on sustainability, right down to the plastic coverings that the milled fabric comes shipped to HQ in. (The brand’s head of sustainability Kathleen Talbot says they wanted to ditch the plastic, but the mills need it for shipping or else the fabric will arrive destroyed.) Even the polybags the brand uses to ship e-commerce orders are biodegradable and can be added to one’s backyard compost pile. Though the brand produces up to 30 new styles a week, it manufactures them in super-limited quantities to avoid clothing waste.

Of all the fast fashion shopping options available to Canadians, Reformation is probably the one you should feel the least guilty for shopping at. Depending on where you live, puff-sleeved blouses and prairie dresses are now just a subway ride away. (And for everyone else, there’s e-commerce.)

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