Making ethical fashion one stitch at a time
Designer with Newfoundland roots opts for quality over quantity
Amanda Moss always had a eye for fashion. That eye led to a 15-year career with some major fashion companies. But when the rat race of mass-produced clothing began to stifle her creativity, Moss decided to walk away from it all.
"I kind of lost interest in fashion, to be honest," she said. "I took a little break from it all, and when I could see clearly again I decided I wanted to do it my own way … that's why I started my small company."
Newfoundlanders take pride in what they own and make it last.- Amanda Moss
Moss returned with a renewed sense of what she wanted her designs to be.
She turned her back on overseas mass production lines and focused instead on slow and ethical fashion. It was an important and logical transition for the designer but not necessarily for her customers.
"I think there's a growing audience for ethically made fashion — locally made products," said Moss. "It's tough, though, because it's smaller and much more expensive then producing overseas."
"I work with a small workshop with four people sewing. So everything takes longer but it's better made products, and people are working regular workdays and being paid regular wages."
Roots on the Rock
Moss grew up in Pasadena, before the advent of online shopping. Inspiration came from teen magazines, like Seventeen and Sassy. She says it forced her to tap into her creative side.
"I tried to make do with what I could find at the mall," said Moss. "Vintage clothing was a good way to have a one-of-a-kind look … I customized it as I saw fit."
Now based in Montreal, Moss says her new view of fashion is still rooted in her Newfoundland heritage. It's a pride symbolized by her brand logo — depicting a pick and shovel — and sewn into every garment she makes.
"I was born in Buchans … I wanted to pay tribute to that but also pay tribute to my mother," said Moss. "She's still in Newfoundland. I just needed to have that anchor when starting my business … and that was the truest image I could think of."
Amanda Moss designs are currently available in boutiques from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. Customers in Newfoundland can shop the label online.
Moss acknowledged that focusing on quality over quantity does come with a higher price tag. Her slow and ethical philosophy will take time for customers to grasp.
But Moss isn't in any rush. She knows it's all about taking her time and enjoying the journey — something else she learned while growing up in this province.
"Newfoundlanders take pride in what they own and make it last," said Moss. "That's the underlying tone of ethical fashion and slow fashion — love what you own and make it last."
With files from Melissa Tobin and the Central Morning Show