Revive, Re-Design, Reform
A brief overview
Firebird is an online slow fashion brand that is dedicated to offering innovative eco-conscious clothing for women who want to feel comfortable, yet confident. We find inspiration in 90s staples and put a modern twist on our designs with a focus on sustainability, quality and wearability.
We choose to create mindfully by designing 100% of our pieces using vintage, reclaimed, and/or eco-conscious materials such as biodegradable organic cotton. About 75% of our creations are upcycled and 25% are made using sustainable materials.
As well, we design and produce locally and ethically in Quebec, Canada, to support our local economy and ensure that our contractors are paid fairly.
'Phenix' is Jess' family name (the shop creator), which is also known as the 'Fire Bird'; a mythological bird, that is said to revive after death- much like the items and recycled materials in the shop that are being given a second life.
How it started
Hi, I’m Jess! I’m the Founder and Creative behind Firebird, which started quite organically.
One weekend in 2018 I decided to empty out my closet after watching the documentary ‘Minimalism’, which really inspired me. I ended up with about 10 garbage bags full of clothing and accessories that I didn’t know what to do with, so I googled ‘What to do with second hand clothes?’ and inevitably stumbled upon a pleather of articles about sustainable fashion. This is when I truly started to learn about the cycle of our clothing, from the making of the material, to the pieces, all the way to the time it more often than not, ends up in a landfill.
Collaboration with Little Burgundy X Converse for the 'Create Next' Campaign
Photographer: Lola Kingsley
Rewind to the 10 garbage bags. I decided to go through them and figure out what to do with these pieces. So after reading up on it I made piles with the following categories; 'to repair', 'to up-cycle', 'to down-cycle', 'to give' and 'to sell'.
I tackled the repair pile first; I watched YouTube videos to teach myself how to sew on buttons, zippers, and how to repair holes. A game changer!
My ‘up-cycle’ pile was next and is what sparked my creativity. The first piece I ‘up-cycled’ was a simple crop top. I took a T-shirt that I rarely wore due to the way it fell on my hips, and simply cut it to the length that would flatter my body type. I dusted off my boyfriend’s grandmother’s sewing machine, watched a few more YouTube videos about how to use the machine, and after some ‘blood, sweat and tears’ (mostly swearing and grunting tbh), I hemmed the crop top. Though it wasn’t perfectly done, it was much more flattering than before! I was so proud of it, found myself wearing it more, and felt motivated to up-cycle other pieces. I started to share my creations on IG and realized people were just as into it as me!
My ‘down cycle’ pile got me cutting up the pieces that I knew would never find a second home due to damage and poor quality. So I made an endless supply of cleaning rags and reusable make-up removers!
Next, the ‘give’ pile! This lead me to my discovery and love for thrift stores.
Finally, the ‘sell’ pile sparked my inner business woman; I turned to Facebook marketplace first, then integrated Depop, Postmark and Etsy, which ultimately lead to the creation of my own website.
Through this whole experience, Firebird was born!
Sustainability and ethical practices:
At Firebird, our main environmental goal is to reduce textile waste
By sourcing fabric and pieces that would otherwise end up in a landfill, by using our offcuts to create new pieces and by creating pieces with their end of life in mind ex: what will happen to our pieces when they can no longer be worn? Are they easy to repair? Can the trims and notions be easily removed for recycling purposes?
Seeing as we work with strictly deadstock, pieces that already exist and eco-certified materials to make and redesign our pieces, we add very little to fabric production waste, and overall we reduce waste by keeping fabrics and pieces that have already been produced in circulation by prolonging their lifespan.
We ship your orders in cardboard boxes that can be recycled, and re-used.
We purchase boxes that are made from post consumer waste.
We use tape made from kraft paper that is water activated in order to stick to the boxes, therefore we do not use plastic tape.
The tissue paper that we include in your packages is made from recycled paper.
Our thank-you cards are printed on recycled paper
For us, sustainability also implies that we work ethically, therefore, we pay our contractors fairly, treat them with the utmost respect and ensure that they have a safe working environment.
As well, it is super important to us to be transparent and honest with our consumers, offering products that are of good quality and reliable customer service.
Where you shop makes a difference. In 2021 we started to donate 1% of all profits to a different non-profit organization with the launch of every new collection.
Firebird’s sustainability values:
We strive to be innovative by mainly creating our pieces using textiles that have already been produced, which allows us to offer unique pieces that represent waste reduction.
We put focus on quality and value by mainly choosing materials that are durable, so that each piece will last long, and not be treated as a disposable item.
We take responsibility of our eco-impact on the planet by evaluating our business practices from the design process, to production, shipping and beyond.
We take responsibility- ethically speaking with regards to our contractors, and being transparent with our clients, as mentioned above.
We favour local and ethical production. We choose to produce locally to support local sewers, the Québecois economy and to avoid shipping overseas in terms of our production.
Jess (founder), Polina (sewer/co-designer)
Deadstock fabric in Chicoutimi, Quebec
What makes us different
We produce our clothing locally, offer custom sizing, and all pieces are eco-conscious.
We are proud to say that our brand is ethical, in that we treat our contractors and anyone we work with fairly, and are fully transparent with our clients. See FAQ section.
The textiles that we use are often one of a kind, or produced in limited quantities, therefore the items are exclusive.
If you've gotten this far, thank you so much for being here! It is thanks to people like you, that brands like ours exist.