From pizzerias, to cell service providers, to gyms and cheese shops, the landscape at Horwoods Mall has changed a lot over the past decade. Amidst all that turnover, one perennial business has proven that it can handle a little change in season, and though they have moved walls within the Front Street location (three times, in fact), Climate Clothing has remained a constant fixture.
“Watching the whole mall transform to what it is now has been pretty incredible and we’re happy to be a part of it,” manager Ciara Stick said. “It’s a one-stop-shop location where people can come in for one thing and check out many things.”
This year marks the clothing store’s 10th anniversary, which, as Stick says, is a long time in the retail world.
She recently returned to Climate Clothing in September after being diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. Ciara is the manager and co-runs Climate Clothing alongside her mom and business owner, Lorraine Stick.
“We have our good days and bad days, and that’s how it goes when you’re running a business with family,” Ciara said with a laugh. “I think our relationship has gotten better; sure we drive each other nuts sometimes!”
From humble beginnings in the back of Well Read Books selling cotton clothing, to a conscious, sustainable retail store with predominantly domestic, 100 per cent natural and organic fibres, even Ciara Stick can’t suppress her awe at Climate Clothing’s 10-year growth.
“It’s pretty amazing to look at how we started out,” she said. “We were selling 100 per cent cotton clothing until someone brought organic fibres and bamboo to my attention and we started bringing those products in.”
After expanding and moving into Horwoods Mall, the natural fibre revolution really took off, and over the last decade, the mother-daughter duo have made it their mission to spread the organic fibre love.
“We’re really strict on looking at our labels and seeing what things are made of,” Ciara said.
The retail shop carries strictly organic, bamboo and organic cotton.
“Your skin is a living organism and you really have to think about what you’re putting on it. If it’s not breathing, what is that doing to your body?”
By wearing natural, breathable fibres, as opposed to synthetic (plastic) fibres, your skin is able to breathe. Lorraine Stick said many people with skin allergies or irritations have reported “changing over” because they can’t wear anything but natural fibres.
“A good way to look at it is that polyester is like wrapping your body in Saran Wrap,” Lorraine said. “Your sweat and everything else is trapped in and your body is suffocating.”
Along with helping your skin breathe, Climate Clothing is also mindful of its carbon footprint, carrying largely domestic brands rather than importing from overseas. Ciara said this is what really sets them apart from other stores in Whitehorse.
“Maybe 85 to 90 per cent of our products are made and designed in Canada, which people love. It helps our economy, helps keep money here and helps our environmental footprint as well.”
“People are becoming more conscious and aware, so therefore staying away or making an effort not to purchase stuff from overseas,” Lorraine added. “It’s about educating the public and how you do that without talking down to people. The more things we do to help people make environmentally conscious choices, the better.”
While some price tags may appear costly, both business partners believe that switching over to natural fibres is truly priceless, for the planet and for your body, and vouch for the longevity of natural fibre clothing.
“Customers say it’s a love/hate store in the sense that they love the product but they hate that they spend so much money here,” Lorraine laughed.
Climate Clothing provides a range of stylish clothing for all sizes, including a small men’s clothing corner as well.
Over their years, they have learned to keep things small, Ciara said. Instead of providing an item in every size, the shop carries a sizeable rotation of items to avoid inventory piling up and carrying into subsequent seasons.
“People love that they can buy a unique item and be the only person in town with that item,” she said.
Climate Clothing also recently opened an online store (www.ClimateClothing.ca) so customers can shop online without having to physically come to the location.
Looking ahead, Climate Clothing is excited to continue spreading the message of sustainability via natural fibres.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing – keeping it small and keeping it simple,” Ciara said.
Climate Clothing is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Yukoners are invited to come to Climate Clothing on Friday, October 13 for the Climate Clothing 10th anniversary party, where they will be offering prizes for every 10th customer, along with Ciara’s own blend of Midnight Sun coffee. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. there will be appetizers, cocktails and live music.