Brand: North Standard Trading Post

North Standard Red Cotton Camp Socks
North Standard Red Cotton Camp Socks are made in Toronto.

Website: northstandard.com

Verdict: Made in Canada, Ethical

The North Standard Trading Post is an online store and also a shop on Queen St. West in Toronto that sells Canadian brands of clothing and also has a store brand that includes Canadian made socks and American made clothing that is screen printed in Toronto.

What They Sell: Men’s Socks, Women’s Socks, Men’s Clothing, Women’s Clothing

Transparency: Slightly Transparent. Clothing is made locally, but details about working conditions and supply chain materials are not mentioned.

What They Are Doing Great: 

  • Made in Canada
  • Canadian and American supply chain means that labour is covered by Canadian and American labour laws.
  • Packaging and marketing materials are recyclable

Areas for Discussion:

  • Some percentage of each sock uses Nylon for strength. Nylon extends the life of a sock and gives the purchaser many more wears, but is made from fossil fuels, which generate carbon and greenhouse gasses. We feel that using Nylon in this instance is positive, as it means we will wear and love our socks longer (thus reducing the environmental impact of making more socks, even if they are 100% made of organic cotton, they are still using energy and water to be produced).

Questions:

Emailed Dec 30 2015 to ask:

  • Organic cotton uses less pesticides and water to grow, and organic cotton certifications help prove that cotton is ethically sourced all the way down the supply chain. Is there a reason you are not using organic cotton (or cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative) in your socks and apparel?
  • Is the wool for your socks ethically sourced? (ie. bought from local farms, bought from farms that treat animals ethically with no mulesing, etc?)

They replied Jan 13th 2016 to say that they are working towards more sustainability in their business but that at the moment they don’t have answers to the above questions as they are focusing on locally made and organic ingredients but sometimes have to make concessions in order to achieve one of those (ie. a product might be locally made but not organic, or vice versa).

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