Famous for its maple syrup, friendly people, beautiful landscapes and ice hockey, Canada also happens to be a major hub for business innovation. In fact, many brands that we interact with in the U.S. started out in Canada and had a major impact on their industry. You may not realize it, but these 10 brands that you probably already know and love have roots in Canada:
Today, high-end casual clothing retailer is part of the Ralph Lauren Corporation and has stores in locations all across Europe, China and the U.S., but behind the brand there are actually three Canadian entrepreneurs who opened their first store in Toronto on Queen Street in 1985. Club Monaco has experimented with various concepts over the years, starting with the initial yachting apparel and all the way to today’s “affordable luxury with modern sensibility” and dual-gender capsule wardrobe.
Herschel Supply Co.
If you’re into accessories that mix fashion with practicality, you either bought or have thought of buying a backpack from Herschel Supply Co. From the synthetic straps to the vintage logo featured on every one of their items, everything about Hershel Supply Co. screams American nostalgia, but the brand is actually Canadian, founded in 2009 in Vancouver. Especially popular among hipsters, the brand had an incredible rise to power and now has shops in over 40 locations worldwide.
Whether you’re an influencer or a company with an active social media presence, you probably rely on Hootsuite on a daily basis to link your social networking accounts. But did you know that Hootsuite was founded in Vancouver, Canada? Its founder, Ryan Holmes, needed a tool to juggle multiple social media accounts and, since there wasn’t one at the time, he joined forces with two other Internet entrepreneurs, created Hootsuite. Now, Hootsuite has more than 15 million users in over 175 countries.
Naked & Famous
The list of top Canadian brands wouldn’t be complete without Naked & Famous, Canada’s most iconic jeans manufacturer. Famous for their one-of-a-kind denim designs, which play with textures and patterns, the brand also stands out through their satire of Hollywood culture and celebrity endorsements. Naked & Famous uses high-quality Japanese selvedge denim and all their jeans are cut, made and sewn in Canada.
Before Deciem, affordable skincare was hard, if not impossible to find, but this brand proved that clinical formulations can be effective without costing a fortune. Operating under the tagline The Abnormal Beauty Company, Deciem comprises several beauty brands, the most notable of which being The Ordinary. The Canadian brand revolutionized the skincare industry with its high-end, yet affordable formulations and even though it was involved in several controversies over the years, culminating with the death of its founder, Brandon Truaxe, it has a huge pool of loyal clients. Deciem is now in partnership with The Estée Lauder Companies and has stores in physical locations all over the world.
Every woman who attempted to curate a capsule wardrobe has undoubtedly stumbled upon Aritzia. Unlike its fast-fashion competitors, Aritzia values quality, not quantity, and sells mainly in-house brands, focusing on durable, understated, timeless clothing items with a modern twist. The brand has a cult following in its home country, but recently interest in Aritzia has grown considerably in the States, where 15 stores were already opened.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Traveler or not, you’ve probably heard about Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, who are one of the global players in the luxury hospitality industry. Although the chain now has over 100 hotels worldwide, it was initially established in Toronto in 1961. Since 2007, Bill Gates and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal have been majority owners of the company. What sets Four Seasons apart from other luxury hospitality chains is that they are actively involved in charity and sustainability programs, supporting causes such as wildlife preservation and cancer research.
When most people think of yoga, they think of Lululemon, the now ubiquitous retailer of athletic apparel. What many avid followers don’t know is that, despite the company’s massive U.S. success, it was actually founded in Vancouver in 1998. Recently, Lululemon has ventured beyond the technical apparel that made them famous and also incorporated sweaters, skirts and dresses into their product catalog.
Green beauty advocates are all too familiar with BITE Beauty, the revolutionary Canadian company that makes lipsticks only from food-grade ingredients. Bite Beauty was launched in 2012 in partnership with Sephora and the founder, Susanne Langmuir, wanted to prove that it’s possible to create fabulous lipsticks that are completely free of artificial ingredients. BITE Beauty is a Sephora-exclusive brand, but also has land-based labs where clients can create their own lipsticks.
Vancouver-based Arc’teryx is one of the household names in outdoor and athletic clothing, famous for its reliable, high-performance insulated jackets, climbing gear and trail running equipment. Although Arc’teryx products have a higher price tag, they were designed to endure the harshest weather conditions, which is why many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have partnered with them.