Take a Peek at PEAKBWA
PEAKBWA is a small business creating grow-with-me clothing and long-lasting accessories for families on the move. All of their products are made in Québec with recycled textiles or natural fibres such as bamboo and organic cotton. They also specialize in print design. Their prints, found on all PEAKBWA products, highlight Canada’s magnificent flora and fauna. Their dream? To encourage families to reduce waste by making sustainable fashion choices, ultimately gaining more time to get outside and play!
As a born crafter, I’ve always loved fiddling around with recycled materials (salvaging old deck railings to make lamps, for example). When I was 14, I added zippers to my old tuques to make pencil cases. I love to look at things from another angle, to go against the grain. My home is full of mismatched dishware and chairs. During my 10 years in theater design, I learned to transform and repair furniture, clothing and second-hand objects to give them a second life.
Thanks to these experiences, I started thinking about how our consumption of mass-produced clothing and other goods. With three children born close together, it didn’t take long for me to realize how much clothing children need for every season, and the marketing of separate clothing for boys and for girls. The ideal solution is to hand down clothing from sibling to sibling, but it’s not always so simple. Clothing accumulates in drawers and closets, in the basement and the garage … and even if we have tons of clothes, we often only choose the three or four pieces on the top of the pile everything else winds up lost in the bottom of the drawer until it’s rediscovered and outgrown. It’s clothing chaos!
Grow-With-Me Clothing to the Rescue
During my third maternity leave, in a particularly crowded workshop, I partnered with a friend to start the business D’amour et de bave—the beginning of a grow-with-me line of children’s clothing. We felt it was our responsibility to find a more sustainable way to stock children’s closets. My experience as a graphic designer led me to create fabric with my own prints. Our line featured onesies, hoodies and pants that were:
1. Wearable 2-3 times longer than traditional clothes;
2. Primarily unisex, perfect for siblings to share;
3. Designed with eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics;
4. Made with fabric printed with my unique designs that highlight Canadian flora and fauna;
5. Made in Quebec, Canada, to satisfy my desire to support the local economy.
Once my partner returned to salaried work, I decided to continue my adventure by combining print design and the sale of grow-with-me clothing under the PEAKBWA banner (pronounced Peek-bwah). To the original collection described above, I added the Scooba (multi-purpose bandana), the reversible beanie and a women’s sweater. This new business endeavor allows me combine my two passions: family and environmentalism. It’s extremely satisfying to know that the PEAKBWA product line helps get rid of clutter by offering a viable alternative to the over consumption of children’s apparel. I want to help people consume less by consuming smarter.
The fashion industry is programmed to flood the market with cheap, low quality clothing designed to be worn for a very short time. Buy, throw away, repeat. It’s what we call fast fashion. PEAKBWA refuses to follow this pattern; our products are meant to be staples in a child’s wardrobe. The prints change with the season but the pieces themselves are basics that will last a long time.
I am proud that PEAKBWA is recognized as a green business here in Québec. PEAKBWA is now a member of Pages Vertes, l’Association québécoise Zéro Déchet, Lumino Santé and Öko Créations is our Canadian distributor.
I promise you that getting rid of stuff (like excess clothing) makes room for what truly counts. And it really feels great! Less is more! To find out more about my journey, I invite you to read my latest article: Une monoparentale hors des sentiers battus (in French) and to follow PEAKBWA on Facebook and Instagram.