Preloved’s Julia Grieve on 25+ Years of Championing Upcycled Designs

Photography by Emmett Charuk

Also eight local, consistently minded brands love this “casual environmentalist”.

“How have I been doing this for so long?” Toronto-based fashion entrepreneur Julia Grieve says with a laugh, when she is asked to reflect on her innovative label debut, she is preloaded. A former jetsetting model in the 90s, she did a pencil to replace the old pair in which she had to wear go-sis and gigs to more modern pieces to wear. While she loved the creativity and enthusiasm surrounding her career, Grieve yearned to return to her home base and adopt a new project. So she came up with the idea of ​​a clothing label that has second-hand features that have been incorporated into more contemporary costumes.

So he had modified himself to wear pieces to bring pieces that would ask people all the time “Where did you get this?” This pushed him to launch Prelude in 1995. Eventually, the business expanded to include four physical stores in Canada; Now, however, it focuses on wholesale and e-commerce. “Preloved has evolved with demand,” she notes. The retailer’s requests eventually prompted Grieve to remodel their designs, taking them from one-way items to being pattern-based. “We use vintage pieces to ensure consistency in the fabric,” she says of the point when the brand began to attract the attention of major retailers, such as urban retailers, who sell at many of their locations Large quantities of items were required for.

Prevailing julia mourning
Photography by Emmet Charuk. Prelude Spring 2021 Collection.

Grieve said that working on a collection in 2012 with Roots, which mixed her heritage clothing with second-hand toggles, sourced by Prelude and led her to rethink even more about the potential of her pieces pointed to. “It told the future how we could work with different materials and mix them with our vintages,” she says. “” This created an interest in using ‘new’ clothes, and from there we started learning about dead stock. ” At one point, the preloved pieces had linings made from unused textiles purchased from Montreal’s liquidating fabric store.

Twenty-six years after its launch, Preloved (which has partnered with the same local producer, Redwood Classics, for nearly 15 years) is still poised to lead the fashion industry from an angle of sustainability – even though Grieve himself Said “accidental environmentalist”. Because in the beginning, the notion of making old clothes something new was focused on uniqueness and aesthetics rather than eco-friendly intentions. And he is thrilled that today, the reused material is more rigid than Demode’s.

“It’s really exciting and really wild,” she says of today’s sustainability focus in the fashion world. “For such a long time, we were out on our own and no one was below what we were doing.” This season, Preloved will introduce pieces made from recycled yarn made entirely of material, adding another feather to the brand’s forward-thinking cap.

Julia’s favorite constant-minded brands from Canada are:

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