On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Pipler Accessories hosted a media-only cocktail party inside its new storefront boutique. Located in the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood, this store offers unique fashion accessories that reflect the store’s passion for community and integrity.
All of the products in the store must meet the four criteria: sustainability, handmade, local, and/or charity-driven. It’s important to the store’s owners (Leonie Lilla and Alice Clarkson) that the brands behind their products display a high level of social consciousness, whether it’s through making their products with recyclable materials, donating a significant portion of their gains to charities, or supporting artisans from different countries.
On the day of the media preview, a handful of lucky bloggers, photographers, and writers were given a tour of the store, which included a brief history behind the products in the store. The store’s owners, Leonie and Alice, were wonderful hosts as they graciously welcomed the guests and offered them warm handshakes and a cool refreshing (and much needed) glass of sparkling water.
The décor of the store consisted of many salvaged and antique items that were given an updated look and new purpose, such as old locker doors used to hang Yellow 108 scarves and a 1960s record player that spun Marvin Gaye tunes throughout the preview.
The products themselves are also gender neutral, which provides more comfortable and open experience for shoppers. While the amount of merchandise may be scarce, the products that are in the store reflect the owners’ devotion for fashion brands that are ethically, socially, and environmentally conscious.
The handbag line from Toronto-based brand Nella Bella by Tarek was a huge hit with the visitors because of its versatility, luxurious trendsetting style, and the fact that each of the handbags was made with vegan leather.
The striking Bohemian-inspired necklaces from Hen Jewelry were made with raw materials and found objects. This jewelry line is sold in thirty different boutiques across Canada and consistently worn by W Network TV personality, Desta Ostapyk.
Pipler Accessories is the only store in Toronto that carries Sunpocket, a line of contemporary collapsible sunglasses that are trendy, practical, and fairly priced in the $85-90 range.
Raven and Lily is a fashion and lifestyle fashion enterprise that focuses on the three ‘P’s: people, planet, and profit. The accessories carried by Raven + Lily currently employ marginalized women from seven nations (i.e. Guatemala, Kenya, and USA) to make jewelry using eco-friendly materials while receiving sustainable wages from the company. The end results are collections of handmade jewelry that reflects the beauty and richness of their cultures, follow fair trade standards, and give the women behind the accessories the chance to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Pipler carries the Raven + Lily Cambodian Collection, which is comprised of stunning bracelets crafted with polished handmade beads from melted artillery shells (from former war conflicts) and vintage silver coins. The collection is meant to empower HIV+ women in the Entoto Mountains in Ethiopia, a community of 5000 where half of whom are affected by HIV/AIDS and often resort to begging as a means of survival.
While it was great learning about the products and how the companies behind these products are making a positive impact in their communities, there were moments where the repetition of each of these stories wore a little thin. Notes displayed next to the products that outline the brands’ histories, missions, and values would be greatly beneficial for the shoppers.
The media preview came to a conclusion with a serving of fresh oysters and an open bar.
About Pipler Accessories
Pipler Accessories is a new lifestyle and fashion boutique that recently opened its doors in Cabbagetown. The mission of the store is to only carry and sell products that are globally conscious and based on four specific cornerstones: sustainable, handmade, local or charity-driven.
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