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A Thousand "Made in Canada" Survey Responses!

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Last month we surveyed our customers about Canadian made apparel and below is what we received from over a thousand entries.  It is important to Plum to know this because more than half of our clothing is sewn locally in Canada and it is very difficult for us to accomplish.
 
It seems important to our customers that they are able to purchase clothing made close to home.  
 
Here are a few of the summarized results:
 
 

Which statement best describes how you feel about Canadian produced clothing?

Answer

Percent

I honestly never check to see where my clothing is made.

5.87%

I seldom find Canadian made clothing, so I never think about it.  

28.56%

I often look for Canadian made clothing to purchase.

65.58%

 

 

Which statement best describes how you think about the value of Canadian made?

Answer

Percent

I want to buy Canadian made clothing because I think it is better quality.

27.43%

I want to buy Canadian made clothing if the price is the same as foreign made.

12.03%

I want to purchase Canadian made clothing because I know that what I pay stays in Canada.  

60.54%

 
 
 
 
What does “Made in Canada” clothing mean to you? 

Answer

Percent

The clothing is sewn in Canada.

54.01%

The entire garment is made in Canada; fabric is made in Canada, notions are made in Canada, and sewing is done in Canada.  

45.99%

 
Note: There are very few fabric mills left in Canada and practically no buttons, zippers or other notions manufactured in Canada making it next to impossible to have a garment completely made here.  However, designing, pattern making, grading, cutting and sewing can all be done locally.  It is our opinion that “Made in Canada” should mean “sewn in Canada” since the alternative would be nearly impossible. 
 
Thank you to everyone who participated in our survey! Congratulations to our draw winner, Ana!
 
 
 
Ed's picture
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It feels wonderful to be 35!

When we opened in May of 1981 we had one small store at 4th Avenue and Alma. It was a different time.  So different in fact I brought my dog to work. She would greet customers with a dog smile and a wag. There weren’t computers or smart phones or even a fax machine!  My first cell phone weighed almost two pounds!

I shudder remembering the bulky shoulder pads of the 80’s and my all time least favourite styles … Grunge. Besides juggling a new family, a mortgage and sleepless nights, I had to meet with suppliers in Montreal worrying about what the heck I would buy for the Grunge trend of all things!

The industry has changed dramatically over the decades.  We have evolved from a time when choosing the right styled clothing was important and comparatively expensive to clothing as a commodity; inexpensive and disposable.  Trends have come and gone but my husband Ed and I have always stayed focused on quality and style.  We are proud to think that our staff has always treated our customers as individuals and that they are motivated to find what is right for each person using their knowledge and experience. 

So to the thousands and thousands of customers we have had over the past thirty-five years … thanks for the memories.

Katie O’Brien & Ed Des Roches

ps: Speaking of long relationships we want to remind you that we are celebrating our birthday with a Big Sisters prize draw. A $ 3.50 donation made in one of our stores, will get you a draw entry (Plum also matches every donation up to $35). Winner receives a $ 1000 wardrobe from Plum. Check in one of our Plum locations for more details.
 

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Who does not like to feel like they have a say in something? I love to know I can potentially have an impact on a product design or change. This week Plum is presenting a survey (follow this link to the survey). A great opportunity to effect the outcome of future season styles. As well a you could win a $200 Gift Certificate.

One way or another spring is coming and it's great to get geared up (so to speak). I've had a peek at some great new things coming and am excited to show you a few. Save some for your trip or just be prepared for Spring. This is just the beginning of yet another great season at Plum.

Lets browse:

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What about a 'romantic' trip to Italy? (yes please) This sweet little dress, is just crying out for a pose next to the Trevi Fountain. However, this need not be squirreled away for a trip or spring. Very wearable now, with different footwear and tights (and of course a jacket). V-neck, daisy print, back zip, with slit.

Simone asymetrical flared hem dress black or navy $129

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Are you more of an adventure seeker? Lots of camping and hiking virgin trails? Then pack the shorts and go. Or, of course for spring, bring them up a notch with espadrilles or Chuck Taylors. Cargo pockets, back pockets and front pockets (purse not required).

Point Zero walking short (abalone, black) $54

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Is your destination a cruise? This is such a lovely dress; fabric is so delicious and soft with such a fluid drape, it's an easy pick. Pleated front, birds in flight print, with pockets.

Simone cap sleeve dress with bust pleat (black/white or navy/red) $98

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Maybe...you're just going to visit relatives. Sorry did I spoil the dream in progress? (slipped that in to see if you were paying attention). Or maybe a business trip? Or someplace not so much drenched in sunshine. This is such a fun coat for the start of the season. The black and white pattern lends itself easily to co-ordinating with any other colour.

Fate snake print Cocoon coat (black/white) $ 149

Whether it's an 'all inclusive' resort trip, a camping trip or merely planning your spring wardrobe, Plum is one step ahead. And don't forget about the survey. Your input can have an effect on upcoming seasons and you could win a $200 Gift Certificate to help you along.

Yours in Fashion passion

Suzanne M.  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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Kate and I, and all of the Plum staff, want to take a moment to thank our customers for their business during the previous year and to wish you the best of the season.

We know you have more choices than ever of where to shop for your clothing so we sincerely appreciate that you have chosen our company.  It makes us proud that we can produce exclusively designed good quality garments right here in Canada at an affordable price.  So we are pleased that you have taken that into consideration when you purchase from us in your neighbourhood and on line.  Creating work right here at home benefits all of us.

We also want to publically thank all of our in-store employees who have helped you look your best.  They are committed to making you feel great about what you wear and are knowledgeable about what works for you as an individual.  Plum has received hundred of emails this year about the positive experiences you have had in our stores so we know you appreciate their dedication.

Thanks for your business and we sincerely wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

Katie O'Brien and Ed des Roches

Owners of Plum

 

   ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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PRE CHRISTMAS SALE ANYONE? Yes of course Plum has thought of this....so you can fit in more gifts!

Have a look at some of the great specials available now at the Pre-Christmas sale

Christmas glitter? Are you fully enmeshed in the Christmas tinsel rush? How to stay calm at Christmas, keep from feeling overburdened while being able to enjoy the festive time? One can easily get extremely overwhelmed by the daunting tasks at hand. Making lists, packing things to go via post, wrapping; yet still attending many functions and fitting in the regular duties. It's hard to remain sane! (as is my perpetual challenge).

Here's a mini seasonal survival guide:

  • Make a list. Yes Santa does this for very good reason. Make a list, check it many times, revise it, add dates to it (whereby it might be too late 'to do' at which point, then you can, of course, cross it off-bonus!).
  • Christmas greetings.  Cut down on Christmas cards, send some via ecards instead. Still personal enough, but less time expended, still allowing you to keep in touch. Which is clearly the real intent.
  • Gatherings. If you're having get-to-gethers at your place, possibly have a bring and share (pot luck). Make or even purchase a few key things. Frankly people just enjoy the getting together, rarely is the food the full focus.
  • Ask for Help. If you have children, give them tasks. This teaches them how incredibly valuable their input is. If they're little they probably enjoy making the ornaments for the tree (or as gifts). So much more personal and fun.
  • Shop locally. Put on the most comfy shoes (not the cute ones), pack a bag and make a day of it, include coffee breaks at the best café's. Some of the best most unique, personal gifts come from our local, small retailers. Plus who does not want to say they buy local! Santa would be proud!

And on that note, lets have a look at a few great things, Plum can assist with. And remember--it's not all about gift giving, some of it is about just enjoying....

 

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Even if you won't be spending Christmas in Paris..... look like you did! A fun, sweatshirt to keep things easy yet still with a bit of glitz. I love it with the jeans and envision some great pumps, with the jeans cuffed. OR gift one to the traveller in your life.

Soyaconcept Paris pullover $69 (white with sequin 'Paris' lettering)

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And of course scarves are so easy to give and always great to receive. Who does not like red at Christmas. This one is fabulous because it's ample size allows it to double as a shawl.

Look wool/acrylic plaid scarf $35 (red plaid or hunter green plaid)

 

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Bags are another brilliant choice.  While one can use this as a regular, every day bag, can be used also as a weekend/travel bag. Comes with a detachable shoulder strap and 2 inner pockets.

Street Level tote $65 $46

In short, try to enjoy the season, the music, the twinkling lights...the general feeling it all invokes. When all else fails, there's always eggnog.

Your in fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

 

   ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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At Plum we like to combine the fun and artistic side of fashion to build a practical intelligent wardrobe. The basic elements are colour, shape, scale, proportion, line and texture.  This post is about texture, proportion and shape. The idea is to match your clothing with your natural features. If you have curves, curly hair and a soft matte finish on your skin, then find clothing that has similar features (curved lines, textured fabric, matte finish) so that your look is coherent. You’ll find others will notice *you* instead of the items of clothing you’re wearing. 
 
Texture: the roughness or smoothness of fabric. Texture can be a feeling, as in nubby or rough fabric, or visual, as in pattern. People who have a bit more texture (curly hair, freckles, etc.) generally match well with textured fabrics like knits that are bulkier and soft. People that have less texture (straighter hair, no freckles, etc.) generally match better with smoother fabrics like lambs wool or silks. 
 
Proportion: is the relative amount of space given to different features in a garment or the relative size of different parts of the body. For example, a body can be long in the torso and smaller in the leg or evenly proportioned between the torso and legs. Certain shapes and balance points will work better for different proportions and using different proportions of clothing can change the visual line of the body, if desired. 
 
Shape: the outline of your torso from the shoulder to the hip is commonly considered your body shape. Some bodies have straighter angular shapes and some have curvier shapes with softer angles. Choosing the right garment to fit your shape is important to your overall look.  It is best to get an honest and knowledgeable opinion from sales people who are well trained and who have experience with many body shapes.
 
Everyone chooses clothing for different reasons. Clothing can be used to cover or reveal different parts of our bodies, can be used to create different proportions, or to draw attention to one area or another. So it is critical that you know and understand your own body without judgement.  What you choose depends largely on the function you want the clothing to serve, as well as on your personality. We can help you look at clothing from a design perspective if you’re interested in learning more about why certain items work better than others; if you already know what works, we can help you find things that go well with what you choose or what you have in your closet. 
 
 
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