Downtown on View Street, nestled away in one of the cities oldest office buildings, there is a beautiful space called Ines Simone.
Light streams through grand airy windows and the room fills with the freshness of spring. Rolling racks of sustainably made garments await.
Ines Simone is a slow fashion retail space created by Audra Csak and her sister, Emma Harris. Originally from Toronto, Audra spent many years as a wardrobe stylist and then worked in the world of marketing with Emma before they made the move out west.
With first hand experience of the fashion industry and all its pitfalls: the amount of waste produced, the less than fair wages, and the toxicity, Audra and Emma wanted to provide an alternative.
The space is divided into two rooms, one with a set of full length curtains that once drawn, the whole space becomes a private dressing room. While major retailers don’t even provide a shopper with their own mirror in a change room these days, forcing them to emerge to see the results and perhaps be up sold by an eager salesperson, shopping at Ines Simone is a no pressure calm experience. Audra says that,
“Whatever I do, I want to make the customer comfortable“.
Amongst the brands on offer is Aline from Portugal. Aline is a woman led label that promotes buying clothes to last a lifetime. They have a longevity programme for their clothing to be repaired or repurposed rather than discarded.
For Canadian wares, Ines Simone carries Ashley Rowe which is a brand known for its quality craftsmanship and good work practices.
And if you are looking for something more local, Ines Simone carries some items from the lifestyle brand The Saturday Project, a ethically made brand, born out of a love for the environment, exploration and analogue photography.
If you are hoping to pop by Ines Simone to experience this wonderful spot, you had better do it soon. After May 30th Ines Simone will be moving on and closing the physical space (at 620 View).
Because the nature of shopping has changed in recent years, it makes sense for Audra and Emma to continue their business online only but hope to find another retail location in the future for beautiful Ines Simone.
Let’s hope for this little city that we get to see that happen soon.