Name: Northern Watters Knitwear & Tartan Shop
Products: Wool knitwear
Manufactured In: Charlottetown, PEI
Where to Buy: Online or their retail stores (Charlottetown and Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Canadian Owned: Yes
These folks are proudly old school, declaring themselves proud to be “about a hundred years behind the rest”. By this they mean that they aren’t about cutting costs and improving efficiency, which often means offshoring production to low-wage sweatshops on the other side of the world.
Instead, Northern Watters Knitwear focuses on hand crafting a variety of woolen products on their antique Swiss looms, using British wool to make uniquely Canadian creations. Some of their sweaters can take up to 8 hours to create, which gives an indication of the care they’re putting into production. They are so confident in the quality of their products that they offer a lifetime of free maintenance – simply pay for shipping to and from their store in PEI (or drop it off, I assume) and they will fix any picks and pulls for free.
Look for the hand-affixed tag on the product that not only has care instructions, but also features the signature of the person who produced your garment. To top it off, even the zippers are made in Canada.
Note that their online store offers many products that they feature in their store that are not produced by them, but many are by local artisans or other Canadian manufacturers – for example, deerskin mitts from Hides in Hand. However, there are some that do not appear to be Canadian-made, so keep an eye out.