Holiday means family, but family means something beyond those people who are related to you. Family also means community. When you do your holiday shopping, this year more than others, it is important to think of your Montreal family and the people whose income depends on you supporting them—not someone in a faraway factory.
Shopping right here for things made right here is a win-win proposition for Montreal. These mostly small (often family-run) stores generate income for community members and more money (in taxes) to improve our city. Shopping locally keeps the world greener because goods do not have to be shipped long distances by plane, boat and trucks.
At Il Était Deux Fois, objects and accessories are designed from recycled materials, mostly by Quebec artists. Creative handbags might be made from inner tubes, seatbelts, soda-pop pull-tabs or records. Clocks are made from hubcaps, bowls from candy wrappers, coasters from LP record labels; 45 RPM records turn into clocks and picture frames are created with computer keys.
Gifts galore can be scored from tires made into belts, planters made out of newspapers and so much more.
4539 St. Laurent. 514-692-6149
The next shop is a marriage of two local-oriented businesses: Coccinelle Jaune offers gifts and Folle Guenille (warning: site has audio) features locally designed clothing. In the front of the store there are finger puppets, cat rugs, chip dishes made of records, 50 collections of jewelry, and flattened wine bottles that you can use as serving trays.
In the rear, 25 local designers are showcased, some just starting out and some already established. The women’s clothing ranges from XS to XXL and covers the wardrobe from tops, pants, skirts and dresses to coats.
4236 Ste. Catherine E. 514-259-9038
At L’Arterie, everything is made in Montreal. Half the goods are in the friperie, half are hand-made crafts. It’s the perfect place to create a vintage look with jeans, tops, skirts and windbreakers, or buy the jewelry, soaps and hand-made animal creatures.
This is the place to head to for vegan shoes made with micro fibre that imitates leather. Local designer clothing by Valerie Dumaine, Annie So, Ève Lavoie and Josianne Perron.
176 Bernard W. 514-273-3933