Toronto TV personality and fashion and lifestyle expert Nicole Servinis loves everything fashion, everything fitness and everything local. So when the opportunity to create her own active capsule collection with sustainable Toronto brand Preloved, it was a perfect fit.
For both Servinis and Preloved founder Julia Grieve, this collection is all about supporting local. “I’ve been a big fan of Nicole’s for a long time,” Grieve says. “And the big thing that attracted me to her is that the majority of her career has been based around Toronto and around local brands and initiatives.”
Servinis agrees, saying, “I’ve done a lot of work in the community over the last 10 years, and being in TV, I know the importance of supporting local and what that does not only for us as a community, but for the environment as well,” she says.
Preloved has been around for 26 years, and was one of the first companies in Toronto to focus on sustainability by using vintage, reworked and deadstock fabrics to create clothes. But on top of using preloved materials, the company also manufactures in Toronto — a highly eco-conscious choice that avoids the carbon emissions of outsourcing production or shipping in tonnes of materials.
“One of the biggest elements of Preloved is keeping our manufacturing here because of what that does for sustainability,” Grieve says. “And one of the most harmful aspects of the fashion industry is overproduction — 30 per cent of clothing made is never sold — so one of the things we stand by is that we never overproduce. We just create small batches here, locally.”
The same is true for this new capsule collection with Servinis, which is made with Preloved’s recycled cotton (the fabric itself is composed of recycled yarn). The eight-piece collection, which features activewear items including sweatpants, biker shorts, sports bras, cropped hoodies and more in three colourways, also feature the Preloved signature: a small red heart made out of recycled fabrics to remind the company of the textiles they’ve diverted from landfills.
The athleisure theme for the collection is a trend that is having a bit of a moment right now — or, as Grieve would put it, a mo-o-oo-o-ment. “From a sales point of view, we saw such an uptick [in athleisure sales] over lockdown, and that completely changed how we design all of our collections,” she says. “Gone are the days where we’re going to wear uncomfortable clothing.”
Servinis says she’s seen a shift in her perspective on athleisure over the pandemic. “It’s kind of reinvented itself; it’s not wearing my boyfriend’s ugly track pants, it’s about being comfortable, but also not needing to sacrifice looking good to do it.”
For someone who has grown up in the fitness world, active wear was the obvious theme for this collection. “I danced for about 20 years, I was a figure skater for 15 years, I was on scholarship for a dance team at university, and even after that fitness was still important to me. I used to teach fitness classes at a gym,” Servinis says. “I love it not only for the health reason, but for me, it’s for my mental health. It’s been a big part of what has kept me happy and motivated, so I really wanted to incorporate that into the collection.”
Grieve says having Servinis work on this collection with her was like having a fitness expert on board. “To bring that fitness knowledge to the designs was exactly what we needed; all the small details about where to crop things and how tight to make items came from Nicole,” she says.
The collection, available in sizes XS to XL, can be found at getpreloved.com.