HCC produces clothes for living life. You'll never find a garment here that requires Spanx, handwashing, or that you can't do jumping jacks in!
Every item is cut and sewn by me - with 17+ years of industrial experience making patterns and samples for a wide variety of Ontario-based designers, I know how to make beautiful clothes that are built to last.
You'll find classic hoodies and tees that aren't so plain, tanks with style, pants and shorts that go with any top, cute and practical comfy undies, and dresses that can be worn for anything from a wedding to a hike!
Fabrics are selected based on feel and performance for long-lasting comfort, with an emphasis on natural/eco-friendlier fibres.
I (Keli Schmidt) am the Haliburton Clothing Co.: designer, patternmaker, cutter, sewer, screen printer, CSR and everything in between. Every item is designed, made and shipped by me.
I'm a professional apparel developer - my workshop consists of five industrial sewing machines, a twelve-foot cutting table and an industrial pressing set-up. Making clothes is my career, not my hobby.
My mom handed me my first needle and thread when I was three and I learned to use a machine at eight. After a disaster with a store-bought pattern at age eleven I came to the realization that for me, the real fun of fashion design is figuring out how to draft and assemble things.
At 22 I left my hometown Winnipeg to earn a two-year Fashion Techniques and Design diploma at George Brown College in Toronto. In my second year at GBC a teacher recommended me as assistant to a local designer. I was initiated in to the industry working alongside him and his contractor for three years, honing my drafting skills and learning from the sewers on the production line. I spent the next 15 years working freelance, creating patterns and samples for an array of small Ontario-based brands. I am really good at building fabulous clothes that are also practical. Now the time has finally come for me to make my own designs for you!
I take great delight in bringing designs to life with my own hands. In most cases I don't even sketch, the ideas go straight from brain-to-pattern and evolve in full-scale. And even after all these years, I still think the serger is fuuuuun! 🙂
The HCC workshop is in the basement of our house a few minutes south of Haliburton village. All HCC production is done at this location, and it's where you can shop in-person or pick up your order.
HCC fabrics come from five Canadian wholesalers: KenDor, Gordon, Zinman, Fabtrends and Revolution. These suppliers source outside Canada, mostly Asia - very little fabric production is done in North America anymore. HCC labels are made by Laven, my thread is from Kava, my pattern and cutting papers come from Canpaco, and my screen printing supplies are from Green Galaxy.
Despite the persistence of fast-fashion, the global market for friendlier fabrics, both in terms of environmental sustainability and human working conditions, is growing. New certification systems are emerging as textile supply chains come under increasing scrutiny. Whenever possible, I choose fabrics that carry either an organic or OEKO-TEX® certification, and the availability of fabrics like these to small operations like the HCC is increasing every year! More environmentally-friendly fibres like lyocell and recycled textiles are mainstream now too. Good things are happening in fashion, but we still have a VERY long way to go. Moreover, these textiles improvements are far less important than the impacts we can make by reducing our overall consumption and voting for politicians who will enact policies and regulations to create real, system-wide change.