Calgary clothing company Local Laundry is glowing in the spotlight in a new national web series
Like most good startup plans, the idea for Local Laundry came from an innocuous situation.
“It all started when I picked a fight with a laundry machine and lost the fight, but had an ‘a-ha’ moment in the scuffle,” Local Laundry founder Connor Curran says. “What if all of our laundry was local? Like really, truly local? And from the ashes of that fight, Local Laundry rose.”
The Calgary-based custom garment startup launched with $50 and a Google search for “How to start a T-shirt company” — and the company is entirely bootstrapped.
“We started Local Laundry with $50 and have only ever put $1,000 each into the business to buy our first round of inventory,” he says.
“Other than a line of credit and a credit card, we have proudly been 100 per cent bootstrapped. No outside investment, no long-term debt. We have only ever grown using the cash we’ve earned. We invest every penny back into the company’s growth.
From high-performance fabrics to tailored fits, Local Laundry threads aren’t your average volunteer T-shirts that get worn once and then disintegrate in the wash.
One review captures the essence of the quality, with the reviewer saying they want to be buried in their Local Laundry sweatshirt because it’s so soft.
Proudly Calgarian, proudly Canadian, proudly charitable
Fast forward a few years to now, the company has sold over 50,000 garments and donated over $150,000 to charities across Canada.
Setting an aggressive target of raising $1 million for various charities by 2030, which as a small business, is no easy feat, the Local Laundry team believes in giving back to the community.
“The great part is, we’re well on our way there. As a socially conscious brand that builds community in everything we do, it’s no wonder we’re so focused on giving back in any way we can,” Curran says.
“We wanted to showcase that just because we are a small business, doesn’t mean we can’t have a big impact.”
Not only is the company headquartered in Calgary, Curran also prides himself on the fact everything from the manufacturers and the garments to their employees and customers is proudly Canadian.
Sustainability and environmental protection
One of the most defining features of Local Laundry is its passion for sustainability, especially as a clothing company.
“We like the environment, even more than we like newly released garments. The latter shouldn’t have to compromise the first,” Curran says.
In addition to environmental protection steps they’ve taken in exclusively manufacturing in Canada, the company also carbon offsets thousands of kilograms of CO2 for every order placed online.
Curran says because Canada holds a much higher environmental and labour standard for its produced goods, the company made the obvious switch to manufacture all of its products within Canada.
“When a garment is produced here in Canada, Canadian workers are all paid a fair wage and work in an environment that has highly regulated working conditions meant to ensure a plethora of safety concerns are met,” Curran says, adding that over 80 per cent of textile and clothing consumed in Canada is being made overseas.
“Aside from the fact that this money is leaving the country, the problem is that these dollars are voting to support factories that may not support any type of fair wage, do not adhere to ethical environmental standards, and ultimately will most likely benefit individuals who are driven solely by profit without regard for their people or our planet.”
In the spotlight for its contributions
Olympic gold medalist Jon Montgomery has teamed up with not-for-profit Go RVing Canada to release a new web series called Brewdocking.
The series recognizes businesses across Canada that are making a difference in their communities. There are seven episodes, including the one featuring Local Laundry.
Curran says being showcased by the national not-for-profit association Go RVing Canada was an exciting experience.
“It gave us a large platform to help get the message across that supporting local isn’t just a tagline, that it has a real and meaningful impact on the products we consume, the people we love and the planet we live on,” Curran says, adding the series makes you proud about the amazing people and places across the country.
“Brewdocking shows Canadians across the country some of the amazing destinations and companies we have right here in our own country. I’ve … learned about so many other amazing local companies that are making their communities a better place.”
Explore your backyards
Chris Mahony, president of Go RVing Canada, says Brewdocking aims to encourage Canadians to discover the country and recognize what their backyard has to offer while embracing adventure, connecting with the community, and making memories along the way.
“For us, Local Laundry embodied the essence of Brewdocking through its mission to produce Canadian-made clothing in a sustainable way, all while giving back to its community,” he says.
“They have a very unique and engaging story that we were proud to showcase.”
You can watch all of the episodes online.