Thunder Bay, Ont. — When Ontario Parks sought out producers for their new fall line of sweaters, they discovered Bree and Hailey Hollinsworth’s Ungalli Clothing Co., which fit their environment-friendly criteria. “Basically they were looking for a supplier that was made in Ontario and that was also sustainably made because a portion of the sales from the sweaters goes back into protecting the parks,” Hailey Hollinsworth said. “They actually found us on Instagram and reached out to us back in January or February sometime and we’ve been working on the project ever since then.” The project involved printing vintage iconic designs inspired by vehicle licence plates and permits from the 1950s and 1960s which were “meant to capture the timeless beauty of the province’s natural spaces.” Hollinsworth said they were supplied with design work from designers who pulled all the images from the vintage vehicle permits. “They sent us the artwork, and then we produced all the clothing here and it’s all printed here in Thunder Bay,” she said, adding all of the apparel is made from recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton. Ungalli Clothing Co. produced 1,000 sweaters for this original order, which equates to almost 15,000 plastic bottles recycled into sweaters. Hollinsworth says it was a great experience to work with them. “It was obviously a very large client for us and it opened up a partnership moving forward,” Hailey Hollinsworth said. “We’re working on some other projects coming up with them as well. It’s really getting us in the door to work with government agencies because it’s not easy to get those contracts. It definitely has expanded and opened that up for us.” Hollinsworth added that the project proved to be a “good experience” for their team because they had to handle the whole fulfilment process. “We had to make the clothes and we had to pack them according to what they needed. They all had to be divided by sizes and bagged in these sustainable poly-bags and hang tags, so we did all the fulfilment of it as well,” she said. Hollinsworth noted that their cotton is produced in Scarborough, Ontario, and then is shipped here and printed here by Ungalli and its partners, Superior Screen Printing, which is located in the same warehouse as their business. The apparel can be purchased on the Ontario Parks website.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal