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Local clothing company receives nature award

Ungalli Clothing Co. was awarded the Canadian Museum of Nature Award in a ceremony in Ottawa.
From left to right: Meg Beckel, president & CEO Canadian Museum of Nature, Bree Hollinsworth, co-founder and creative director of Ungalli Clothing Co., Hailey Hollinsworth, co-founder and director of Ungalli Clothing Co., and Carolynn Beaty, granting director, Sitka Foundation.

THUNDER BAY - A local business is making waves in the natural world by encouraging shoppers to think about sustainability, even when it comes to shopping for the clothes that they wear.

Hailey and Bree Hollinsworth, co-founders of Ungalli Clothing Co. received the Canadian Museum of Nature Award in the small/medium business category during the 4th Annual Nature Inspiration Awards held in Ottawa on Nov. 8.

The award is meant to celebrate people and organizations that continue to inspire others to become involved with initiatives related to nature. 

“For us I think it was that we were getting people talking about sustainable fashion,” said co-founder and director of Ungalli Clothing Co., Hailey Hollinsworth. “We are getting not only individuals, but businesses involved in sustainable fashion as well.”

Ungalli first opened in Thunder Bay in 2014 after sisters, Bree and Hailey, who worked at a uniform manufacturing company, realized there must be a way to make clothing more sustainable.  

“We saw firsthand the waste it produced, the chemicals it used, how far they were shipping things from and it just prompted us to look into it,” Hollinsworth said.

All the clothing sold at Ungalli uses higher quality materials, Hollinsworth said, including organic cotton, recycled fibers, and recycled polyester.

“Ungalli is trying to fight fast fashion, which is the clothing industry turning over so many cycles of fashion every year,” she continued. “Something lasts in store for two weeks and then you go into the store and there is a whole new lineup of clothing, when really, buying clothes should be about quality over quantity instead of being able to buy quantity at a really cheap price.”

Learning that they won the award came as a bit of a surprise for Bree and Hailey, who attended the gala in Ottawa. But Hollinsworth said she hopes this will inspire people to think more about sustainable clothing locally.

“I think it will definitely bring it to more people’s awareness and hopefully change their mind,” she said. “It’s a very hard thing to avoid. Shopping sustainably is quite difficult so it is something we are trying to make it easier to do.”