As a physical therapist working in private practice, where wearing hospital scrubs or putting on a company uniform everyday are uncommon, I've struggled over the years to find clothing that suits my job. Sure, there are brands out there that offer flexibility - even ones in which I can crouch, squat, jump, lunge, dead-lift or do whatever else that requires me to demo an exercise to a client. Unfortunately, these brands often don't go hand in hand with a professional look, or they lack suitable options in that category. What's a physiotherapist to do?
It wouldn't be as complicated, you see, if I didn't recognize the importance of clothing made of material which leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. Or if I remained ignorant to companies which don't ensure ethical working conditions. I'm becoming a more conscious consumer everyday, meaning that when I want to purchase new clothing, I'm starting to look for brands whose clothing is made from sustainable fabrics which are sustainably sourced. Yes, sustainable is a big word, but it's quickly becoming a familiar one in my vocabulary.
Practical and ethical yet comfy and stylish
I've never been a big shopper (hence all my trips!), so taking the time to find well-made items designed to last, instead of having to replace things every few months, is definitely within my effort zone. I recently stumbled upon Encircled, a Toronto-based clothing brand, and I think I may finally be well on my way to a more versatile, comfy, practical yet stylish, and sustainable physiotherapy-friendly wardrobe. I must say, though, that all these qualities make Encircled clothing highly transferable to any occupation that requires freedom of movement and a professional look. Attention teachers, chiropractors, occupational therapists, massage therapists, doctors, photographers...!
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Encircled clothing is 100% sewn in Toronto, Canada. But what I love more about Encircled is that they don't claim to be perfect when it comes to how their products are made. And they're transparent with what material they use and why - using Tencel because its 100% biodegradable, chemical-free dyes whenever possible, and turning left-over material into headbands, hair elastics and leg warmers. I might as well add that their clothing is also incredibly soft and breathable. I find the breathe-ability part to be extremely key when it comes to my work as a physiotherapist, and for travel, of course.
Say goodbye to baggage fees
Surprise, surprise, Encircled's clothing wasn't necessarily made with physical therapists in mind - it just happens to suit the profession so well. It's ethically-conscious travellers which the brand is inspired by, and designs for. The clothing's versatility (many pieces can be worn in several different ways and mix and matched too), comfort, and style is exactly what you need when you're on the road. Their mission is to make it possible for you to travel lighter, too. Carry-on only? With today's expensive baggage costs, yes please!
Do more with less
Encircled limits production to small batches, and hopes to inspire consumers to do more with less, in line with their environmentally friendly approach to business. This speaks very clearly to me as - who else is all about keeping it simple?
In studio and online shopping
If you're in Toronto, you can make an appointment to visit their Junction Triangle (west end) office headquarters for a personal in-studio shopping experience. I had a lovely experience at the headquarters taking my time trying on different pieces. You can bring your baby and dog, too! Truthfully though, the more time I can spend doing what I love, instead of shopping, the better, so I usually choose to buy online (they ship globally). If you prefer to save on shipping costs, and live within the Greater Toronto Area, you can request in-studio pick-up. Purchases can be returned for a refund or exchange within 14 days or receiving your shipment, under the typical rules (i.e., unwashed, unworn, tags in place, etc).
What I bought
On my first trip to the shop, and pictured throughout this post, I picked up The Dressy Sweatpant, The Wanderer Sleeveless T, and The Essential Short Sleeve Top. There are too many ways to wear each of these items for me to list here, but you can happily browse all the ideas right on their website.
Thanks Encircled for changing up my work- and travel-wear game. Looking forward to traveling with my new pieces really soon. Are you ready to take your clothes shopping to the sustainable level?
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links.