Our economy is heavily reliant on consumption. Us, the consumer, needs to continue purchasing in order for the system to be successful. This is why advertising is omnipresent in our society. The more we buy, the more it helps the economy grow.

This theory has been abused by many brands, they have played on this and help to create a world where we buy for pleasure, we buy without necessity and we buy cheaply and frequently. We buy cheaply, therefore the quality is poor, therefore the item breaks or becomes unusable after a short time, and then we buy again. This has been our condition for the past few decades.

More recently, however, we have seen a change in the way some of us consume. More of us understand that we don’t need as much, we don’t want huge debts and therefore are becoming more conscious consumers. Quality products are more expensive and many can’t afford the prices, but the concept of buying quality, also relies on buying less and when necessary.

With this rise in conscious consumerism, many high-quality brands have emerged onto the scene. One of those here in Canada is Poppy Barley, an Edmonton, Alberta based company that specializes in shoes and accessories.

The ethical brand was thought up by sisters, Justine and Kendall Barber and was established due to their passion for quality materials and ethically manufactured products. Their brand is focused on buying better and buying less. The shoes are designed in Canada and made in family-owned factories in Mexico. Justine and Kendall care deeply about how, where and who makes their items and are transparent in their processes and methods.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kendall a few months ago; her passion, dedication and drive naturally exudes from her every action. Not only is this brand one that cares, but also the design and quality of their shoes and accessories are of the highest. The designs are focused on the classic shoe, but they also push the boundaries and offer some more risqué options.

It is comforting to see such a wonderful brand based in Canada, doing everything they can to help change the outlook of consumers and provide the public with a different option. Consumerism is based on choice, so it’s up to us to choose better, and Poppy Barley is just that.