Our idea for the brand arose at the end of a late night and one too many beers. Both having creative backgrounds, we thought why not make something cool together? But lets rewind;
Just under a decade ago, we spent 4 semesters sitting rows apart in a design program hardly speaking a full sentence to each other and went our separate ways.
Our paths crossed again a year later at a chopper show in the city. Realizing our common interests, we made plans to attend a gig together. Since then there’s been many late nights, good chats and even more beer.
And then we lived happily ever after, with the love child that is Heavy Strut Apparel.
There’s a growing issue with the amount of clothing waste ending up in our landfills - yet companies are still mass producing garments. To avoid contributing to the problem and to keep our footprint small, we source vintage & thrifted clothing and textiles to print our designs on. For our pieces that aren't thrifted, we print our designs onto small batch runs of locally cut & sewn apparel.
Heavy Strut Apparel was born from both our love for heavy metal/psychedelic art and our frustration of being women in predominantly male industries. From moshpits, to motorcycle events, to skateparks and dive bars, it’s still more common to see women standing on the sidelines. We’d love to see more diversity in these spaces.
Our brand is for anyone that walks (metaphorically or physically) with a Heavy Strut.
First off, we brainstorm a general graphic idea (usually based on what we’d personally like to wear.) Then our gal Molly spends a month or two designing that graphic. After some minor changes we prepare the file for printing.
We then choose which type of garment the graphic would be a good fit for:
We source our vintage & thrifted pieces from multiple sources: thrift shops, ragyards, & vintage sellers. Each of the pieces are carefully picked and accumulated over a few months time. Then they’re all washed, and sometimes altered with stain removers, dyes, or bleach.
Our handmade pieces are sewn by our gal Jess in her apartment using carefuly thrifted & washed vintage materials. We sometimes team up with other local brands for collaborations where we print our graphics onto their hand sewn pieces as well.
LOCALLY SEWN APPAREL
We start by picking our fabric from a local seller & ordering just enough for small batches to avoid mass production. Then the fabric is brought to a sewing studio in Abbotsford where they draw up a pattern using specifications provided by us. We go back and forth to create a sample that’s just right.
Then they spend over a month cutting & sewing a small batch run based off that pattern into a full rize range. This process is very expensive, but if we’re producing new garments we want to do it as ethically and size inclusive as possible.
There's a handful of accessories that we make small runs of for events that're difficult to ethically source, so if you find more sustainable options for them then please send them our way!
Our apparel is then brought to a printer in Langley where it’s either screen printed or digitally printed.
Digital printing is our most commonly used for when the graphic has a lot of colour & detail, or if it’s being printed onto a stretchy ribbed fabric. This avoids any loss of detail and prevents cracking over time. It’s a more expensive route, but our priority is always quality and creating a longer lasting garment.
Afterwards, our gal Jess starts off with some basic product photography, and then we plan a lifestyle shoot to show how the piece could be worn to portray our aesthetic.
Thanks so much for those who support us and this process!
Scout Magazine Interview October 2022 by Thalia Stopa
"Mettle" at Slice of Life Gallery & Studios - October 2022
This Wild Ride - December 2021