You can now get products from Indigenous-led small businesses at a big drug store in Toronto
Products from three female- and Indigenous-led small businesses are now available at locations of a popular drug store chain across Toronto and the rest of Canada.
You can now buy products from Hamilton-based Lodge Soy Candles, Niagara-based Lofttan and Mother Earth Essentials at select Rexall locations.
Lodge makes candles, Lofttan specializes in jewellery and Mother Earth Essentials has products like essential oils and teas.
A curated "wellness collection" launched at Rexall stores on March 21 on the Vernal Equinox, a time which is representative of spring in Indigenous culture.
Lofttan is contributing their "Earth, Water and Woods" collection with freshwater pearl earrings, semi-precious clippable pendants, and wood stretch bracelets sourced sustainably.
"This opportunity is Reconciliation in action. When you lift up female-led, Indigenous brands, you lift the entire Indigenous community," says Lofttan's owner and designer, April Mitchell-Boudreau. She's been designing jewellery for over two decades.
"Wearing natural materials on your body is such good medicine. We strive to bring sustainably sourced, healing materials to our line. They just feel better on your body."
From Lodge, there's the "Ceremony Collection" with candles infused with essential oils derived from traditional medicinal plants, intended to promote peace, calm, clarity, positive energy and healing.
"Kudos to Rexall for being a leader for transformative change and putting Truth and Reconciliation into action," says Lodge Soy Candles lead designer Angela DeMontigny.
"The collection of scents was curated in order to 'miyikosiwin' (gift) ceremony, as we say in Cree language, and light into people's lives by embracing the spirit and intention of Indigenous wellness and bringing the natural world into their homes."
As for Mother Earth Essentials, Rexall will now be stocking their bath
and body products like aromatherapy mists, essential oils, handmade soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion with scents like sweetgrass, cedar and sage.
"When I started my brand in 2006, I dreamed that one day products using our Indigenous plants would be on the shelves of a chain of high end stores, and it is happening," says Mother Earth Essentials founder Carrie Armstrong, who comes from a long line of Cree Medicine Women.
"As a descendent of a residential school survivor, I am appreciative that Rexall is honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action. Kinanaskomitin (thank you, I am grateful to you)."
The products are grouped together in a special display at two Toronto locations of Rexall in Toronto, at Queen and Dovercourt, and Church and Wellesley.
You can also find these displays at the Second Ave. location in Sudbury, Elmvale Acres SC in Ottawa, Argyle St. in Caledonia and Trunk Road in Sault Ste. Marie.
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