Meet the Indigenous-owned fashion brand focused on the environment, mental health and size inclusivity

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, athletic clothing and athleisure trends have boomed. However, a lot of it comes from fast fashion, a term used to describe clothing mass-produced by big companies and available at a low price. The problem with fast fashion is that it actually causes harm to the environment due to the amount of waste it produces.

However, slow fashion often comes from small businesses, artisan designers and reduces waste. Case in point: You need to check out the Indigenous-owned fashion brand Lesley Hampton. Most of the Toronto-based brand’s items are made to order. However, that means it can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to create pieces before shipping — and it’s worth the wait.

Lesley Hampton is an Anishinaabe artist, fashion designer and activist whose namesake brand focuses on mental health awareness, body positivity and authentic representation in each design. The brand offers three lines of clothing: a Signature Collection, a Bridal Capsule Collection and an Athluxury Collection with made-to-order, gym-appropriate items.

The latter gained special attention when Lizzo donned its Forest Haze set in an Instagram post in February 2021.

The Forest Haze set is specifically part of Lesley Hampton’s Athluxury Robust Collection, which, according to the brand’s website, focuses on “body positivity and mental health awareness through the lens of athleisurewear and festivalwear.” Each item includes bold, sometimes abstract photos of cannabis to highlight “the use of cannabis for mental health for some individuals.”

The collection includes leggings, sports bras, T-shirts and more, all made with soft and comfortable materials (like microfiber yarn). Wear any of them to the gym or around town and you’ll definitely stand out in the best way. Plus, you’ll be supporting a small business with a focus on the environment, mental health, size inclusivity and indigenous representation.

You can take a look at some of the Athluxury items below. While you’ll have to wait a bit to receive your new fits, you can feel better knowing your purchase does some good for the world.

1. Forest Haze Legging, $120 (Orig. $180)

Credit: Lesley Hampton

These leggings have a light compression fit and a lot of style. The raised waistband has a hidden inner pocket for stashing your valuables as you move.

2. Forest Haze Bra, $80 (Orig. $120)

Credit: Lesley Hampton

Wear this bodysuit with the matching leggings or pair it with leather pants for a festival-friendly look that turns heads.

3. Hydro Bodysuit, $113 (Orig. $150)

Credit: Lesley Hampton

This hydro bodysuit, also known as a one-piece swimsuit, is made with a chlorine-resistant fabric so the macro cannabis crystal photography print will never fade.

4. OGK Short, $80 (Orig. $100)

Credit: Lesley Hampton