Slowly Slowly is an apt name for the new store at 5685 Cunard Street. Owner and founder Hannah Sears explains that, in a world full of fast fashion, she wants to encourage people to shop more mindfully, slowing down to consider the impact of their purchases.
“Fashion is anything but sustainable,” she says. “I think ethics, environmentalism and human rights really have to start being at the forefront of our buying decisions.”
In addition to fashion, the store will feature a curated mix of beauty products and home goods, all made by designers with ethical and sustainable practices. As of right now, Slowly Slowly will sell the work of roughly 30 different designers, all chosen by Sears for the quality of their work and the stories behind them. These range from local artists, like Halifax’s Maggie Jayne, to ones from a little further away: Montreal’s Eliza Faulkner, Spain’s Paloma Wool and India’s NorBlack NorWhite, to name a few.
“I really believe in all the brands that I selected for the store,” Sears says, “and each one really does have a story to tell.”
Sears, who grew up in Antigonish, has worked in fashion and retail for years now. She ran a Halifax pop-up shop called WishBook during the holidays in 2015 and 2016, and she's just returned to Nova Scotia after working with independent fashion shops in Toronto. She’s excited to showcase the work of designers who aren’t currently available anywhere in the city, introducing Haligonians to products she’s long believed in. Though the process of opening the store has been complicated by COVID restrictions and the third wave, Sears is excited to finally join the local retail community downtown.
“It's a really precarious time to open a small business or any business,” she says. “So I'm really excited to get the doors open and have people come in.”
Though the store is ultimately Sears’ project, its beautiful interior is the result of a group effort. She’s worked with local studios and designers to build out the space, including Past Future Design Build, Sam Battista and Sarah Sears—her own sister, a Halifax-based jewellery designer and metalsmith. They’ve been working to create a space that’s well-designed and easy to navigate, and are excited for people to finally enjoy it.