Encircled Helps Women Make Better Choices for Their Closet and the World
Kristi, Founder + CEO of Encircled
I actually have zero fashion training. I went to the University of Western Ontario for a Finance degree, and completed my MBA in 2009 at Queen’s University. I spent most of the first ten years of my career in marketing, and retail management consulting. I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and currently reside in downtown Toronto. I love traveling. In my career as a strategy consultant, I virtually lived in an airport, traveling to and from client sites on a weekly basis by plane. In addition to traveling extensively for business, I developed a major case of Wanderlust in 2010. I loved to go abroad, travel, do yoga, surf, and explore. It was this idea of traveling often, and traveling light that inspired the entire company, and our first product, the Chrysalis Cardi.
Encircled wants to help you streamline your wardrobe and simplify your life. We all have too much stuff in our closets, many of which goes unworn. The fashion industry has taught us that quantity over quality is better, and to shop trendy over timeless. We believe the opposite. Encircled is an ethical, direct to consumer ecommerce fashion brand. We believe less is more. Quality over quantity, and seasonless over trends. We design versatile womenswear that enables our shopper to do more with less in their closet.
Encircled also makes 100% of our clothing in Toronto, Canada by fairly paid workers, who work in safe, comfortable working conditions. The fashion industry is one of the biggest exploiters of human rights, and we believe that how the people who make your clothing are treated, truly matters.
The idea for Encircled actually started with a product. While packing for a yoga retreat, my suitcase broke and I had to stuff everything into a much smaller bag. I started to question why I had so much clothing that served only one purpose, and dreamed of having more multipurpose clothing. So, I started designing it.
The Chrysalis Cardi was my first design born out of the idea that traveling light can be stylish. It’s a beautiful, 8-in-1 multiway garment that effortlessly transforms from a cardigan, to a scarf, gown, tunic and more. From this product, came Encircled. I knew that I didn’t want to build a company on a shaky foundation. After being exposed to both the human rights issues and environmental destruction worldwide through my travels, I decided to create a company that held high standards in all aspects of business. From the paper we use to print on, to the fabric we use, and how we make our product - everything is considered, intentional and mindfully done to lessen impact on the planet, and empower the workers who make the product.
Encircled exists to help women make better choices for their closet, and the world in general. We provide high quality, ethical fashion at an accessible price point. As we sell direct to consumer, we can offer some of the world’s most premium, luxurious and sustainable fabrics in our collection at comparable prices to many major brands. We’re also a certified B Corporation, which means we’ve made a commitment throughout our brand to use business as a force for good. Lastly, our designs are made with purpose. We spend weeks testing, designing and optimizing our products to make sure the fit is impeccable, and the function and comfort blends seamlessly with style.
In Studio Shop:
My absolute favourite design is our Dressy Sweatpants. They’re an elevated version of a harem pant. We make them with a sustainable blend of fabric, called MicroModal which is surprisingly dressy, and very comfortable with it’s 4-way stretch and ultra soft texture. Moreover, the fabric is knit, dyed and the pants are sewn here. It’s pretty difficult find that in any piece of clothing which makes them even more unique.
I designed these pants on an 10-hour flight to Brazil. I was heading there for meetings when I was in consulting, and dreamt of a pant that I could wear on a flight, but could also wear to a meeting, and this is what became of that idea. So comfy, and so stylish. A definite win!