THE SHORT STORY
We are a Canadian Company that designs and produces quality apparel, mainly sleepwear, in a small workshop in Sault Ste. Marie, in beautiful Northern Ontario, Canada.
Our sleepwear is made with quality natural fabrics for both men and women. We make pajama sets, night shirts and sleep shorts - our best selling being the “Classic” nightshirt.
We love what we do and have been doing it for a long time; since 1992 to be exact! We create simple straightforward garments built to last.
We are not shy to say that we really know how to make Great Sleepwear!
WHAT INSPIRES US
Life in Northern Ontario continues to inspire our designs, our fabric choices and each small detail in the process.
49th Apparel is - All Canadian, northern, vintage, and woodsy, with a contemporary feel!
We love the Northern nature we call home, and care deeply about trying to reduce our footprint on the environment.
As producers, we believe in sustainable fashion practices and making our products locally. The majority of our sleepwear is made right here in Sault Ste. Marie, with small batches produced in Toronto - all of it in Ontario.
But also being consumers, we believe in buying less and choosing well - purchasing products that are made to last and won’t go out of style (or wear out!) by the next season.
Our garments are all proudly Made in Canada.
We believe that Made in Canada really does matter. #madeincanadamatters
THE WHOLE STORY
In the early 1990's our founder Daryl Wier returned to his hometown of Sault Ste.Marie Ontario.
A clothing designer by trade, and an incurable creative, Daryl wanted to draft clothing patterns, construct and create clothing and essentially play with fabric all day long!
He rented a small 150 square foot workshop in the back of a turn of the century home in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, and set up a small studio space.
There he started working on custom clothing orders, alterations and making and selling boxer shorts to family and friends.
He quickly got very busy and needed to rent additional space in the building.
All the while, Daryl was out literally every weekend scouring garage sales and antique markets, hoarding and collecting vintage clothing, wool blankets and textiles…he was not sure why yet, but felt drawn to their quality, craftsmanship and history.
In his studio, he began experimenting with repurposing beautiful old Hudson's Bay blankets and woolen clothing into patchwork “Camp" vests for men and women.
And so began a local following.
Daryl continued to deconstruct old mens suitings, silk ties and shirts, turning them into patchwork woolen vests, blankets and other interesting accessories.
He was also extremely busy creating custom tailored pieces. Everything from men’s pants, graduation dresses to alterations were being worked on every week in that little downtown space.
One fateful day in 1993 Daryl was approached by a client with a simple request: to design and make a Nightshirt for her elderly husband. She said the he loved them and could not find a high quality one locally, thus our Classic Nightshirt was born.
At that point Daryl and his small team of sewers throughout Sault Ste. Marie began producing these flannel nightshirts in small batches.
This is something we have continued to now for 25 years! We still love making them That’s a whole lot of nightshirts and A LOT of happy sleepers!
In the Mid 1990s a move became evident; the studio was relocated to a larger, more serviceable location where a retail shop and small manufacturing facility could coexist.
Around this time, in addition to custom orders and A LOT of Bridal Party sewing (wedding dresses included), Daryl began increasing boxer short production and started selling them to local menswear stores with some success.
Now this enterprise needed a name; and finding the right one proved challenging.
A good friend suggested: ”49th Parallel" as this is the border that runs roughly 3,500km between Canada and the United States in Western Canada where Daryl grew up. His hometown of Sault Ste. Marie also sits on an international border with the United States of America.
49th Parallel really made sense to Daryl and seemed like a great name for his Canadian clothing brand.
Upon telling his family about his NEW business name, his Mom misheard and believed he had said "49th Apparel”. He loved the play on words and the name stuck.
49th Apparel was born!
At this point Daryl was producing boxer shorts and bathrobes mostly by himself, but family and friends were also a big help to keep up with production. In addition, a small “piece work" manufacturing operation was established whereby local seamstresses would pick up bundled sleepwear, all cut by Daryl, and take them home to sew on their own machines.
In 1997 a larger retail shop became necessary so 49th Apparel moved to it’s current Queen Street West location.
Always a champion of Canadian Made clothing, long before it was cool, 49th Apparel continues to carry and promote a curated collection of mainly Canadian designed and manufactured womenswear from across the country. Representation from designers in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are always available - but only in person here in SSM.
Since our inception in the early 1990’s, Daryl has also designed and produced his own womenswear line, something which we have plans to expand upon in the future!
Being involved in the fashion industry for many years, as a designer, manufacturer and also a retailer, Daryl is acutely aware of textile waste within this global industry and its impact on the environment and the world.
Wanting to address this issue in our own way inspired our most recent venture into upcycling - so we started "49th Apparel RE- MADE”.
Upcycling, and giving new life to vintage garments is something we have always done to some degree.
Daryl loves the new mixed with the old; antique displays and vintage fixtures can be found everywhere in his work spaces and home.
Why should this "mix” of elements just be limited to decor? So many wonderful combinations arise when vintage textiles and clothing meet new and modern shapes and ideas.
We feel that clothing is to be worn, loved and should get better with age, not simply discarded. At present, the RE-MADE collection consists of 2 items which have been met with great success.
We combine new fabric with Men's Vintage shirts to create unique " One of a Kind" sleepwear that everyone can enjoy and feel good about buying and wearing.
After the nightshirts are produced we are left with the backs and the sleeves. Not wanting anything to go to waste we found uses for both!
2. RE-MADE Sleep Shorts: The backs of the deconstructed shirts become (full circle back to how it all began) Boxer Shorts!!! It takes 4 vintage shirts to finish one pair of these NEW men’s Sleep Shorts.
And the sleeves? Stay tuned to find out we have in store for the sleeves. We are certain you will love it!
THE UPCOMING STORY
We are so excited about sharing all the new things developing at 49th Apparel with you, especially RE-MADE, but continue to remain committed to producing our classics that have kept our customers cozy and sleeping happy for so many years!
We hope you enjoy this coming journey as much as we do!