At Nimmo Bay, our guides, staff and guests have quickly realized that Nimmo Bay’s wilderness environment pairs perfectly with ANIÁN‘s products and mission.
If you haven’t heard of ANIÁN, and enjoy the great outdoors as much as we do, you will want to learn more about this passionate Vancouver Island based business. ANIÁN creates high quality Canadian-made clothing tailored to an active lifestyle on the coast, using natural materials and manufacturing in a sustainable way.
Paul Long is the owner and designer of ANIÁN. He was born in Calgary, Alberta, and spent most of his childhood free-time in Canmore at the foot of the Eastern Rockies. After he finished high school, Paul moved to Nelson, British Columbia, and eventually found his way to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. After finishing a degree in Tourism and Hospitality at Vancouver Island University, Paul moved to Victoria, where in November of 2013, ANIÁN’s flagship store was opened at 516 Discovery Street. This was Canada’s first 100% solar powered off-the-grid store, built out of 100% reclaimed materials. When it first opened, there was only enough solar power for three light bulbs, but over the following year a thousand-watt solar system was installed which has been operating for the past three years.
How did ANIÁN come about?
Paul: “I got tired of spending money on plastic clothing that didn’t work, melted and ended up looking terrible after a week in the bush. I didn’t know it at the time but that was the start of ANIÁN. I went out to try and buy natural fibered clothing, the same that you would have seen Shackleton or Sir Edmund Hillary wear, but none of the outdoor stores sold natural fibered clothing. It was just plastic, everything was plastic. I started considering what clothing we used to wear. What clothing did early explorers wear? What clothing did people wear when they worked and lived outside?”
And from this, the idea for ANIÁN was conceived. Paul also started to realize that the clothing that did exist had a massive environmental footprint, which was something he could no longer ignore. The answers to his questions were 100% natural fibers – wool, cotton flannel and organic linen – to name a few.
Tell us a bit more about your concept:
Paul: “I think that in our modern world we have forgotten that we as humans are part of the ecology of the earth, not separate from it. If you are spending time in the outdoors, and doing any sort of activity, your body will need to control its internal temperature and it does this by sweating. If your clothing does not breathe (or not very well), it doesn’t matter how waterproof it is, you will inevitably get soaked by your own sweat. ANIÁN clothing is designed to allow your body to breathe. At ANIÁN we also design clothing with style in mind. We like to think that you can go from the backwoods to the private dining room and not have to change or feel underdressed.”
Where does your wool come from?
Paul: “Like with good food, if you want good clothing, you need good ingredients. Our wool is milled in Italy out of recycled wool from men’s suits. It takes about one kilogram of old coats/suits/sweaters for one meter of wool. To give you an idea, on average, a North American throws away just under 37 kilograms of textiles a year. By using recycled wool, we are actively reducing our environmental footprint and we are also delivering an amazing wool.”
The ANIÁN Melton Wool jacket features a Melton weave, which is so dense that it creates a wind and water resistant garment, perfect for days on the water and exploring BC’s wet and cool environment. Paul believes that rather than trying to hide yourself from the elements, by covering up in a synthetic fiber, we should embrace them by using the natural properties of the materials they use. Enjoying nature the way it was intended … naturally!
ANIÁN uses factories in Vancouver to make its apparel:
Paul: “We like knowing the people we work with on a first name basis. It’s just a better way to do business and to live. By manufacturing in Canada, we can control and deliver quality.”
Oh, and if you are wondering where the word “ANIÁN” comes from:
Paul: “ANIÁN was said to be the mythical passage that connected Asia to Europe for trade. First mentioned by Marco Polo in 1566, over time the strait of ANIÁN has become widely known as the Northwest Passage.”
Extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products.
DID YOU KNOW?
Every wash releases 1,900 plastic fibers per garment into our water systems…
But by switching to natural fibers, it would reduce microplastic pollution by 70%!
“While we continue to believe that nature can be improved upon, it might be time to admit that maybe it can’t – not without causing harm to the home we love to explore.”
(Graphics by Gillian Page)
And now, you can follow ANIÁN up to the Great Bear Rainforest where they hosted a pop up shop to raise awareness about microplastic pollution (video by: Ben Giesbrecht):