Newfoundlanders have talent, there’s no question. However, with our small population, stumbling economy, and limited educational opportunities, industry, and infrastructure, only so much of that talent finds its niche on our home isle.
Amanda Moss was born in Buchans, where she spent her early summers with her grandparents, and the shovel and pickaxe of her clothing company’s logo are a nod to that heritage. Pasadena, though, is the town where she grew up, spending her weekends on the slopes of Marble Mountains.
While she misses the pace and beauty of the west coast of Newfoundland, she knew from a relatively young age that she would live in Montreal, thanks to the first of her two summers studying French in the city during high school.
“What I didn’t know, is that I would eventually enroll in a fashion design program,” Moss says. “The first year in Montreal, I studied French and not much else. I was in the metro one day, and I saw posters for Fashion Design programs.
“Until that point, I’m not sure that I ever realized that was a real thing. My assumption was that fashion designers were just famous Europeans (not actual real people) and I had not really considered that there was obviously a large industry with many levels of clothing design and manufacturing, and Montreal was at the center of it all in Canada.”
After ten years working in the industry, Moss was ready to launch her own company, called Amanda Moss, producing ethical fashion made in Montreal.
Of her approach, Moss comments, “I would describe the pieces in my collections as timeless staples. I have a somewhat minimalistic approach to design. I’ve discovered that it is very easy to “over-design” a garment, which is what leads to it being quickly outdated. I cautiously follow trends in fashion, but on a larger scale.”
Of ethical fashion, there are two main points Moss considers. To ensure workers’ fair treatment, Moss works exclusively with small businesses in Montreal to produce her garments.
“The workshops are clean and safe and workers are paid fair wages and keep regular working hours,” she explains.
For garment quality, Moss works with natural fibers like linen, cotton, bamboo and tencel, designing well made and long lasting garments that can help break the fast fashion cycle of many disposable ones. Will she come home to Newfoundland to live someday? Maybe.
“Newfoundlanders always come home, or so I’ve been told.”But for now Montreal is the right place. Trying not to overthink the future, she plans to keep doing what she does as long as it makes her happy. “I want to help people find their style and develop it, and build a small strong wardrobe of pieces that they feel great wearing, and can feel good about knowing it came from a good place.”
Do you know a Newfoundlander doing awesome things “Upalong?” We’re interested in hearing about them. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.