PHIT’Cetera Lifestyle Wear is on a mission to make a difference, one piece of clothing at a time.
Located at 1201 Larry Uteck Blvd in Bedford, the eco-friendly clothing retailer specializes in high-quality everyday essentials for both men and women.
“It’s lifestyle wear, so everything to take you from work to the gym and everything in-between,” says owner and founder Sandra Drover. “The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, so what we’re trying to accomplish is to do better for the environment through clothing.”
The curated collection, which shoppers can also find on PHIT’Cetera’s expansive online store, includes everything from high-quality denim, sweaters and blouses to locally crafted, organic bath bombs and self-care products.
Accessories and goods can also be found at the store, including handcrafted jewellery and hand-poured candles, both from Nova Scotia. The store also sells eco-friendly handbags, made from vegan leather and recycled materials, as well as scarves, hats and shoes.
But what makes the store unique is that most of the brands sold there simply cannot be found elsewhere in Halifax.
“They’re incredibly unique, and we bring in small capsule collections to try and keep things different,” says Drover. “The collection is timeless, so it’s not going to just take you through this season – it’s going to take you through this season and beyond. The trends come and go, but our fashion is forever.”
An entrepreneur for most of her adult life, Drover worked in wholesale industrial apparel for 15 years, but she always dreamed about opening a boutique of her own. Since setting up shop in 2020, she’s attracted a loyal following of customers who love her products, which don’t compromise comfort for fashion.
“They love the way they feel, the concept behind the brand, and the variety and uniqueness of the pieces that can’t be found anywhere else,” she says.
The concept and ethics behind her suppliers are more important than brand names for Drover, who carries as much Canadian-made clothing as possible at the store and continues to educate customers on the sustainability of her products.
Angela MacDonald is one of two part-time employees at PHIT’Cetera. She was drawn to the store initially as a customer who passionately believes in the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses.
“I love supporting small local businesses, which was the original reason I went in, and I ended up just loving the place,” she admits. “It’s hard not to spend my whole paycheque there.”
And while she describes the products as stylish and comfortable, she says it also feels great to buy and sell items that have less of an impact on the environment.
Since joining the team in September, MacDonald has enjoying getting to know the customers, and the fact the store is small provides a more personalized shopping experience for those who may need a little extra help finding what they are looking for.
“You do get to hear the feedback from customers, and the fact that people come back repeatedly, I think, speaks volumes for the clothes themselves,” says MacDonald. “First-time customers coming in are always so surprised at how soft and comfortable everything is.”
She considers shopping at PHIT’Cetera as an experience in and of itself and stresses the fact that Drover has so much to offer there.
With Christmas just around the corner, PHIT’Cetera is making gift-giving easy this holiday season by offering a line of personalized holiday gift boxes until the end of November.
Each box has multiple items to choose from, including eco-friendly lounge and sleepwear made entirely from bamboo products and locally made self-care products. From the Girlfriend Box, which is perfect for a friend or significant other, to the Teacher Box, which is a unique and thoughtful way to thank a teacher, there are plenty of options available for the person on your list.
Additionally, a holiday-themed customer appreciation day will take place at the store on Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon to 3 p.m., during which time there will be live music and tax-free savings on all regularly priced merchandise. The first 40 customers to make a purchase will receive a homemade goodie bag with recipes.
“Whether it’s coming in for a dress to go out to an event or jeans and a T-shirt to hang out with friends or workout gear – there so many different options here,” says MacDonald. “You’ll feel good wearing these clothes, but you’ll also feel good knowing you’re not hurting the environment.”
To learn more about PHIT’Cetera and to shop its curated collection, visit phitcetera.com.