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ABOUT US

 

IT’S A LONG ABOUT PAGE. 

BECAUSE IT’S A LONG STORY.

Here’s the slightly shorter version. 

Marissa Freed, Founder of FREED, was born and raised in the industry. Her mother’s family worked in fashion while her father, Stephen Freed, was third generation of parent company Freed & Freed, founded in 1921. Without even a website, he put Freed & Freed on the map as a historic mainstay of the Canadian garment industry—creating local, quality outerwear for world-renowned brands, major retailers and the government. 

Marissa inherited her father’s business sense, tenacity, and inability to be anything but honest (and somewhat stubborn). You should see them when they get in a room together. Which is what happened in 2009, when Stephen was deciding where to take Freed & Freed. 

A shrewd businessman, he refused to compromise quality, integrity, or an ethical workforce. This they could agree on. With her MBA, love of design and commitment to sustainable production, Marissa did the unexpected. She turned down a job teaching fashion in California and took the reins. 

Today, Freed & Freed is 85% female-led with approximately 100 unionized employees, continuing a legacy of high-quality, locally made apparel. 

In 2020, Marissa launched the FREED collection of luxury vegan and cruelty-free outerwear.

 

FREED OF BEING ANYTHING BUT YOURSELF. 

 

FREED is Canadian vegan outwear for true individuals. Of all kinds. Made genderless, for every generation, and as a form of self-expression. Not to dictate style or just to be worn, but to own it and wear it your way. 

As I became a mother, I wanted to be an example. To have a positive impact on the world and show you can look put-together in under 15 minutes. Being inclusive and welcoming is part of who I am. I created FREED to express myself unedited, and inspire others to do the same. Authentically and unapologetically. – Marissa 

 

A HERITAGE COMPANY
THAT’S CONSCIOUS OF THE FUTURE. 

 

FREED combines a century of leading manufacturing expertise with forward-thinking ethical practices. 

  • MADE AND DESIGNED IN CANADA 
  • 100% VEGAN AND CRUELTY-FREE 
  • USE ECO-TEXTILES FREE OF ANIMAL-BASED DYES LOW-WASTE PRODUCTION 
  • CONSTANT INNOVATION TO BE MORE SUSTAINABLE 

 

OUR 2022 INITIATIVE: ZERO WASTE. 

 

Every year, FREED takes on one new environmental initiative. We bring our fabric ends and past pieces back to the factory and repurpose them into accessories or new styles found in capsule collections. This year, our goal is to get as close to zero waste as humanly possible. 

I can be entirely vertical because my manufacturing is right below my office, so look out for some interesting things. 

 

WE MADE MASKS AND HISTORY. 

 

When 2020 hit, so did Marissa’s anxiety. What can I do, how can I help? Twenty-one hours of pacing paid off with aMASK by FREED. These Canadian, surgeon-endorsed masks made it onto faces in HBC retail stores, Fairmont locations and many government offices across the country. The collection is also featured in The Cloth that Changed the World exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum. 

 

LIVE CONSCIOUSLY. 

 

Years ago, Marissa adopted a rescue dog from the streets of Northern Manitoba. She could see that overconsumption is everywhere, whether it’s fast fashion or overbreeding. And how important It is to know where things come from, and where they go when they’re abandoned.

He could have been another discarded dog but instead he became her family, and muse. It got Marissa thinking even more about how little attention the fashion industry pays to animal welfare and rights and helped inspire her collection of animal-free vegan fabrications. Today, FREED is more than clothing, it’s an initiative.

And, while he was once nervous and growled, he’s now a big gentle giant who works with special needs people.

His name is Henry.

FREED 100 year history infographic timeline

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