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ReNesting Program

 

To facilitate a more circular and sustainable life for each of the pieces we produce, we've created a repurchasing program at Birds! If you have any Birds styles - recent or vintage, worn or unworn, damaged or pristine - we will welcome them back from you in exchange for a small credit towards a future purchase!

 

$15 - dress, coat, or jumpsuit

$10 - woven separates (skirt, top, short, pant)

$5 - light weight knit tops

 

Two of the things we've come to realize about Birds pieces over the years are

1. they usually last a very long time

2. they are often much-loved and can be hard to part with when you don't know where they're going! 

We hope our ReNesting program will be a solution for you! Anything you bring back to us will be entered into our ReNesting program where it will be directed into one of the following channels:

 

‘ReNesting’ section

This avenue is for items that are in re-sellable condition. They will be laundered, photographed, repaired, and listed for resale on our website in the ‘ReNests’ section so they can find loving new homes! A portion of each sale with be donated to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Since launching the ReNesting Program in March of 2021, we have donated a total of $1358.40!

 

Recycling:

This channel is for items that are too severely degraded or damaged to be resold. We'll either salvage fabric and trimmings from these items to included in our scrap bundles, or donate these pieces to various local charities who raise money through the sale of recycled textiles. 

 

How do I participate?

You can either drop your used Birds pieces in person at our store at 1114 Queen Street West in Toronto, or send them to us at our studio by mail at:

Birds of North America
5 Adrian Avenue, #203
Toronto, ON, M6N 5G4

Regardless of the condition, you will be issued a credit for each item returned to put towards a future purchase at Birds:

$15 - dress, coat, or jumpsuit

$10 - woven separates (skirt, top, short, pant)

$5 - light weight knit tops

If you drop your return(s) directly at the store you will be issued a credit code on the spot. If you send returns by mail, we will e-mail you a credit code as soon as they are received. Please be sure to include your contact information so we know where to send your discount code!

 

Why?

Creating beautiful clothing in Canada is our passion. Nothing makes us happier than hearing how much you love your Birds pieces, and we want these beloved pieces to be a part of your, or someone else's, wardrobe for a lifetime!

One of the main ways we try to make long-lived clothing is by building quality into each garment itself. We have always used high quality fabrics, trimmings, and methods of construction, so our pieces stand up well to washing, wear and general life year after year.

It's ok to buy new things and it's ok to keep up with changing fashions if it's done in a conscious, sustainable way. That means purchasing pieces that you can get a lot of wear out of, and that have enough integrity that they can hopefully be enjoyed by someone else after you move on from them. We hope that our ReNesting program will be an easy place for you to direct your Birds clothes when their life with you has come to an end so they can either be enjoyed by someone else, remade into something new, or recycled appropriately. Maybe you'll also find something new-to-you in our ReNesting section one day!

Thank you for participating! We're delighted to be able to launch this program, and hope it will make the decision easier when the time comes to part with your beloved Birds styles.

xoxo all the Birds

 

Toronto Wildlife Centre

A portion of all ReNesting sales will be donated to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. As you may know, Neil and I are vegan, and we are both lovers of and advocates for animals. We feel that the other creatures on this planet are no less important than humans in the grand scheme of things, and that we have a responsibility to respect and care for them as much as we can, especially as we encroach more and more on their habitats with our cities.

We've been walking to work several days a week since we moved to Toronto in 2015, and we see a lot of city dwelling animals on our daily commute - squirrels, skunks, raccoons, possums, rats, mice, all sorts of birds, and of course, pigeons! All of these animals are trying to live their lives, survive and thrive, just as we are, in this busy city we all live in - a city that gives us all so much, but which can be a dangerous place for its animal inhabitants.

Pigeons, especially, are often treated with disregard and contempt, when they are simply a bird, like any other bird, that has as much right to exist as we do. They live in communities in specific neighbourhoods, they are monogamous and mate for life, they mourn the loss of their partners and offspring, they are highly intelligent, and they are an important part of the wider eco-system as a food source for other birds (especially Peregrine Falcons), as well as with their contribution to seed dispersal and the regulation of insect populations. Pigeons rock!

Neil came up with the phrase 'Pigeons Are Also Made Of Stars', along with a beautiful graphic, to express how we feel about all of these animals, especially pigeons. We are all made of stars. Pigeons, too. We'll be sending out these post cards with all of our orders for the next while. 

 


The Toronto Wildlife Centre is a place where residents of the city can seek help for any wild animal in need of assistance. They admit close to 5000 sick, injured and orphaned animals a year and rehabilitate them and provide medical care, as needed, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.

Though they also provide education about bio-diversity through various programs, they don't function as a sanctuary or zoo, and members of the public are not permitted to have contact with the animals in care. Being in captivity is a highly stressful experience for wild animals, and the Toronto Wildlife Centre staff and volunteers go to great lengths to minimize stress on the creatures they are treating as it can seriously inhibit recovery, or even be fatal.

We're so fortunate to have an organization like this in our beautiful city, and are excited to be able to donate to them on a regular basis as our ReNesting program continues. Thank you for checking out our ReNests! We'll be updating the selection regularly with new styles as we receive them!

xo Hayley, Neil and all the Birds

 

A March 2023 update - our 2 year anniversary of the ReNesting Program!

I can hardly believe it's been 2 years since we started accepting our first ReNests back in March of 2021! Since then we've received about 820 previously enjoyed Birds items at our store and through the mail, have listed 790 pieces online for resale, and have been able to successfully move over 75% of the listed items on to new homes! This blows my mind!!!

It has been such a joy to see so many vintage Birds pieces come back into our studio from collections as long ago as 2010 (!!!), and also very encouraging to find that there is such a strong desire within our community to adopt and wear these pre-loved beauties!

Of the 800+ pieces received, we've only had to donate or salvage fabric and materials from about 30 items that weren't reparable or in resale-appropriate condition. The salvaged fabric from these pieces was either recycled or added to our scrap bundles, and the odd piece that we felt might still have some life in it as a wearable piece of clothing was dropped at a local clothing donation bin. On the whole, it has been a wonderful surprise to realize what a large percentage of items, even if they're not perfect, have remained in reusable condition!

For me personally, as the designer of Birds of North America, one of the things I have most appreciated about the program is the shift in thinking it has created for me in terms of the longevity of our clothing.

Truthfully, I have been astonished at the beautiful condition of most of the cotton pieces that have come back to us. We make the majority of our styles out of cotton fabric, and I always assumed that the cotton pieces would be the first items to disintegrate, stain, or deteriorate in some way. I imagined the only pieces left of our 'design legacy' fifty years from now would comprise the small percentage of polyester items we make each year, which made me very sad indeed!

Cotton prints and solids are my absolute favourite fabrics to wear and to create clothing out of, so my long-held assumption that these pieces would be the most ephemeral has always made my design process feel bitter-sweet. Knowing that the cotton pieces do, in fact, last a very long time, and appear to have many lives left, even ones that are 10+ years old, has been incredibly encouraging, and has made me love cotton EVEN MORE, if that's possible!

Thank you for continuing to send us your old Birds pieces that you're ready to move on from! We appreciate your support of this program so much.

xo Hayley