Claire Theaker-Brown founded Unbelts in 2011 with two ambitions: creating quality jobs for underemployed seamstresses in her Shanghai neighbourhood, and perfecting pant fit for people of all shapes. Through bootstrapping and lean growth, she has overseen Unbelts’ evolution from solopreneurship to a mini-multinational with distribution across North America and online customers worldwide – with unwavering advocacy for supply chain transparency and workers’ rights along the way.
A Certified B Corporation since 2015, Unbelts was Western Canada’s first apparel-industry B Corp and is a three-time Best For The World honouree. It’s also a 1% For The Planet partner company with environmental sustainability initiatives that include a lifetime-repairs policy, 95% recycled-material belts, and a soon-to-launch “unpackaging” campaign. With studios in both Shanghai and Edmonton, Unbelts is working towards a goal of waste-free cut-and-sew operations by the end of 2020. Claire is also the national coordinator for the global Fashion Revolution movement (www.fashionrevolution.org).
Claire is a firm believer in a “who, not where” approach to building ethical global supply chains, and is equally vocal about gender inclusivity in the apparel industry and broader entrepreneurial community. She has spoken at TEDxShanghai and at sustainable business events across Canada, as well as on CTV, Global Television, and CBC Radio. She lives in Edmonton with her partner Carl and two kidlets, including baby Theo, who is looking forward to attending WEAR on Claire’s hip this year.