Featured Retailer- 889 Community

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889 Community is a beautiful space located in the heart of Toronto. They welcome everyone, and believe that we all deserve a deeply caring access point to attain a healthier lifestyle. Since opening their doors 10 years ago, they’ve grown tremendously and now offer a range of Yoga, Pilates, Barre and Meditation classes, as well as Yoga Teacher Training. Housed in a beautiful late 1800’s Victorian home that was mindfully designed with the intention of preserving it’s historic heritage, 889 provides their community a space for prioritizing self-care, self-love and wellness. They strive to inspire happy, healthy, and peaceful lives.

Their values also extend to the carefully curated 889 Shop. In the shop you can find props to support your at-home practice, clean and organic self-care products, active wear, and unique gifts, including our Turkish towels- which make the perfect yoga mat cover or shawl during meditation. 889 Community is owned and operated by strong women who are mindful of supporting small, local businesses, especially those run by women. We’re super proud to be a part of this community and to have our line featured in this amazing space!



Why We Only Use Organically Grown Cotton

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In PART I of this blog post we looked at the negative implications of conventional cotton on the environment and why choosing organic cotton is SO much better for the planet. However, that’s only half the picture. Choosing organic cotton is also much better for humans. It’s important to remember how close our relationship is to our environment.

The harmful chemicals used in conventional cotton practices continue to wreak havoc on the health of cotton farmers and those who wear and own conventional cotton products. Good thing there’s an alternative that’s safer for the planet, the farmers and the end users of cotton textiles!

Growing Cotton

Hazardous herbicides and pesticides are used to grow conventional cotton. Their purpose is to help increase plant growth by killing unwanted organisms. We often hear about how these pesticides negatively affect the environment, but what we don’t often hear about are the negative health impacts on cotton famers. The estimated number of people affected by pesticide poisoning every year is an alarming 77 million

The majority of those labouring in cotton fields are in developing countries. The use of pesticides is harmful to the workers’ health, often resulting in illnesses that prevent them from being able to continue working and providing for their families. Medical attention is often unaffordable.

The good news is that there’s an alternative! Organic cotton growers aren’t exposed to these toxic and hazardous chemicals, which means that they’re not at risk of suffering from pesticide poisoning. Organic pest management strategies do not include the use of synthetic fertilizers, and are much better on the farmers, the soil and the surrounding ecosystems. Nearby communities are also safer because they’re not exposed to toxic chemicals which are commonly spread through air and water.

Wearing Cotton

During the production of conventional cotton, a shocking amount of herbicides and insecticides are used. These chemicals can impact the health of those who wear cotton products. The chemicals used in the production of cotton remain part of the fibre throughout the life of the garment. Some of the adverse affects include: skin irritation and rashes, respiratory issues, and nausea.

What can we do about this? Choose organically grown cotton whenever possible. Wearing organic cotton ensures that we aren’t being exposed to the harsh chemicals used during conventional cotton production. This choice is also better for the health of the cotton famers and their surrounding communities.



Stray & Wander Team


References and Further Reading:






Vegandale Food & Drink Festival

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We had a blast this past weekend at the Vegandale Food & Drink Festival at Historic Fort York in downtown Toronto! The festival is a place where like-minded people and their pets can gather to eat, drink, and dance, resting easy that all products offered are 100% vegan!

Veganism, at its roots, reflects a fundamental care for animals and the environment, and a passion for creating a more sustainable world. Often, people first become vegan due to a deep love and respect for animals, but many commit to the lifestyle for all of the other health, environmental and socio-economic benefits. Being vegan is more than just about what you decide to eat, it’s a lifestyle that rests on being mindful, ethical and wanting to live better.

We ate our way through the two day festival, and in particular we loved the Seasoned Vegan  (Harlem, NY), serving delicious gourmet vegan soul food, and Ital is Vital, a local cult favourite vegan West Indian restaurant. The festival’s main attraction was the incredible food and drink offerings (the craft beer was delish), but there was also a small selection of carefully curated cruelty-free merchandise. We were thrilled to have been selected to participate!

The best part of the festival? Meeting so many amazing like-minded people, dogs, and even one pig (hi Truman!!) We had some really interesting conversations about ethical sourcing, traditional methods of production, and the importance of using organic cotton- for both humans and the environment.

At Stray & Wander, we value and respect veganism as a way of life dedicated to consuming ethical, cruelty-free products. Our company ethos rests on providing 100% organic cotton, handmade, fairly traded textiles that have been thoughtfully designed and produced. We work with small family businesses, women’s cooperatives and individual artisans, always ensuring they are fairly compensated for their hard work, and that the products are well made and gentle on the environment. We focus on designing and producing products that are versatile and multi-purpose, with the goal of encouraging people to buy less, and buy high-quality ethically produced products. We’re so grateful to have taken part in this past weekend’s Vegandale Festival and can’t wait to see what else they have in the works coming up this year!



Stray & Wander Team







What's In Our Carry On Bag?

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We feel truly blessed that we're able to travel to amazing countries all over the world. Whether we're travelling for business or pleasure, there are a few key staples that we never leave home without:

 Sunscreen- because our mothers still call to remind us daily

Choosing the right natural sunblock can be daunting. There are quite a few products on the market, and let's be honest, most of the natural options are thick, white, and very slow to absorb, leaving an unwanted white sheen on the skin's surface. Don't fret, we've found some great natural options that provide SPF without the thick white texture. Our favourites are Coola for our body and Consonant for our face. 

Ear Plugs & Eye Mask

Is it just us, or is there a perpetual rooster crowing and bright lights anytime we're trying to sleep? All kidding aside, these lifesavers come in handy on long plane rides, bus rides, and when trying to sleep in past beautiful early morning sunrises. Our favourite is Saje's Soothing Herbal Eyeshade.
Turkish Towels
 Ok, so this one is a no brainer. We always have at least one Turkish Towel in our carry on. We use our towel as a blanket on the plane, a towel and a sarong on the beach and a shawl for those chilly nights. Our towels are light weight and dry super quickly, making them the perfect travel companion.
Paw Paw Ointment
This stuff is amazing! We use Paw Paw almost as often as we use coconut oil! It's a healing ointment made from fermented papaya, and contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It's great on cuts and minor open wounds, insect bites, dry and chapped skin,  rashes, minor burns, scalds, and sunburn. It also works well for chapped lips and minor eczema. Lucas' Paw Paw is our favourite.
Peppermint Oil & Lavender Oil
Equipped with our arsenal of Paw Paw, peppermint oil and lavender oil, there isn't much we can't handle! Interested in learning about our favourite uses for these two essential oils? Check out our blog post on Three Essential Oils That We Can't Do Without.
Portable Speaker- because music is life
We never travel without our portable speaker, and trust us, we're the life of the party! Our current favourite is the waterproof portable bluetooth speaker by JBL.
Travelling is a great time to catch up on our reading. From long plane and train rides, to relaxing days spent on the beach, we love getting lost in a good book. What's on our reading list? Have a look here.
Happy Travels!
Stray & Wander Team

How Do I Choose the Right Turkish Towel?

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We often get questions about how to choose the right Turkish towel. While much of it has to do with selecting a pattern and colour that you find appealing, choosing the right weave, and the right towel size for your needs is also very important.

Here are a few tips to help narrow it down:


Don't let the name fool you, these small sized beauties are just as versatile as their full-sized counterparts. They're very tightly woven and super absorbent. Here are our favourite ways to use them:

  • hand towels
  • tea towels
  • hair towel
  • hot yoga towel
  • gym/sports towel
  • baby burp cloth
  • table covering


Looking for the perfect beach towel?

We've definitely got you covered. Generally, we recommend choosing one of our tighter weaves if you'll be spending lots of time on the beach. Our general rule of thumb when choosing a beach towel is that the tighter the weave is, the less sandy your bum will be!

Here are our top towel recommendations for sand-free sunbathing:

  • Cove Towel
  • Harbour Towel
  • Rio Towel
  • Brook Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Yara Towel

Looking for a towel for your home?

Good news, this one's easy! All of our towels are great for the home. Go ahead and experiment with colour, texture, and pattern. A simple and inexpensive way to update a powder room is by adding beautiful Turkish towels for pops of colour and  texture.

Looking for a new scarf or shawl?

Our full sized towels all make great scarves and shawls. There are no bad choices, however, we generally recommend our looser weaves and stone-washed towels because  they have a plusher and softer feel. We just LOVE feeling cozy!

Our favourites:

  • Maya Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Wavy Towel
  • Kai Towel

Looking for an a multipurpose towel?

From the beach, to camping, to the cottage, we've got you covered. Both tight and loose weaves make great all around towels.  

Here are a few of our favs:

  • Cove Towel
  • Rio Towel
  • Maya Towel
  • Coastal Towel
  • Yara Towel

Have you chosen your towel? If so, have a quick read here to learn how to take care of your handmade beauty.

Still not sure which towel to choose? Not to worry..shoot us an email at info@strayandwander.com and one of our towel experts will be happy to help!



Stray & Wander Team