Sarah Stewart, 29
ARC APPAREL TECHNOLOGIES
Life Story: Sarah Stewart named her Vancouver store, which sells sustainable women’s clothing, after Joan of Arc. “Women are warriors trying to do everything, have the career, friendships, families, and try and make the world a better place,” she says. “So Joan of Arc just really resonated with our brand.”
Born in Calgary, Stewart moved to B.C. with her family when she was 12 and grew up in Richmond. Travelling in Bali made her realize how what we eat or wear can affect someone on the other side of the world. The BCIT grad launched Arc Apparel in 2017 after volunteering for Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week increased her awareness of the garment industry’s role in pollution and worker exploitation.
Stewart started off selling online across Canada before expanding shipping to the U.S. Having tested the waters with two successful pop-up stores, in February 2018 she opened a shop in Gastown that turned a profit its second month. Typical customers are professional women aged 18 to 36, as well as costume designers for productions like A Million Little Things and The Good Doctor. Because sustainable and ethically sourced clothes can be pricier than fast fashion, Arc Apparel’s LaterPay program allows customers to pay in four instalments using their credit card.
Bottom Line: Revenue more than doubled in 2018. Stewart plans to open a second store this year if she can find the right location.