It’s easy to start beef with big brands, but this upcycled clothing line is actually pretty awesome—and it's selling out fast
I’m all for the little and local, so usually, a merch announcement from a mega hamburger brand wouldn't draw my attention. But throw in a Vancouver collaborator and an eco-element, and I'm interested. That’s what A&W Canada did at its launch of A&W x Frankie clothing on December 3.
Here, an admission: while the local angle and the sustainability factor grabbed me, it wasn’t what sold me. It was that this collab with Frankie Collective isn’t the boring, brand-heavy, only-looks-cool-if-you-happen-to-be-super-hot-and-skinny vibe that most merch has. It’s very trendy, a little edgy and something you could wear nonironically. Behold:
The T-shirts, shorts, sweatpants and jackets are all made from leftover A&W merch and salvaged clothing. It’s an upcycled line that really reflects marketing in 2021: get on board with sustainability or get out of here. Whether or not A&W’s actual behaviour aligns with that is more complex (it has some information about eco-friendly practices here). But from a purely aesthetic perspective, I have to say I’m impressed.
A bit about Frankie Collective: the Vancouver-based company sells used clothes and turns salvaged garments into fashion-forward streetwear. They donate 1 percent of their sales to nonprofits including the Native Women’s Association of Canada and Qmunity. And this isn’t their first big collab: they’re currently working on projects with Nike, Adidas and Reebok, too.
So it’s no surprise, really, that this new upcycled merch is selling out fast (my favourite T-shirt is only available in extra small; curse this average body). The A&W Thrift Shop website isn’t particularly user-friendly, either: you can’t filter by clothing type, or even by what’s still available, so there is a lot of scrolling involved. Worth it for some very cool burger merch? I think so.