Locally Made, Body-Positive, Gender-Inclusive Undergarments: Get Them in Vancouver

Credit: Kay Ho Photography

By Kendell Yan

Feeling confident in your own skin can be an overwhelming challenge that marginalized bodies struggle with on a daily basis, especially when it’s so hard to find affordable clothing that fits well AND makes us feel good. Enter Tina Ozols, founder and sole producer of Oona Clothing in Vancouver’s Eastside, a company that aims to clothe all bodies with sustainability and affordability.

Ozols founded Oona Clothing in 2000 – her goal to fit as many body types as possible with locally sourced fabrics that are both fabulous and comfortable. When asked what the philosophy of the line is, Ozols simply stated, “I want to make sure as many people as possible can put on an Oona item and feel like themselves… what matters to me is that Oona garments fit and that the person wearing them feels great.” Oona Clothing’s plus size line offers sizes up to 5XL for women’s style undergarments and the same assortment for men’s style undergarments is currently in developmental stages.

Tina Ozols, at work in her studio.

Ozols also produces an in-house line of body positive undergarments for Your Open Closet, the clothing imprint of Commercial Drive’s sex positive institution Womyn’s Ware. “The work that the folks at Your Open Closet are doing is very much in the same spirit as how I run my business,” Ozols says, “it is a natural pairing to work with them… they really listen to their customers and people in their community.” The collection includes half binders, tucking pants, and gaff pants, with many more gender-inclusive and body liberating items in the works.

Sustainability and high-quality product are at the heart of what Ozols does. Oona Clothing produces one hundred percent of their garments in studio, producing “a handmade option that not only ensures good labour practices, and uses locally sourced materials, but is also at a price point that is as accessible to as many people as possible.” This means all of her clothing has been fitted to bodies of as many shapes and sizes as possible, that sizes run as true as they can, and that care and attention to detail has been put into every stitch. To top it all off, Ozols also makes a variety of accessories and one-off garments from remnants and scraps of otherwise unusable fabric.

The market Ozols is tapping into is virtually non-existent in commercial stores. In an age where body positivity, like many other facets of identity politics, is becoming marketable and profitable but not necessarily held accountable, corporations run “one size fits all” campaigns that are anything but. Plus-size stores can also run expensive due to the “specialized” nature of their product, and the cost of materials.

Luckily, Ozols doesn’t see things that way. “It has always seemed outlandish [to me] that marginalized people are often expected to pay extremely high prices for items that are often inconsistent and/or not always the best quality, but are the only choice,” she says. Oona Clothing is a quiet revolution for bodies that deserve to have options when it comes to dressing themselves, and to feel comfortable and valid without paying through the roof for it.

Your Open Closet is located at :
902 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC, V5L 3W7

Oona Clothing is located at:
#10 – 1310 William Street
Vancouver, BC, V5L 2P5

 

Kendell Yan is a queer, second-generation POC who navigates the hyphen of mixed ethnicity LGBTQ2+ living in Vancouver. Kendell has a penchant for drag Queens and Kings that borders on obsession, and he favours events that encourage free expression, inclusivity, and love in all flavours.

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One Response to Locally Made, Body-Positive, Gender-Inclusive Undergarments: Get Them in Vancouver

  1. I just love that you’re doing this! Gender inclusive! Body positive! GO YOU!