Notable Life | MEET ALLIE DUFF, FOUNDER OF PURE BALANXED, A SIZE INCLUSIVE CLOTHING LINE

Comfortable, ethically made, AND size inclusive clothing lines? The options are few. Seeing this gap in the market, Allie Duff founded Pure Balanxed – beautiful size inclusive everyday basics and loungewear that are sustainably and ethically made in Canada.

What inspired the concept for Pure Balanxed?

Pure Balanxed really was a dream come reality. In 2018 I was in treatment for an eating disorder and really struggled to find clothing that would support me and give me confidence all in one. I was in a hospital and needed something that I couldn’t find anywhere else, so it inspired me to create my own brand.

What is your mission with PB?

PB has and always will be about the community, my mission is to create clothing that makes people feel confident and connected, it’s always more than the clothes – it’s the feeling we get when we put them on.

When did you launch?

I started the brand at the end of 2018, but I would consider our true launch November 2019. When I started I truly had no idea what I was doing or what I wanted out of the brand and business, I had no background in fashion or business. I just went for it and have been learning ever since – which of course means I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but those have been my biggest lessons, that’s for sure!

What made you want to jump into the lounge wear space?

I didn’t intend to be loungewear focused when I started, I wanted to create everyday styles that could be worn at home and on the streets, but when COVID hit I dove right into loungewear. Over the past two years the fashion industry has changed and I don’t see comfort leaving any time soon. I am excited to create our own spin on loungewear styles that are also chic enough to be worn outside of the home. Sheets to the streets as we like to say!

Please tell us why making a size inclusive brand was important to you

Before I started PB I had no idea how limiting clothing was, how stores capped off at an X-Large and how “plus sizes” were taboo. To me that didn’t make any sense, in one year we expanded to XXXL and we have plans to continue our size range in the next two to three years. I want everyone who comes to PB to be and feel included. I know we have work to do before we become fully inclusive, but as a small brand, I am very proud of our start. Everyone should be allowed and able to wear what they want. Clothing is a necessity for all of us, so why do brands limit it? I want to change that.

Please tell us a bit about the sustainability aspect, and why that is important to PB

My passion for sustainability started with fabrics, when creating our bestsellers I was looking for something that was not only soft and comfortable but also durable. The best fabrics I found were sustainable meaning; OKEO – TEX Standard 100 – free from chemicals and harmful substances. I am also very slow-fashion focused so slowing down the fashion cycle is really important to me; Reducing our carbon footprint by having everything made in Toronto, ON by an amazing team of women.

Please tell us a bit about your affirmation tags – We love them!

Our affirmation tags truly are a PB signature, the idea came from my history with mental illnesses and being in and out of treatment for years, I came to learn how impactful affirmations had on my health and life. I really wanted to incorporate affirmations into PB and came up with the affirmation tags, a small message hidden from the outside world but visible to the wearer. It’s like having your own little inner cheerleader with you all day long! In 2021 added our affirmations behind the size labels as well, and that truly stems from my background of years with an eating disorder and struggling with body image. The sizing of clothing was always a huge struggle for me, and having an affirmation behind the size would have been life changing for me, so now I get to share that with thousands of people around the world!

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

To stay in your own lane. Focus on your own journey and don’t get distracted by what others are doing.

What would you tell anyone looking to start their own clothing brand?

Find something that people need and take your own spin on it, do your research and find your values, why are you creating this brand and what impact it will have on your customers.

What have you learned about connecting with your community as you build your company?

It’s my greatest joy, it is one of my favorite parts of running the business, I absolutely love to connect with everyone, I love to hear about their lives and how PB has helped them, as I said earlier I share a lot of myself with them because I never want them to feel alone in their struggles and in return it has also helped me feel more connected too. Your community is your brand, they are what are going to make you successful so in my mind they are my top priority!

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself?

To be resilient and never settle, things are always changing and with running a business through a pandemic and not knowing any difference, I’ve had to continually learn how to pivot and learn on the fly. I’m so proud of mine and the business’s growth and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

How do you see your brand growing in the next 5 years?

I have big goals for the next five years; I see Pure Balanxed going global, growing our team (right now it’s just me) and having our own stores across North America. There is also so many new categories that I see Pure Balanxed entering and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next 5 years.

What would you tell your younger self, if you were to meet them today?

That it’s okay to be yourself, by being yourself that is where you find your true confidence. Your people will love you just as you are.

Follow along! @purebalanxed and @alliejeanduff

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