TORONTO — On a bitterly cold New Year’s Eve in 2019, rock star Bryan Adams stepped on stage and fired up a large outdoor audience in Niagara Falls, Ontario, for CBC’s live countdown to 2020. But thanks to a jacket that was unexpectedly gifted to him by sustainable outerwear-maker Wuxly the singer weathered that night’s big chill.
“I was the lucky one that night. I didn’t freeze my ass off because I had that jacket,” Adams told WWD. “But when I was given the jacket I liked it. And when I saw that it was sustainably made and vegan, I became quite interested,” said the Kingston, Ontario-born Adams, who has been a committed vegan for more than 30 years.
Yet Adam’s connection to the maker of Canada’s first tech-based vegan parka didn’t stop there.
Fast forward to October 2022 and consumers will see The Wuxly x Bryan Adams BAD Collection, a limited-edition outerwear lineup that originated thanks to a collaboration between the musician and photographer and Wuxly founder and chief executive officer James Yurichuk.
Adams directs and appears in the collection’s campaign, which was shot in his studio in London.
The BAD Collection’s logo, which features the performer rocking out, was also inspired by the song “Kick Ass,” which Adams included on his recently released studio album, “So Happy It Hurts.”
“What we’ve created here is an eco-elevated line of product that merges Wuxly’s sustainably led design with Bryan’s rock star lifestyle,” said Yurichuk, who launched Wuxly in 2015 after playing four seasons and winning a Grey Cup with the BC Lions in the Canadian football league before signing with the Toronto Argonauts in 2013.
That reality of being on the go, as Adams was day-to-day, influenced Wuxly’s first capsule collection and was something both men believed would translate well to ordinary consumers.
“When we began I showed James a jacket I liked a lot and used to travel with,” Adams said. “It had pockets where I could put my passport. It was also comfortable and warm. I liked that because it gets cold on planes.”
With that starting point, the BAD Collection evolved into three durable, animal-free luxury staples: the BAD Hoodie ($140 Canadian and U.S. dollars); the Kingston ($595 CAD/USD), and the BAD Elk Parka ($995 CAD/USD).
The Bad Hoodie, as Yurichuk explained, “Is what we’d call the ultimate concert companion.” Made from 100 percent cotton and pre-shrunk, the wardrobe essential also features details like a guitar pick pocket in its kangaroo pocket.
The slim-fit Kingston, he added, “Is for the traveler who is frequently out and about and doesn’t have time to look at weather reports. Whatever Mother Nature throws at you, it’ll take you from fall to spring with warm, lightweight comfort.” The bio-based insulated jacket — which boasts a warmth rating of plus-5 degrees Celsius to minus 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees to 23 degrees Fahrenheit) — also features a water-repellent shell; an interior lining made from 100 percent recycled plastics, and a guitar pick pocket and passport-sized pocket for travelers.
Finally, the Elk Parka delivers the warmth and feel of down thanks to its Sorona insulation without harming any animals. The lightweight parka has a water repellent and snowproof shell and interior lining made from 100 percent recycled plastics, plus a warmth rating of -15 degrees Celsius to -25 degrees Celsius (5 degrees to minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit).
Yurichuk describes Wuxly’s beginnings as “a love story.”
After moving from British Columbia to Toronto in 2012 with his Brazilian girlfriend, Yurichuk embarked on finding the perfect Canadian-made coat for her first winter in the city. When he began shopping, however, Yurichuk could not find a coat without fur or animal use in its manufacturing process.
He then went to tailor friend, Anthony DeBartolo, to create the coat he wanted. As he reported, “It worked. She stayed. We were married. We now have four kids.” Yet transitioning from football to fashion wasn’t without its challenges for the former linebacker.
“Coming from athletics, I was used to high-pressure situations. But fashion was even more competitive than football,” Yurichuk said.
With a drive to figure things out on the fly, Yurichuk was determined to keep animals out of his supply chain and to ensure the Canadian factories he worked with treated their workers properly and paid them fair wages.
Wuxly began with just two parkas sold only in Canada. It has since expanded to include more than 10 parkas; the 2021 launch of a fleece collection, and 2022’s debut of its own rainwear. Wuxly sells globally online and through retailers in Canada and the U.S.
“We want to be known as jacket experts. But we are a bootstrap company that puts purpose before profit,” Yurichuk said.
That attitude hit the right note with Adams.
“I’m surprised more brands aren’t thinking about sustainability today,” he told WWD.
“I like the idea of supporting a brand that is taking the initiative to protect animals. But sustainability is still not high end. People still value fur and leather today,” said Adams, who over the last year has put out four albums and done more videos than ever before.
“I’m open to what comes around the corner next,” said Adams, who won’t rule out further collaborations on Bad Collection installments.