Not this ship’s maiden voyage

Simons travels an old-timey passage across the Atlantic, picking up handmade goods in a 100-year-old sailboat.


Slow and steady wins the garment race — that’s got to be part of the thinking behind Simons’ latest endeavour.

Recently, the retailer took a nearly 100-year-old, 179-foot schooner, and trusted the wind beneath its 12,500 square feet of sails to transport products from local producers in France to the Port of Québec, where they were eventually delivered to stores via 100% electric vehicles.

The distinct, handmade goods, from shoes to shirts, are exclusive to Simons in Canada, and they nicely align with the retailer’s efforts to enter clean and ethical collaborations with, coincidentally, clean and ethical companies.


In the case of the video below, the brand partnered with trading house Port Franc, which facilitates ethical and eco-friendly intercontinental trade by working with brands like Fileuse d’arvor (founded 1927), Rondinaud (1907) and Guy Cotten (1964), three French workshops that produce their goods by hand.

“On the one hand, the fashion industry is the second-biggest polluter globally, particularly due to modern methods of mass retail,” said Peter Simons, CEO of Simons, in a release. “On the other hand, consumers are more and more sensitive to sustainable development. They are looking for reliable, clean and ethical products. It is our responsibility to find solutions, one step at a time.”


The sailboat is a nod to an old world, where the Americas were connected with Europe through sailboats, as well as to Simons’ own history where the original owner, John Simons, made 18 trips across the Atlantic to import products, building his business one shipment at a time. A shorter version of the spot can be seen below.


Advertisers: Simons and Port Franc
Art direction: Port Franc and Gorditos
Copywriting: Port Franc
Production company: Gorditos – Martin C. Pariseau
Post-production company: Mel’s and The Workshop
Design: Charmant & Courtois
Music & Sound: The Cult Nation