I first learned about Jorgie through a small business that I support in Kamloops. The craftsperson from that business had ordered a bikini from the Vancouver-based brand and highly recommended them. I began looking into Jorgie and was overjoyed to find a business that seemed to align perfectly with my values. Like many people, I try to make as many decisions as possible that meaningfully impact the community around me, and align with my major values. Unfortunately, I find it increasingly difficult to find brands that value the same things that I do. Much of the fast fashion available to me is affordable but generally not eco-conscious, inclusive, or sustainably and ethically made. Meanwhile, the local, slow-fashion brands tend to only align with one of two of my values. So to find a brand that embodied all of them, felt like an invaluable rarity - a unicorn brand.
Upon my first glance at Jorgie’s online presence, it was immediately clear that the brand valued authenticity and realness. Jorgie posts largely untouched digital images, proudly displaying the stretch marks, cellulite, and curves of their models. They boldly state through their marketing that there is no perfect body, no right way to be thin, or fat, no imperfection that needs to be hidden in order to be powerful, sexy, and fierce. The brand is eager to represent all body sizes, not just within the straight-sized range from XS to XL. This was something extremely important to me - to financially support businesses that are fighting anti-fat bias and weight stigma and liberating fatness in general. Unfortunately, finding brands that offer all of their regular products (not just a select, diminished, plus-size specific line) in a truly inclusive sizing range, and include generous representation from models of all body sizes in all of their marketing campaigns, is difficult. I am a straight sized individual, but I know it is important for everyone to see their body shape and size, and indeed a wide variety of body shapes and sizes in general, reflected positively and encouragingly in a clothing brand.
Jorgie also makes many of their swimsuits from a fabric that is made from recycled fishing nets from the ocean, adding in a piece of sustainability and environmental responsibility to the business model. And not only that but Jorgie is extremely transparent about where their fabrics come from, which fabrics are recycled, and how the swimsuits are made. The owner and seamstress at Jorgie is a woman named Jorgina, who is kind, talented, and extremely hard working. I have purchased five or six custom bikinis from Jorgie and I look forward to purchasing many more. Every transaction with Jorgie feels personal. It feels as though I am appreciated and genuinely positively contributing to this small business, this community, and the powerful values that stand at the base of Jorgie’s brand.
I would like to offer a personal anecdote to illustrate the powerful, positive impact that this small business has had on my life.
I am not extremely self-conscious anymore, but, like many people, women especially, I have had body image and self-esteem issues on and off for my whole life. Improving my relationship with myself is a life-long process, but there are specific incidents in my life when I can look back and say “Wow, that really played a pivotal part in healing my relationship with myself.”
Discovering Jorgie is one of those times.
I have loved water, the ocean and swimming, for my entire life. I would go so far as to say that the ocean is the first love of my life. So, naturally, I already own a multitude of bikinis. When I stumbled upon Jorgie, I was most definitely not in need of a bikini. And yet, the more I discovered about the brand, the more I knew that I absolutely did need a Jorgie bikini. I started by ordering premade swimsuits, then moved up to custom made suits, even trying to design one myself, that Jorgina worked hard on turning into a pattern and bringing to life. Every interaction I had with Jorgina was thoughtful, kind, and clear. I felt seen and valued as a client. And with each conversation, I felt more and more like Jorgie truly embodied the values that the brand seemed to exemplify. The most incredible and influential part of my experience with Jorgie, however, was that I felt like I was represented in the models on their page. Here was this incredible, cool, sexy brand, not telling me that I had to look a certain way. Here they were with models who had piercings and tattoos, fat models, models with square hips and small chests, individuals with thin legs and fat on their bellies, people with wild hair and straight hair. And they weren’t there as “token” models to make the brand seem diverse. They were there because Jorgie really, truly believes that beautiful, empowering representation comes in ALL shapes and sizes. And every one of the models in their brand looked confident, incredible, empowered, and strong. And seeing all of them, over and over, was like a big fat permission slip for me to feel strong, sexy, and empowered in my body, exactly as it is. And so I bought bikinis. And when I wore them, I felt like I was one of those fierce, strong women from Jorgie’s page. I felt so good that I bought bikinis with limited coverage for the first time in my life, not even sure that I would ever wear them. But then I went on vacation and I wore all of those small bikinis with my belly and my butt and my hips showing, and I wore them with a confidence I have never felt before. And when I wore them, I felt like I was part of this incredible, strong, femme-power, badass, take-no-shit, Jorgie community that said “Your body is perfect EXACTLY as it is and you have permission to fully and completely ROCK IT.”
Jorgie is not only a brand that is creative, resilient, environmentally-friendly, honest, and high quality. They are a brand that is actively working to uplift and encourage the community, dismantle fatphobia and empower women everywhere.
Jorgina and I have been business partners on multiple occasions over the last two years, and have successfully executed many in-person and digital events with her assistance.
I thoroughly enjoy my time working with Jorgina, and it has been an honour to see firsthand her determination, hardwork, and passion for what she loves to do. Her passion shines through her work with every piece she crafts. From the first stitch to the finished product, I can personally attest as a client as well as a business partner, the level of care is rare to come by these days. She is not just passionate about her brand and her products however. What defines the essence of Jorgina Apparel from others is her passion for people and community.
The in-person events such as pop-up shops and stylized photoshoots Jorgina and myself have facilitated demonstrates how honest, hardworking, and reliable she is. Her knowledge of small batch handmade garments is extensive to say the least. And beyond that, her eye for current trends and elevated event coordination skills are very impressive.
Pairing her expansive expertise with the essence of what she so loves, Jorgina marries the importance of body image and self-love in a way I would like to see more businesses take after. Her messaging is about self-love, self-acceptance, and falling in love with your mind, body, and soul through embracing our natural beauty. Every moment an opportunity arises, she is sending an encouraging word into her community, or, speaking up on what matters in this digitized age where many things are filtered and polished many times before its publication.
Jorgie Apparel is about embracing what you have, and about relearning to love the parts about yourself that societal expectations may have said you couldn’t. I have had the privilege to see first-hand; women empowered, re-energized, revitalized and glowing when they are finished at one of her events. When we are asked to recommend and nominate a person, we choose the ones who are most impactful, and the ones that make a statement. Jorgina’s message through her work allows people to step into a more confident version of themselves. And to leave something better than how it started, I wholeheartedly believe, is the most impactful of all.
My name is Francesca. I met Gina (Jorgina), owner of Jorgie Apparel in July 2021 at her local pop up event in Vancouver, B.C. I’m an avid supporter of local businesses and hers was one of the first I engaged with after moving to Vancouver earlier in 2021.
What drew me to Jorgie Apparel was the inclusive message and the fact that each piece was custom made by her. I can’t believe the attention and detail she offers to her customers. And, the best thing is that I can tell by the quality of her product. I’m not one to wear bathing suits comfortably but with her swimsuits, I feel great in my own skin. Her custom designs fit my style and image, encouraging me to really embrace my body. I’m used to wearing more sporty fits but this is the first time in my 30 years of living that I feel feminine wearing swimwear.
Alongside the quality and the love behind the product, the owner herself is really involved with her community. I alluded to her inclusive message earlier and what I mean by this is that she, herself, and her brand advocate for body positivity which is something sorely lacking in the fashion industry. The great thing is that she kicked-off her brand with this message so it rings true to so many of her customers because it’s founded in authenticity. It’s her energy, her passion, and her genuineness that draws her community to her brand. It’s great to see women supporting women and celebrating our bodies as they are.
I absolutely love Jorgie Apparel and as one of her loyal customers, I always feel empowered sporting her clothing. She, via the way of her brand, has made me feel carefree and confident in my body, connecting me to a deeper sense of self love.