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Retailer ‘Peace Collective’ Opens Flagship Store in Toronto’s Distillery District [Interview/Photos]

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Retail brand Peace Collective, which is known for giving back to the community and supporting several causes, has opened its flagship location in The Distillery District in Toronto.

Yanal Dhailieh

“Peace Collective is a lifestyle brand that helps customers look good while giving back to causes they believe in,” said Yanal Dhailieh, founder and CEO of the concept. “So for every purchase with Peace Collective part of your purchase goes to causes we work with.”

“Causes we help and support are mental health, food insecurity, such as the food bank, and refugee support internationally.”

Peace Collective began in 2014 and sells men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories. 

Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“It’s about showing pride in yourself, or your country, or in the things you love. So a lot of our product lines that we’re known for are our Canada collection and our Toronto collection which is all about giving back in a show of pride in being from Toronto and Canada,” said Dhailieh.

“We also have our mental health collection which is all about showing self-love and then we also have a lot of sports items. We have NBA, MLB and MLS apparel all showing pride for your favourite team.”

Dhailieh was studying to be a doctor several years ago but really wasn’t passionate about it. It was then that he took a trip to Morocco to teach English, being involved in a program that allowed children from lower income households to go to school. 

“My parents immigrated here from the Middle East, from Syria. I just knew whatever I wanted to do I wanted to be able to give back. The things I saw when I was young and the things my parents had to go through. That was kind of how it was born,” he said. “The idea was I wanted to start something that gave back. I think the first cause that we supported was school meals. 

Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“I graduated university and I kind of had this idea in my mind and this name for Peace Collective. It started in 2013-2014 with the first design.”

The retailer currently has two stores – the location that just opened in the Distillery District and one inside Union Station.

The Union Station location has been open since 2017.

Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

“Right before opening this (newest) store we closed our original flagship store which was in Ossington Avenue. We had it up until March of this year. But with things changing during the pandemic we made the decision to close it and reopen it in the Distillery District,” said Dhailieh.

“For us, we’re primarily an ecommerce brand that drives us in retail. But the way I like to view retail is people need to experience it as sort of a destination. It adds to everything you’re doing as a brand. So when we were looking for a new destination . . . we could have gone to one of the many malls or higher traditional traffic areas for retail. But it’s a really unique store because of the products we offer. 

“We felt that the Distillery kind of added to that brand story and is in another historic area in Toronto and it’s always a place that’s going to have destination traffic. I think having a store inside Union Station and a store inside Distillery really adds to the brand value. It’s something pretty unique.”

Additional Photos from Peace Collective Distillery District Flagship

Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs
Peace Collective at The Distillery District – Photo by Dustin Fuhs

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior National Business Journalist with Retail Insider in addition to working on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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