This article is sponsored by Buff Canada
Collaborating with Buff Canada was an experience that came full circle for Victoria-based freelance illustrator and designer Claire Watson. The multifunctional headwear company contacted her in the spring of 2020 to work together on a collection of neckwear. “I’ve worn BUFF® products since my kids were little, and it was my go-to accessory about nine or 10 years ago when I was in a volunteer fire department, when I went hiking, sailing, paddle boarding, biking and in my day-to-day,” Watson said in a Zoom interview.
Easily transforming from the classic headscarf to a face mask to a bandana for year-round protection, these tubular scarves are something Watson always throws into her backpack because their versatility protects her from the elements and keeps her outside.
Watson believes in living simply, staying connected to nature and getting outside—core values she shares with Buff Canada. And, like the Buff brand, Watson’s also an advocate for environmental sustainability and stands proudly behind responsible production. Each of BUFF® Originial Multifunctional neckwear is created with 95 per cent recycled materials using REPREVE® technology and delivers UPF 50 sun protection. “I like the company and I like what they do. I thought, ‘I definitely want to collaborate with them,’” says Watson.
Buff Canada recently launched two new Canadian Exclusive Collections to celebrate the country’s diversity of wildlife and landscapes, each designed by a different local artist. Enderby-based graphic designer, illustrator and animator Sassan Filsoof’s five designs for the “Outdoor Life” collection pay homage to Canada’s steep mountain valleys and tranquil open water, to which he’s enjoyed countless mountain adventures, camping trips and biking excursions. Watson’s six designs for the “Living by the Water” collection capture Canada’s marine life, ancient forests and secluded beaches, inspired by her love of waterscapes.
Watson says she has always been an ocean person and grew up on boats while sailing up and down the West Coast. She lived on a sailboat in Tofino for seven years, where she completed this collection for Buff Canada before moving into a home in Victoria. “It's not often that I get to draw something that’s personal,” Watson says of her six designs.
Each one captures a different quintessentially Canadian moment from destinations across the country. “The water in Canada is everything from the ocean to lakes to rivers to snowpack to glaciers. This country is huge and covers such a broad spectrum that coming up with iconic Canadian designs definitely wasn't a difficult task,” says Watson.
Plus, she’s surrounded by inspiration. “My favourite spot was just sitting out looking over the wheelhouse of the boat,” Watson says of her waterfront home in Tofino. “My view was Meares Island, my neighbours were river otters, eagles, sea lions and ravens. I was super religious about waking up early, and that's when I watched the sun rise and all those sport fishing boats leave. I don’t know what made me connect with nature more than that.” Watson often used this time in the early mornings to transform her BUFF® designs from rough to thumbnail sketches and experiment with different colour palettes for her final creations on her iPad.
Watson uses her art to deliver a powerful message to supporters of Living by the Water. “By wearing one of my BUFF® designs, you’re showing that you appreciate the [country’s] wild spaces and think about them when living your day-to-day life. Maybe it’ll help with something as simple as packing out your trash or choosing reusable cups and bags. Just simple things that contribute to the health of the landscape in the long run.”
As we continue to battle the pandemic this summer and find different ways to enjoy ourselves outside, we have the opportunity to support our Canadian artists and hold Watson’s and Buff Canada message to enjoy the outdoors responsibly close to heart.
Using the revolutionary technology by REPREVE® we are able to create accessories made from 95 per cent recycled materials.
Multifunctional and lightweight neckwear designed for adults and kids.
4-way stretch technology fabrics for superior elasticity and improved comfort.