Toronto entrepreneur looks to bring the world together through clothing line


'We're all Canadians but we're all from so many different colours... something I truly wanted to celebrate'

The colours of the world form the palette for Toronto company CDN Apparel/Canadian Apparel.

It's founder, Faris Mirza just launched his clothing line of jackets and t-shirts. The clothes bear the colours of different countries — with one constant. Each country's flag is merged with the maple leaf.

"Creating this was like walking the streets of Toronto everyday," he said. "We have people from so many different beliefs so many different backgrounds, they're all Canadian and it's just beautiful."

From Australia, to Zimbabwe

Each country gets its own badge.

"I pretty much know all the flags," says Mirza. The company has created badge designs from 195 different countries and manufactures the clothes in Toronto.

Faris Mirza

Mirza's clothes bear the colours of different countries — with one constant. Each country's flag is merged with the maple leaf. (Marivel Taruc/CBC)

"It's our differences and it's our colours that are so beautiful that when you combine the fact that we're all Canadians but we're all from so many different colours that is something I truly wanted to celebrate."

'It's been quite a journey'

It's not just an appreciation for the country he lives in. Mirza is also grateful for the opportunities Canada has given him.

At 18-years- old, he says he was kicked out of his home in London, Ontario because of family problems. He took the bus to Toronto and was forced to live in shelters for six months.

"It was the roughest time of my life," he remembers. "I didn't even know shelters existed...I remember walking around Greyhound (bus station) to Union Station. It was the winter, I would go from Tim Hortons to Tim Hortons just stay warm."

Seven years later, he's fulfilled his dream of owning a business.

"You can come from the worst of the worst. I have a grade nine education. But it's your persistence, it's how hard you want to succeed when everyone says you can't do it."

CBC Source