Canadian Fashion Connection – GWG

wartime overalls and slacks from GWG

Anyone growing up in Canada after the war but before the 1980s designer jeans craze will remember GWG, the homegrown version of American Levi’s or Lees.

The Great Western Garment company was established in Edmonton in 1911 and became the largest Canadian workwear manufacturing company by World War II. Levi Strauss & Company purchased a majority interest in GWG in 1961 and expanded operations to include plants in Winnipeg, Brantford and Saskatoon. Costs forced the company to close operations in 2004.

If you want to know more about GWG, check out this excellent website created by the Royal Alberta Museum with a grant from, a branch of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (C.H.I.N.)

About Jonathan

Jonathan Walford is a fashion historian and co-founder of the Fashion History Museum in Cambridge, Ontario. The FHM maintains a collection of nearly 12,000 artifacts dating from the mid 17th century to the present. Jonathan has authored various books and museum catalogues, including The Seductive Shoe, Shoes A-Z, Forties Fashion, 1950s American Fashion, and Sixties Fashion.
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