Travel & Culture

This Collab Brings The Best Of Fashion & Literature Together

April 14, 2023

On March 20, RW&CO., renowned ready-to-work clothing brand, and Penguin Random House Canada, the country’s largest publishing house, joined forces to create RWREADS. This social initiative aims to empower shoppers through fashion and knowledge with an in-store library where they can explore a thoughtfully curated selection of literature. Michele Slepekis, vice-president of marketing and e-commerce at RW&CO., says this exciting partnership is igniting a sense of unity for fashion and book lovers alike.

According to Michele, RW&CO. has always been committed to finding innovative ways to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as a brand, and RWREADS is an uber-trendy and refreshing approach to this ongoing mission. (Stephen King didn’t say “books are a uniquely portable magic” for no reason!)

This collaboration with Penguin Random House, she continues, was sparked by a “responsibility to take part in important conversations that affect members of [their] community, ” and was inspired by the debut of RWCOnversations in 2021—a sequence of social justice-oriented panels. Michele explains that RWREADS intends to not only continue this discourse but enhance social consciousness by “[making] use of one of the oldest forms of information sharing to promote the organic spread of the most relevant and current issues facing our [society].” 

Every element of this collab was meticulously crafted to uphold this mission, from choosing which publishing house to partner with to handpicking which books to feature. Besides disrupting the publishing industry, Michele notes that Penguin Random House shares her brand’s set of core values: from championing diverse voices and investing in individuals from marginalized communities to firmly believing in the ability of literature to foster connections and effect change in people’s lives. With this joint vision, the RWREADS library encompasses a range of titles that address themes surrounding social justice, mental health, personal growth and well-being, motivation and workplace navigation. 

Michele wishes to draw attention to one of the most sought-after books in the reading collection—Atomic Habits, a number 1 New York Times bestseller by James Clear—which she deems to be a quintessential embodiment of the library’s mission. The book presents actionable methods that can help individuals cultivate positive habits, eliminate negative ones, and hone the small but powerful actions that yield significant outcomes.

RWREADS made its debut in select stores around Canada, allowing RWInsiders to borrow one book at a time over a 30-day period. RW&CO. places emphasis on the integrity of this honour system, as Michele contends that it will help achieve their goal of “[reaching] customers on a more direct level by evolving their interaction with [their] stores from a shopping destination to a communal area of empowerment through fashion and knowledge.” She further asserts that this strategy will encourage authentic relationships and a sense of belonging similar to that found at a local library.

You can find RWREADS at the RW&CO. locations at Georgian Mall, Upper Canada Mall, Oshawa Centre, Skyview Power Centre, Halifax Shopping Centre and Tsawwassen Mills. Christina Armanious


  1. Newton Osbourne Vanriel

    April 23rd, 2023 at 7:17 am

    how can my book on inclusion be included in the selected books?

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