I started YOGO.ca on a wing and a prayer, back in 2001, just before “yoga clothing” stopped meaning ‘sweat pants and an old t-shirt’, and just after the vibrant Canadian textile manufacturing industry started to all but disappear.
To say they were inauspicious times to even contemplate starting a “Canadian-made” clothing company would be an understatement. And since that time, we have watched a steady decline in our textile industry, not the least of which is the move toward out-sourcing almost all of our fabric production and clothes manufacturing to overseas factories.
Out-sourcing just made good sense (cents). It helped many businesses to stay afloat and even helped catapult a lucky few to their iconic status in the yoga clothing industry. Maintaining the competitive edge in the Canadian clothing industry would have been impossible without out-sourcing. And these days, let’s face it, finding anything—from clothing, to electronics, to toys that are not made overseas—is no small challenge.
So where does that leave me and my YOGO you may ask. Well it leaves both YOGO and me right here where we started this crazy ride, right here in Canada. I understand the choices other companies have needed to make, and hey, my toque goes off to them for building their brands to iconic status in what has become such a competitive market. I mean seriously, who’d a thunk people would be making such a fuss about what they wear to their yoga class. Anyway, to be perfectly honest, I never really wanted to be that big. In fact, to be even more honest (is that possible) I wanted YOGO to succeed so I could devote more time to my other passion—documenting the lives of people I have met who are homeless. (If you are curious take a look at my PROJECTS link).
But I digress. I have always had this idea that there would be enough people out there who wanted clothing that was truly made in Canada, 100% of the time. That there would be enough people who would know that the quality they were getting was exceptional because it was made in Canada. And that maybe, just maybe, YOGO could be the beginning of a quiet, but determined revolution to start putting Canada back on the map as one of the world leaders in the textile and clothing manufacturing industry.
So, whether you are up for a non-violent revolution or just want to own some of the most comfortable clothing on the planet, why not try YOGO—clothing for yoga, or not. I’m pretty sure you’ll come back for more!
Peace, Hope & Luck
Aspiring Author, Filmmaker & Proud Owner of YOGO.ca