ETHICAL YOGA WEAR INTERLACING PURPOSE-MADE WITH BEAUTIFUL DESIGN
Danielle Larkin was travelling overseas when, true to one of the basic principles of yoga, she set her intention and decided that she wanted to focus her energy only on something she was truly passionate about. It’s this clarity and business partner, Kim Kake’s, passion that brought Yogiic to life.
“I love yoga and wanted to start my own label, so when Kim and I got talking, it basically went: ‘I want more men’s yoga clothes!’ and ‘I want to start my own brand!’ So that’s how it came together. Kim used to work in marketing for real estate but his true passion is yoga so it was a complete career change for him!”
They now have a production house in Geebung, Brisbane. Kim runs the sales, and Danielle comes up with the concept and works with the staff at the production house to create all of Yogiic’s designs. This involves her sketchbook, a pattern maker, two sewers, and samples that are tested around the fashion house (and remade if necessary!).
Yogiic is also accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, an accreditation body working collaboratively with companies to ensure their Australian supply chains are transparent.
Besides yourself, who are the people behind Yogiic?
Kim and I have been friends for a long time and we pretty much started on the Yogiic together As it became bigger and more difficult to manage with just two of us, we brought on two others: Taryn (who manages the brand side of things) and Kirsty (who does operations). Kirsty used to work with Kim, and Taryn was a friend of a friend. We basically got to know each other through word of mouth!
Can you tell me a bit about your own yoga journey so far?
Well, I’m not an advanced yogi, but I’ve found it’s the one true form of movement or exercise that’s made me relax. I’ve been practising for about 3 years now, and it’s the one activity that’s got me thinking about myself, how I treat myself, and passing that onto others. It’s a positive way of life that’s good to live by. It’s made a massive difference in my mental and physical states.
What is your go-to mantra in personal and business matters?
I ask myself “Is this a yoga thing to do?”, which basically goes back to “What does yoga mean to me?” It means no judgment, no harm, being kind, showing gratitude… it’s how you treat others including staff and the overall community. That’s the question I ask myself. If the answer is ‘yes’ then I absolutely go for it, but if not, I stay away.
Tell us a bit about yourself… how does a typical day flow?
I start with taking my dog for walk, maybe do some yoga at home, then go to work in the morning. I spend a lot of time at our production house in Geebung, Brisbane, though I used to work more in the office. I love being hands-on and making the garments! I usually work from 7 until all the girls leave, then I go home and get to all the emails… Sometimes I’ll do a yoga class. My boyfriend is getting into yoga actually, and he says it helps with his back pain from soccer.
What exactly are Yogiic’s ethical practices and sustainable manufacturing?
I spend a lot of time researching the fabrics I choose. I really want to have as little impact on the environment as possible – I know the clothing industry is one of the worst things we do… It basically comes down to the scraps and wastage – we barely have any wastage. Whatever waste we do have, we use in resampling or we donate so people can practice sewing with the fabric. We try to minimise the use of plastic: our garments are packaged in recycled washbags. Basically in the little parts of the business we do a lot of recycling.
On your site you mention ‘the latest technology to ensure a perfect cut’ – what exactly does this mean and why is it so important?
It’s mainly to do with the cutting machines and how precise they are. They get down to the millimetre, so you know that the actual parts of the garment are always going to be exact. We also have incredibly talented sewers who make sure everything is up to scratch and of the highest quality before it’s packaged.
It’s also to do with pattern-making. There’s an advanced program we’ve invested in because we think that by using great technology we avoid the need to go back at any point due to an error.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
It varies! if I’m picking a print it’s usually from something that’s inspired me in the past. A lot of the time I’m inspired just on my morning walk, I see things or remember things and think, “Ooh, that would be cool!” Shapes are definitely key, and I like to introduce those into the garments. A lot of what makes Yogiic special is in the smaller touches and minor details.
Do you have a favourite Yogiic item?
The loop back crop. I basically live in it! I have a larger cup size so it’s super supportive while also being super comfy.
Why should people choose Yogiic over all the other organic, ethical, etc labels out there?
There are loads of brands out there making really beautiful things with organic materials and ethical practices, but you often find that their designs are quite simple. With Yogiic I’ve tried to incorporate great fabrics with interesting designs, so we’re very designed-focused on top of the other good stuff.
And finally, finish this sentence: The world needs more…
Consciousness and awareness. It’s important to make conscious choices and be aware of how your actions actually affect the environment. And not just that, but even thinking in yoga terms, it’s important to think about how your actions affect others and what the implications are. People are often quite blind to what they’re doing; being conscious and aware creates a much better place.