Ladies who visit breathe frequently ask for my opinion on Lululemon. I believe this is a direct result of their recent negative publicity. Some would argue that any publicity is good, and therefore intended, however in this instance I don't think it is true.
I have in the past used Lulu's products, before they took production offshore, and found them very good. These early products are what established Lulu in BC as a brand. Following Lulu's move offshore their products have certainly changed and the general consensus from their orignal devotees, that I meet, is that the changes are for the worse.
Credit were credit is due Lulu have done wonders to raise the awareness of ladies workout wear globally, getting us out of the grungy tees and into apparel with function and form. But they have never been the only show in town. That is where my journey begins, with choice.
Living in BC people are very much on the go and the lifestyle wear works extremely well. In fact generally people all over are making excercise an important part of their life. At breathe we aspire to find you the very best in lifestyle apparel that enhances you while respecting social and environmental values in a sustainable way. We are very fortunate to collaborate with fantastic creators, locally in Vancouver like http://www.karmawear.com and http://mytonic.ca who have been creating wonderful styles for years and south on the US pacific coast, http://teeki.com who are relatively new to the business. This gives us an amazing collection to choose from and help you select the right pieces for each and every occasion.
Breathe's appeal has been to the adventurous ladies who do not need to follow the crowd, they can discern, select and appreciate tailoring that suits their individual needs working with their bodies to create a personal and uniquely flattering style. We have made many special relationships with beautiful people who we cherish as friends and loyal clientele.
How Luluemon Athletica Inc. go forward is open to speculation. At Breathe Athletic we set out clear values and have and will remained true to them guiding us forward with your continued support. Thank you.
We have just received a shipment from Hard Tail. We just love their products! We are one of only a hanful of retailers selling the line in Canada! They have been making yoga/active wear since the early 90's. Each piece is manufactured in their Santa Monica factory down in California. They use mostly cotton but also supplex. I have a few of their pieces and love them, they are comfortable, breatheable, and look great on the body. Their signature look is probably their funky tie dye pieces which bring out the hippy chick in all of us! If you are looking for a more stylish and ethical alternative to Lululemon & are 'dying' to look unique and different, give Hard Tail a try, you won't be disappointed! ;)
http://www.karmawear.com is another well known Vancouver based company who reinvented themselves last year & created a unique look that distinguished them from the rest. Their inspiration comes from "fashion & movement" & their collections are designed to honour & empower women both on & off the mat.
"Manufacturing jobs in the apparel industry have dwindled with the rise of overseas production. This is no more apparent than in our backyard of Vancouver. Karma is a Canadian apparel company that manufactures in Canada and the United States. We are committed to using local factories, investing in our community, and keeping local women employed.
We hope to inspire other local companies, in more than just apparel, to rethink their own practices and bring production back home. It is our core belief that if we practice good karma, others will follow"
I have been selling Karma for three years now & have built up a very loyal clientele. Customers are delighted with the quality & fit of the product & come back each season to see what exciting pieces are new. Wear their pieces for all activities, dance, Bikram hot yoga, Moksha yoga, yoga, pilates or for going from street to studio for a unique look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-jacket-san-suu is a favourite of mine, a stylish approach to a sports jacket, adding lines & ruffles for a more tailored look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-pullover-milla is made from eucalyptus jersey fabric, eco & very soft to the skin, the perfect layering piece.
Lots of people are discovering us because they are looking for "an alternative to Lululemon" - something unique & individual that is still "made in Canada". We definitely have that alternative!
One of our main lines is based in Vancouver, & have maintained their manufacturing process in Canada, despite a global recession. Here's the scoop on a couple of my favourite pieces.
http://mytonic.ca produce a range of products that look great & fit beautifully. Their fabric has a reputation for 'not pilling' & the durability of it is second to none. They design several collections each year that include brand new pieces as well as some classic pieces. A favourite of mine is the Gather Short http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonicshortelemgather our best selling hot yoga/pole dance short. It appears 'skimpy' but offers ample coverage in a minimal unrestrictive way. The small gathers at the sides add style & comfort & the discreet embroidered logo is visible yet tasteful. We always carry an array of seasonal colours.
The Balance Tank http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonictank-balance is another favourite of mine. I get lots of requests for tanks that are not tight around the middle & this tank has the answer. It has a built in bra with removeable pads. The waistband sits on the hip and the body of the tank has a very loose relaxed fit, camouflaging any 'problem areas' around the middle.
I'll chat about another Vancouver based company http://www.karmawear.com in my next blog. I'm going to yoga now :)