6 Amazing Canadian Yoga Wear Brands (That Aren’t Lululemon)
Look great on and off the mat with these Canadian yoga wear brands.
The hottest yoga wear in Canada
Wear something from Lululemon and you get hooked. But while the Vancouver success story still corners the market, there’s a second wave of Canadian-designed athletic fashion brands finding their own niches to keep us looking and feeling good both on and off the mat. Some have retail stores, while others sell their creations online only. Here are some of the trendiest Canadian yoga wear brands.
Daub + Design
If you’ve grown tired of your basic black yoga leggings and tanks, you’ll appreciate Daub + Design. The Vancouver-based women’s activewear line was founded in 2010 by Lexi Soukoreff, whose background is in textile design—so it’s no wonder her collections are rife with fun prints. Her pieces are cut from comfy sustainable fabric that you won’t want to take off.
“Our fabrics are all super soft and designed for comfort—both for active days and your every day,” says Soukoreff. “Everything can be paired with pieces in our sustainable basics line.”
Our go-to pick? Daub + Design’s two-tone bottoms. If you’re looking for a more subtle pick, try a shiny black pair. Across the line, sizes range from extra small to extra large, and a variety of styles are available.
Azur founder Erin Ward-Williams’ vision was to create comfortable, versatile clothing that all women will want to wear all day long—and we can confirm she succeeded.
“As a fitness professional, when I took a look in my closet, I noticed some gaps in the market when it came to athletic wear and wanted to create pieces for females with curves that would compliment the natural female form,” says Ward-Williams. “I was surprised to notice that most brands didn’t offer sizes over XL, and was eager to bring a more diverse size range to the table.”
Known for its high-waisted bottoms, trendy bike shorts and flattering crop tops, Azur offers sizing from 0 to 18, in a range of pretty colours like lavender and eggplant. Prefer to do yoga in looser-fitting attire? The brand also oversized sweatshirts and sweatpants. Sizes from XS to 3XL.
The name, which stands for “Live Out Loud Everyday,” was hatched by Evelyn Trempe and husband Éric D’Anjou, who had launched the ski apparel brand Orage in 1989. In 2000, they noticed an opportunity in the outdoor market. “The clothing at that time was very masculine,” says Trempe. “It was all about performance and not look.” She knew they could make more fashion-forward high-tech clothes for women. Two years later, Lolë was launched. The company used its contacts at Sporting Life in Canada and REI in the U.S. to get the line onto store shelves.
Today, Lolë puts out around 350 styles a year, including yoga basics but also outerwear and dresses. In 2010, Trempe and her team launched the first Atelier Lolë store in Montreal. Now there are over 50—most of them in Canada, with several in France and the U.S. They also sell at many other retailers and online.
Trempe continues to push for what she considers Lolë’s key principles: technical sophistication, femininity, versatility, and comfort. As an avid skier, cyclist and runner, she ensures the company is creating fashions for women like herself. “We really want women to feel good inside and out.”
(Related: 6 Canadian Sports Bras for Bigger Busts)
When Toronto-based personal trainer Susan Bosley wanted a thin-strapped workout top with a built-in bra, she suggested it to her favourite brand, Titika Active Couture. As one of the company’s so-called “advocates,” she offers feedback and promotes the line. A few months later, the Susan Tank was for sale in Titika’s retail and online stores.
Fast, flexible and fun: That’s what this Toronto-based brand is about. Titika’s owner, Eileen Zhang, first started working with Courtney Brooke, while both were studying fashion business at George Brown College. Upon graduating in 2009, Zhang decided to do an athletic-wear line, and Brooke soon came on board to handle marketing and branding. The name came from Zhang’s son, William, who, one day, was dancing and singing “Ti-ti-ka! Ti-ti-ka!” She hoped the brand would have that much zest and energy.
Zhang had products ready and in a few studios that same year. A location soon became available in Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood, and she decided to open her own storefront. Zhang reached out to contacts in her native Hong Kong to set up a small factory there, which allows her to retain control over the manufacturing process. The company releases new items every few weeks. A capri pant may appear one week with additional lace or a ruffle on the bottom; a hoodie may get a different treatment from month to month with different fabrics.
Along with a brisk online business, the company operates three stores in Ontario.
Former phys-ed teachers André Claude and Ginette Leduc founded Sportive Plus to fill the diversity gap in the market and create activewear that’s reasonably priced and offers plus sizes exclusively.
Claude and Leduc knew there was a demand for plus-size activewear, and, more specifically, clothing for all women to wear for everything from low-impact at-home workouts to serious sports and challenges.
Sportive Plus offers a range of pieces including, of course, yoga pants, and also outerwear like fleece jackets, that make it easier to stay active in the cold weather. The Quebec-based company has a national e-comm site, offering free shipping over $150 and free returns.
(Related: How to Choose The Right Type of Yoga For You)
If you were in New York City in the spring of 2010 and were working out all the time, you might have run into the most fashionable Canadian fitness buff in town, Michelle Watson. The designer had just left a job creating sportswear for Ralph Lauren—she’d already designed for Donna Karan and Kate Spade since arriving in NYC in 2004 to study fashion—and was now testing out her own line, Michi. “I wanted to make stuff that was more creative. It’s hard to do that with a big company,” says Watson.
After testing her custom-designed pieces during dance, yoga and martial arts classes, she came out with a small line that focused on undergarments. No one, she felt, was making a bra that was comfortable and looked great, yet still offered good support and shape. Watson and her sexy products got media attention right away, even before the collection hit stores in Canada. “I was lucky. I didn’t have time to do any public relations, but bloggers and the media found me through my website,” she says. That summer, Watson decided to move back to Toronto, where she now manufactures her line of clothing. She rents office space in one of the factories where her clothing is made, partly so that she can help the sewers handle the intricate use of lace and mesh on the pieces.
These days, the line includes superhero and lingerie-inspired leggings, jackets, bras, and tops. To Watson, it’s the combination of design, detail and fabric that makes the pieces work outside of the gym, too. She says: “When you wear Michi on an airplane to be comfortable, it looks like you dressed up for your flight.”