Meet Seed Yoga
We recently had the honour of interviewing and getting to know Blake Ward, the creator and owner of Seed Yoga. For those of you who have not heard of this phenomenal brand, Seed Yoga makes handcrafted yoga clothing in the most natural and comfortable fabrics you could possibly dream of. Blake's goal is to create the healthiest clothing on the planet and to encourage us to feel more in our clothing, something we at Flopsy Life are definitely on board with.
Blake says that his inspiration for Seed Yoga came from being unable to find any good yoga clothing. He describes how we "go to yoga to detox our bodies, but we are covered in clothing essentially made of plastic and chemicals. As we sweat these chemicals are leaching into our bodies - it simply does not make sense". He says that he could find some hemp clothing, but none of it was stylish or truly high quality.
Blake saw a need for high quality clothing made from natural fabrics that would not contradict the philosophies behind practicing yoga. He drew inspiration for the designs from his youth immersed in skate culture, and tapped into the traditional yoga clothing from the 18th century. From this, the Antidote pants were born. Made out of hemp material for durability, these pants have a functional fit and high end aesthetic with a tapered leg and more room throughout the hips and thighs. The line grew to include shorts, tank tops and sweatshirts. Hemp is still used to make both the pants and the shorts, but the tops are made from bamboo as it has a "nicer drape and softer feel". He says that by using natural fabrics, these products are safe for customers with skin disorders.
All products are still designed by Blake and produced in Calgary. Blake himself sews the gusset (aka the crotch) of each Antidote pant. Blake's goal is to produce "the best clothing on the planet", and for him that means healthy, sustainable and responsible clothing safe for all people to wear. In my opinion, the best part of Seed Yoga is the fact that this is not just yoga clothing. The brand definitely started out with a focus on yoga clothing, but has grown to be a lifestyle brand. These are clothes you can wear to any workout, on a coffee date, a road trip, or just a lazy day at home. These are the clothes that you live in.
Part of the Seed Yoga philosophy is ensuring that the clothing is socially responsible and sustainable. As such, Blake has many plans for the future growth of the company. To start, the plan is to start growing the hemp they use for their products right here in Calgary, implementing a "Crop to Top" structure. Seed Yoga will "grow, harvest, produce, cut and sew". This creates a localized and sustainable system. This system will then be shared internationally with other communities as a "benevolent gift to the world". Rather than taking production international himself, Blake prefers to educate others on implementing this system - he believes that "re-localization is the future", as it is more sustainable. He says he wants to build community throughout the world by sharing the system, and believes that this grassroots movement is what it will take to change the way society chooses to produce our clothing.
Changing the way clothing is produced can be seen at the root of Seed Yoga* - Blake believes in being an "architect, not just a designer". He says he wants to ensure that the clothing has a strong structure before ensuring it is aesthetically pleasing, something the industry is currently lacking. In addition, he says that being an architect of sustainable and socially responsible systems is a very high priority for him. Blake wants us to "think about our clothing the same way we think about our food"; we focus on putting all of this high quality, nourishing and healthy food into our body, but don't care quite as much about what we're exposing our largest organ to all day, everyday. He says that to "feel more" means to trust your intuition that what you are putting into and on your body is in the best interest of your higher self.
This ethos is completely reflected in Blake's goals for both himself and the company. He wants Seed Yoga to grow to be a lifestyle - to spend time together in community, working together because you are passionate and living your dream instead of working just to buy a dream. Personally, he says he hopes to speak in front of people about building systems that help our society, rather than continuing with the current systems that are breaking it down. For Blake, success is finding that next step or the next level of improvement such as using natural dyes in the fabric. He says the most rewarding part of running his own small business is having an outlet to share his ideas, whether they are creative, ecological or business ideas. He found that when starting a new endeavour, if it is something that truly ignites passion there are more feelings of excitement rather than fear. I believe he definitely has a lot to be excited about, and that his passion clearly comes through in all that he does.
Currently Seed Yoga is being sold throughout North America in yoga studios and clothing stores. He also travels around selling clothing at pop-ups, festivals and markets, and this summer will be the first time he is traveling throughout the western United States for Seed. He is scheduled to be in San Francisco for some pop-ups and in Hawaii for Wanderlust Yoga Festival. Last week he was all over British Columbia in Revelstoke, Vancouver and Victoria, and you can find him this weekend at Market Collective. You can also purchase clothing online here.
*pun totally intended