Entry One. March 2021.
Dear Mother Earth,
Nothing is created. Nothing disappears. Everything is just transformed.
As part of Yogi Bare’s Year Of The Self it was imperative to us to explore the concept Self Education, especially in regards to sustainability.
When Yogi Bare was just a little dream, a few scribbles in a notebook, a big idea and a gut instinct our world looked a little different. Five years ago vegan supermarket shopping meant tinned chickpeas and if you were lucky a choice of two (two!) bean burgers in the freezer aisle. The conversations around BLM and institutionalised racism that rocked and reshaped our world were still muted. It was only the beginning of recognising strength in vulnerability and honesty around normalising mental health and breaking down stigma and shame. Fast fashion was in its prime. And sustainability? Well didn’t that just mean using a keep cup and a bit of recycling?
When Yogi Bare began I used all the information available to me at the time to cultivate a brand that echoed my own sensibilities and belief systems – that we only get one planet and we must take care of it. There really is no planet B despite what the sci fi films tell us. We have become so disconnected and our values have become led so far astray that I wanted to help bridge the gap by launching an eco conscious and more accessible yoga brand – mainly because it never made sense to me that we would practice presence, love and connection to our relationship with the earth through yoga while usually sitting on a toxic plastic or PVC mat. Bonkers right? So I researched, asked all the “right” questions, used all the materials and manufacturing information out there to begin Yogi Bare. Back then Yogi Bare was born on a shoestring self funded budget (and if you know me personally you know im not a saver!) and my own naively self education around product, design and starting a business. No external investment, advisor or mentorship (I didn’t even know these things existed beyond Dragons Den) back then. So I went into with a good heart, good intentions and big ideas and looking around the industry we were all operating from the same vibe and same materials. I was doing it! Right?Well now I’m five years deep into Yogi Bare and everything feels a little different. I am so proud to be part of this brave new world where we ask questions, where we fearlessly shout our beliefs and values, where we challenge the status quo and share information and opinions. And we aren’t afraid to expect and demand more from the brands we choose to align with, after all we vote with our pound. And as a small business it is my duty to make your vote count and mean something if you choose Yogi Bare.
Yogi Bare has been a very step by step, slow progression behind the scenes. I wish I started a diary much earlier but the Cliff Notes is – I have a vision and innovative ideas for where I would like the brand to be by 2023 and have been making the steps to get there since day one.
Last year we went through a rebranding due to a trademark dispute with a global brand (but that’s another story for another day hey!) but it gave us a chance to take stock and totally revaluate our packaging as we rebranded it. We were using a recycled and recyclable plastic but it wasn’t clear and the community often commented on how it just didn’t feel Yogi Bare. We’ve finally gone fully plastic free on our packaging – Ill tell ya how a little later. But it really got me hung up on plastics and misconceptions and the lack of clarity around sustainability. I thought our previous choice was the best choice – protecting the product and the planet somewhat. But with a little education and exploration we did better. So what if I kept educated? Kept doing better? It’s a bold move for a brand who has built a reputation around caring for people and planet to say “hey we didn’t quite get it right. That wasn’t as good as it could have been”. But that’s the only way change happens right. To be a change maker is to get really uncomfortable and shine a lamp and interrogate yourself completely. You’ve gotta take the emotion out of it and work from the facts. Because if nothing changes, nothing moves. Im tired In an age of transparency and awareness and not accepting less than your best efforts.My friends this is why I have been a little off grid, a little preoccupied. This is probably the most important month of the Self to me. I have been squirrelled away for months, unlearning everything, unpicking everything to relearn. To Self Educate. Because once you begin the process of educating yourself, nothing can ever be unseen.
Sustainability is something so close to my heart. How can it not be? I flinch when I see the devastation of industrial practice on our planet. I’m incredibly lucky to be growing within this community, our community, of like minded humans who stand up for and talk about these things that matter so much to us. Its just, it’s a complicated world isn’t it? The world of sustainability isn’t clear cut, sadly within the realm there’s manipulation and smoke and mirrors. There’s misinformation. There’s information with make up on to hide the truth pimples. And then there’s total lack of information in other areas. So we decided to make a stand. Its scary but im putting myself on the line and opening the doors wide open with Yogi Bare and inviting you into the process.
And if I didn’t truly understand and have it sussed how could I expect our team or community? I realised it was vital to document all of this. Not just to provide a place for people to educate themselves but maybe spark a match within the industry. Im not precious. In sharing my learning I actually hope that other brands pick up on it and we cause a major shift. For that is where the true change, the only change, is going to happen. From a place of honest transparency. Plus you know i've always had a thing for rebels.
All my love,
Kat. Founder of Yogi Bare.