Yogoco

Crafted using  fresh scraps salvaged from a T-shirt  factory floor, the mindful composition of these  chic, eco-friendly yoga  bags is sure to foster a little Samadhi. Originally created  in response to her own pre- and post-class scrambles, Charlotte business owner Avi  Woolman 's design is both elegant and efficient.

Earlier this month, Avi was kind enough to answer some questions for Redress Raleigh.

This question is for our would-be eco-entrepreneurs. From inception to the first finished products, how long did it take to make the earliest Yogoco bag? Considering the initial production process as a     whole, were there any particularly memorable obstacles? What were the first signs of success?

From inception to a finished product, it took 6 months. The first prototype was a disaster, and I really considered throwing in the towel.  I consulted with some friends who had manufactured other products.  They told me that initial prototypes are always lacking, and not to give up - that it will get better. It took another 4 prototypes before the Yogoco bag of today was created.

Take us through the process of manufacture. Are you making any socially responsible decisions that the averaHi Saramaterial. The fabric itself is made from pre consumer t-shirts scraps that are collected and blended into a new fabric.

Please see this YouTube video on how the Yogoco bag is made using pre-consumer t-shirts scraps:  

The "blending" process is interesting. How is it actually done? There are some textile-science majors out there who would probably love to know. 

The pre-consumer t-shrit scraps are collected and sorted by color. They are then blended and rolled into a new fabric. The new fabric comes in rolls like any other fabric that you can buy.

Earlier articles have said that about ten per cent of the recycled cotton used in the bags is organic. With the popularity of organic clothing (some of it locally produced), do you think that percentage might change?

Our process involves using pre-consumer t-shirt scraps that were on the way to a landfill. We feel that stopping that process whether it is organic or otherwise is equally worthy.

Have you received any new certifications or awards? To you, what has been gratifying about the recognition?

We won the Shape Green Living Award. It was really an amazing achievement because Shape magazine had our logo placed squarely between Walmart and Nokia.

Tell us your favorite thing about the Yogoco bag. What makes you glad to have brought it into existence?

The Yogoco bag is the only bag on the market that can fit the large black mat, a separate section designed to keep a yoga towel clean and your water bottle accessible. I love seeing people using the bag even at my local yoga studio that have no idea that I created the bag. I sometimes tell them I love their bag (with no disclosure given).

What is your favorite aspect of eco-fashion entrepreneurship? Any advice for new business owners?

The old saying - if you don’t succeed, try, try again - really has a lot of truth to it. I can’t tell you how bad the first prototype was, and how close I was to giving the whole thing up. To date, I have won the Shape Green living award and sold more than 1500 Yogoco yoga bags.

What are your long-term plans for the bags? Are you working on any other accessories?

We plan to do a new range of Yoga bags. I did look at gym bags for a little bit, but I couldn’t get the design quite right. I may re-visit this in the future.

Is there anything else you would want readers to know? How can we help?

The bags are gorgeous! If you are in the market for  a highly functional, gorgeous, eco friendly yoga bag, the Yogoco yoga bag is a great option that won’t let you down. 

All feedback is welcome!

For more information, visit ww.yogoco.com. The Yogoco bags are available at ActivewearUSa.com. here is the link: http://www.activewearusa.com/store/pc/Yogoco-Yoga-Bags-c58.htm