Spotlight on YOGiiZA: Interview with Mark Oliver

by May 29, 2014Yoga0 comments

Doesn’t that couple look sexy, free, and eco-friendly?

Ok, maybe they don’t look eco-friendly, but that’s because eco-friendly yoga gear is usually hideous.

YOGiiZA is here to change that.

Started three years ago in Miami by Mark and Dawn Oliver, YOGiiZA is a brand of yoga gear that is both sexy and eco-friendly. Their mission is to give yogis a truly yoga conscious choice for yoga wear.

The YOGiiZA brand is successfully cutting through the green-washing crap, and giving those socially irresponsible yoga brands a run for their money.

In this interview, Mark talked to us about the YOGiiZA brand, and the impact of eco-friendly yoga wear on the planet.

Why did you decide to start YOGiiZA, and how long have you been in business?

I was teaching a lot of yoga classes and I noticed that most of the people were practicing in synthetic clothing. Not only were the practitioners wearing synthetic garments but also the majority of the Yoga teachers.

This struck me as a contradiction to the beliefs and values that the yoga teachers were preaching. Yoga is the cultivation of bodymind awareness with attention to breathing as one of the primary means for achieving greater consciousness.

Synthetic clothing is made from toxic chemicals. It is toxic for the Earth and the person wearing it. Not only is made from plastics and other harmful chemicals, but it does not allow the skin to breathe.

I thought it obvious that yoga practitioners would appreciate a choice in athletic clothing that reflects their values. YOGiiZA offers sexy yoga clothing made with chemical free Organic Cotton that allows your sacred space to breathe free.

There are more than 20 million Americans practicing yoga. Together our organic choices are manifesting a cleaner and more conscious Earth.

Tell us a bit about the name. What does it mean?

YOGiiZA™ is our trademarked name. Dawn, my wife and business partner, and I were brainstorming to come up with a Trademarkable name. The idea was to have a name that was simple, identifiable with yoga and unforgettable.

We took the Sanskrit words “Yogi” and “Raja” and mashed them together. When you say YogiRaja together it sounds like YOGiiZA; meaning Royal Yogi. We chose to use two ii’s to represent the King and the Queen.

We like to say to yogis that “Yoga are a true YOGiiZA” or Queen among Yogi. All yoga practitioners are princesses, princes, and warriors training the mindbody to become awakened Kings and Queens.

Awakened people make choices that manifest a clean, sustainable, and better World to live in.

How do you ensure your products are organic and sustainably produced?Jessica Potter

To ensure that our products are made with Organic Cotton I have formed relationships with the farmers that actually grow the cotton.

I have our fabrics custom made with the Organic cotton yarn and dyes that are certified to be free of the most harmful chemicals that are found in other textile dyes.

I also prefer to source our Cotton, Fabric, and sewing close to home so I can keep a personal eye on the entire production chain.

How has the Miami yoga community responded to your brand?

The Miami yoga community has embraced YOGiiZA with open arms. YOGiiZA Head Quarters has become a true yoga community center for Miami.

We host many community events that have had the effect of bringing practitioners and yoga teachers from all the different yoga studios together.

Part of our mission is to inspire and foster Unity. It is refreshing to see that giving the choice yogis do choose YOGiiZA Organic yoga clothes that are a reflection of yoga values.

What’s next for YOGiiZA? Men's YOGiiZA pants

We are continually improving existing products and introducing new ones. I am very excited to introduce our new Organic Pima Cotton leggings, sports bras, and tank tops. The YOGiiZA Organic Pima leggings are incredibly silky and luxurious. There is nothing like them on the market.

When the ladies are accustomed to putting on smothering nylon they are blown away by the fresh, silky, all natural feel of our new leggings and sports bras. They breathe so free that you will want to sleep in them.

We have also improved our best selling Men’s Yoga Pants. We are now making them with a higher end Peruvian Organic Cotton. We sold out of our yoga pants for men very fast so they are now on back order, but we expect the new and improved version to arrive within the next month.

Based on the success of the YOGiiZA men’s yoga pants we are expanding our men’s line to include: Compression shorts, underwear, yoga practice shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, and compression yoga inversion shirts. All made with YogiFresh™ organic cotton.

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