Tag Archives: Lululemon

A new destination for activewear

Lululemon, step aside: another Canadian-born activewear chain is gaining traction in the GTA. Toronto-based Titika Canada Inc., founded by graduates of George Brown College’s fashion program, opened a new store in the Shops at Don Mills shopping complex in mid-May.

The chain now has a total of three boutiques, with the two others located on Lakeshore Road in Oakville and on Queen St. E. in the Beach. Its merchandise is also available in Sporting Life stores and at Sanctuary Yoga studios in the city.

Titika offers stylish and comfortable pants, tops and sweatshirts designed for such athletic activities as yoga, dancing, running and cycling. The company also carries winter jackets and gym bags.

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The garments feature vents for breathability and are made with:

  • Lycra – a very stretchy, lightweight material resistant to body oils, perspiration, lotions and detergents
  • Coolmax – a material that aims to reduce your skin temperature, reduce your heart rate and maintain hydration while you’re active
  • Supplex – an advanced fiber technology that maintains its shape and dries quickly

Titika apparel also boasts a sleek and stylish tailored design that aims to flatter every body type.

Many Titika items remind me of the ubiquitous pants, tanks and hoodies found at Lululemon stores across the country, and given how successful those products have been, Titika has clearly picked a thriving market to break into. The company’s off to a strong start, and I bet it will have no trouble continuing to expand its footprint.

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More activewear for King Street

Looks like Mountain Equipment Co-op has some new competition on King Street West. Patagonia, a California-based retailer that specializes in eco-conscious clothing for outdoor sports, has opened its first Canadian location at 500 King Street West, just west of Spadina.

Patagonia carries a range of clothing and gear for men, women and children, for activities such as hiking, climbing, surfing, yoga, skiing and snowboarding. It also sells packs and other travel gear.

The clothing is designed, the company says, with “a bias for simplicity, utility and quality.”

I like its collection of heavy duty winter jackets, a few of which look like they’d be ideal for a cold day of snowboarding. While they’re pretty pricey, I don’t doubt that the high quality insulation is well worth the price for anyone who spends time outdoors during a Canadian winter.

Overall, Patagonia’s collection seems pretty similar to the one offered by Mountain Equipment Co-op, though less comprehensive – Patagonia doesn’t seem to have the extensive footwear, cycling or camping offerings that MEC is well known for.

The two companies also share a similar commitment to sustainability. Patagonia uses recycled polyester in many of its items, and uses organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton. It has a mandate to manufacture products with processes that cause the least harm to the environment. The company also “rigorously” polices its waste and uses a portion of sales to support environmental groups.

Overall, this is a pretty admirable commitment to a cause that not enough retailers support. Maybe this is part of the appeal that Patagonia has among consumers. It’s certainly been successful outside of Canada, with more than 50 stores throughout the United States and overseas.

At a time when sales of technical athletic apparel at stores like Lululemon Athletica continue to climb, I’d say Patagonia stands a good chance at succeeding in the Canadian market.

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