Ekotex Yoga, an award winning company based in Edinburgh, began its journey in July 2017 whilst its founder Abbie was 6 months pregnant with her son.
She saw Ekotex as a way for her to continue doing what she loved the most – managing a shop and developing a brand – whilst working flexibly AND raising a family.
The business uses organic materials where possible and focuses on touch, quality and simple designs to reduce distractions.
They offer the opportunity to bulk buy yoga equipment at wholesale prices and are the supplier of choice for lots of teachers and studio owners all over the UK. As well as being experts in eco-friendly yoga mats and equipment, they also focus on outstanding customer service, which is proven in their online reviews.
As a brand, their aim is to make a significant, positive impact on the environment, it is their belief that the industry needs to provide consumers with a better option. That is their ambition, and is what Ekotex Yoga strives to achieve.
Ekotex stands for ‘eco-friendly yoga equipment that is accessible to all’.
We are so grateful to Ekotex Yoga for agreeing to be one of our key sponsors for this years campaign. Please click on the link below to find out more about this fantastic company.
Now, lets get into the interview…..
Why has your company chosen to support our global campaign Yoga Stops Traffick?
Odanadi achieve miracles, and the impact they have on the people they rescue and offer safe housing to is difficult to comprehend or even quantify. The stories are compelling and really hit me. We are connected to India as a company – the home of yoga itself, and some of our products are made there. I feel it’s only right to send some of our profits back to the place they are made.
What is your role within the company?
I am the founder and company director, along with my husband. We started the company just over two years ago when my son was born, and I’ve been building it myself. It’s surprising what I can achieve in a 30 hour week. My customers tend to assume I have a large team, which I take as a compliment!
What does your typical ‘work day’ look like?
On a day that I have childcare, I do all my ‘Mum’ jobs before I leave the house, which can often involve cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner all within an hour. I then head to the warehouse, which is pretty cold in Edinburgh at the moment! I flick the heater on in my office and begin preparing orders to keep myself moving while it warms up. I have a headset so that I can still take calls while I’m on the go. I then work through customer emails and get any admin out of the way within the first 90 minutes. I take breaks every 45 minutes to keep my brain focussed! It’s essential when I’m doing so much. I drink lots of water too. I make calls to teachers and studios who have requested wholesale accounts. I enjoy speaking directly to my customers. After this, I process orders for packing, pick the stock, print the labels, and pack for the courier. We have quite a lot of orders these days (we’re hiring this year!) it can sometimes take a few hours, even though I’m pretty quick by now. I then make sure I get out for lunch, whatever the weather. My afternoon is my focus time, it varies from day-to-day, but I try only to pick one or two things to make sure I finish them. I schedule marketing posts or emails, place orders for stock, work through any bookkeeping or may have to organise a container import. I’ve started networking with local businesswomen and social entrepreneurs too, so sometimes I pop out for a coffee. I then sign off my emails, write the list for the next day, then go home for a cuddle with my son and a lie-down!
How did you come to the practice of yoga?
I ‘dabbled’ in a few classes in my late teens and early twenties. I then applied for a reception job in a local studio. The yoga teacher interviewing me had a dog called Babaji. I learnt afterwards that she’d only given me the job because he liked me! The teachers at that studio were incredibly experienced, and my practice grew from there.
What impact has regular yoga had on your mind & body?
We should all feel innately ‘good’, both physically and mentally. I had never experienced that until I began a regular yoga practice. “I feel so GOOD!”
Which is your favourite yoga pose?
That’s such a tough question! It changes. At the moment, I love opening my chest, my sides and my shoulders. After a day in the warehouse or a day picking up my son, trikonasana can feel very intense. I like to stay there for a while.
How else do you practice ‘self-care’ in your life?
I have a degree in Western Herbal Medicine, and my tinctures and powders play an important part in keeping me healthy. I have a daily tonic tincture, but I also use powders of Shatavari and reishi mixed with cacao and nut butters to give me a boost. I meditate as I go to sleep, apart from that, my time is limited. I’m a Mum!
Who/What has been your biggest inspiration?
My old employer and mentor. He took me on as a receptionist but recognised that I was capable of more. This was at a time when I was quiet, under confident and had been unwell for many years. I’m not sure many people would have seen what he saw in me. He presented me with opportunities to learn and grow, and would often say that he wanted me to run my own company one day. He pushed me very hard, and I achieved a huge amount personally and professionally.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing the global yoga community?
Yoga continues to grow in popularity, but I am concerned that it is not reaching the people that would benefit most. I think in the West, it is very difficult for people on low incomes to access it. I believe there is also the perception that you have to look a certain way to be part of our community. We desperately need to encourage diversity.
What’s on the horizon for your company?
So much! I’ve made a commitment that I only want to employ staff if I can pay them well above the living wage, and we’ve grown to a point where we can afford two staff members within 2020. We’ll only operate in school hours to make it easier for parents. We have a deadline to only offer biodegradable or recycled mats by 2022, and zero plastic packaging across our range by the middle of next year. As a small company, I think it’s easier for us to make these changes. We have a few other things in the pipeline too, but I’m keeping them under my hat for now!
What message would you like to give to everyone taking part in Yoga Stops Traffick 2020?
Thank you for caring, and for taking this time to be kind.