Today I would like to present a new yoga brand called Niyama. Being a family owned company, every step is taken care of directly by one of its members out of Cologne-Ehrenfeld.
I met the son Luis at an open doors event of a Yoga Studio and got curious when he mentioned that some of the designs are drawn by hand using the so called Zentangle method (as an example please see the leggings I´m wearing in the photos on my Flashback: my first yoga class post). The designs are beautiful and I truly believe its always important to support local business so afterwards I contacted Niyama again and got the chance for an interview with Harald Wester, founder of Niyama:
The word Niyama stands for a mental attitude of mindfulness towards ourselves. Why did you decide to name your brand after this concept?
“The intention of an action will always be the decisive reason for it. The Yamas and Niyamas in the yoga explain the spiritual attitude and the description of the expectable action as a yogi.” Being the manufacturer of our yoga pants, we always have the choice to make the right decisions – not the price of the supplier decides but the benefit we can create for everyone. To produce textiles in Germany demands a clear and consistent attitude – the Niyamas help to do that.
If my understanding is correct, besides coming from the textile business you also have background as yoga teachers. Why did you start producing yoga pants?
Our background are 25 years in the textile industry. We were part of the complete value creation chain that only has the profit margin of the client in mind and the price pressure on the market as the foundation. As the former owner of the largest T-Shirt printing company we have a lot of experience. Nobody has to show up naked at the yoga studio if we would not do yoga wear. There are enough brands on the market – our challenge is the whole value creation – from the design idea to the finished product we do everything under one roof – in our hometown Cologne/Germany.
Besides that two of our team members have an education as Bikram/Absolute Yoga teachers and we all practice different styles of yoga. We made the experience that – teaching yoga or in any other area – the intention and attitude is extremely important. […]
I read that the material is imported from Italy but that the production itself is made in Germany. Could you please tell me something about the manufacturing itself and explain a bit about the newly developed anti-slip technology?
Our “no-slip-waist” is a technology where we screen print two lines of the same material that is used in bras or hold-up stockings to prevent the slipping and moving. It keeps the pants in the correct position without fiddling and pulling. You can get a similar effect with a higher waist, or the insertion of a rubber band, but this always means a change of the cut or fit and that is something we definitely wanted to prevent.
You are a family owned company. Particularly in Germany there are a lot of niche companies who became world leaders – where do you see yourself within the next two years?
Our T-Shirt company had 1.200 employees – this is something we are absolutely not achieving anymore. We begun expanding to the UK market lately and are planning to start our US sales in mid-September 2016. We lived in California for four years and came back to Germany in July only 2015.
Our goal is that all our colleagues and co-workers can live well on their salaries, have enthusiasm and fun working for Niyama and develop every day.
This sounds wonderful! Besides the production of a men´s collection, what else can we expect?
The next and very soon upcoming step is a yoga T-Shirt Collection and the further plan is to get established in the European Sport retail stores.
Many thanks for your time and wishing you all the best for your family and the company.