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While shopping for gifts for her friends who were expecting, Little Yogi Company founder Nancy Caouette was put off by options that reflected rigid and traditional gender roles, something she says has troubled her since she was a child herself.

“It really upset me that it was so different for girls and boys and the messages are wrong in some cases,” she says. “I started to think about the real impact for kids when they grow up in that kind of environment. I think fashion can really have an impact on the integration of those stereotypes.”

Taking matters into her own hands, Caouette, a therapist with degrees in special education, sexology and perinatal psychology, asked her mother, a professional seamstress, to help her make some gender-neutral clothing to give to her friends and family. They received such a positive reception that Caouette’s boyfriend suggested she sell some designs on Facebook.

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“Within a few days, I had hundreds of orders.”

An Ecocert company, Little Yogi pieces are all made in small batches in Quebec. Prints are all designed in house and printed on 100-per-cent organic fabrics such as cotton and bamboo using non-toxic, water-based ink. The line is best known for its grow-with-me pants, which Caouette says are easily passed down from one child to another. It’s an approach that stays true to the origins of Little Yogi.

“It all started with the intention of just doing some good for the people close to me,” Caouette says.

Little Yogi, littleyogicompany.com.

Handout

Rashguard, $74.

Handout

One piece, $61.

Handout

Harem Little Palm Leaf, $53.

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