Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.
After making a rain suit for her daily bike commute, Mia Thomsett quickly realized more people needed this weatherproof garment. The first release of her 100% waterproof rain suit from Tarka Designs is launching this fall, and we’re adding our name to the wait list.
As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to Mia Thomsett, designer behind Tarka Designs about her soon to be released rain suit.
Vancity has been supporting local businesses like Tarka Designs with different programs. Now until Sept 30, Vancity enviro™ Visa* cardholders will earn 1.5x the rewards points at select businesses through the Load Up on Local program. To learn more, visit vancity.com/local
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Most Vancouverites own some type of rainwear. The West Coast climate calls for waterproof shoes, jackets, and multiple umbrellas.
Mia Thomsett, the designer behind Tarka Designs needed better gear for commuting in wet conditions. After creating the perfect rain suit for herself, she realized there was a demand in the market.
“I was commuting to work by bike and wanted to continue through the winter months. I’m not a fan of rain pants (they’re pretty bulky over office clothes) and I was looking for a one-piece rain suit. I searched to the end of the internet and it didn’t exist! So I decided to make my own.” said Mia in an interview with Daily Hive.
Under her brand, Tarka Designs, Mia perfected her prototyped and researched how to bring her design to market. The final creation is a very practical wardrobe item, designed for both style and function.
One-piece rain suits have typically been reserved for children and people who work in construction. Tarka is the first one piece rain suit that’s meant for life on the wet coast – whether you’re going to the farmer’s market or taking your dog for a walk on the beach.
“In Vancouver, a downpour can get in the way of the best laid plans. But with the right gear and the right attitude, getting outside in the rain can be awesome. In fact, our beaches and trails can be pretty empty in the rain so you might just find you have the place to yourself.”
More and more people are riding and walking to work every year, but studies show that these commuters drop out in the winter months. A Ryerson University study found that only 27% of people who road in the summer, continued through the winter. Tarka Design aims to change that.
“If people could stay comfortable and dry on their way to work, they might not be as inclined to just get in the car when it’s raining. If more of us walked or biked in the rain, we could take thousands of cars off the road. Our goal is to make it easy for people to get out there, despite the rain.”
Mia is excited to help more Vancouverites stay active during the rainy months, with just one simple waterproof piece of clothing.
The Tarka rain suit is made with quality waterproof, breathable fabric and features taped seams and a waterproof zipper. Currently the rainsuits are being manufactured in Vancouver and a limited run will be available later this Fall.
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