Creating Products with Purpose: Kootenay Knit & Apparel

Creating Products with Purpose: Kootenay Knit & Apparel. Originally published in WBE Canada Magazine; Issue 12. Read our full magazine HERE.

Kootenay Knit designs and ethically produces or sources distinctive knitwear, headwear, apparel and accessory products. Spearheaded with passion by President Cathy Rella, Kootenay Knit strives to tell a story, speak to a purpose or support a cause. As a Canadian company with a strong history focused on local and community initiatives and as a WBE Canada-certified women-owned business since 2018, they are passionate about products that combine creative design and trending styles with function and meaning. They create “Products with Purpose.”

More than 10 years ago, Kootenay Knit, together with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) raised $1 Million for breast cancer causes with their distinctive “Pink Ribbon Mittens.” This year, Kootenay Knit has once again partnered with the CCS to re-launch The Pink Mitten Campaign to support breast cancer research and support services. $2 from each pair of pink mittens sold will be donated to CCS with a minimum contribution of $30,000 in 2024. Pink Mittens are branded with the Canadian Women Brand logo. Pink Mittens are available for Distributors, Retailers, Sponsors and Consumers to purchase by Pre-Ordering. Pre-orders began January 31st, 2024 and will be accepted until March 25th. Pre-ordered Pink Mittens will be delivered between August 15th and September 15th, 2024, just in time for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “The Kootenay Knit team is thrilled to re-launch The Pink Mitten Campaign and work with the Canadian Cancer Society. We are passionate about supporting women causes including this campaign and other giveback and community programs,” said owner and President Cathy Rella.

In addition to their ongoing partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society, Kootenay Knit was an official Olympic licensee and merchandise supplier; originator of Canada’s Vancouver Olympics “Red Mittens”; partner in MADD Canada’s Mitten campaign; supplier to the NHL Player Association’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” campaign, supplier to the “Show Your Stripes” campaign for Ronald McDonald House Charities and supplier of custom-made merchandise to Covenant House for their “Sleep-Out” campaign to raise funds to give kids safe shelter and opportunity.

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Cathy Rella


Cathy Rella, owner and President of Kootenay Knit, began with her flair for design and creativity to start a uniquely Canadian headwear, knitwear and apparel business. For over 25 years, as a woman entrepreneur in a remote area of British Columbia, Cathy has been passionate about products that combine creative design and trending styles with function and meaning. She has led the company with her values for women-focused, cause-based and purpose-driven initiatives. Cathy has been a Certified WBE for 6 years and has appreciated the knowledge, support and opportunities received through WBE Canada.