With the dog days of summer fully in the rear view mirror, Canadians are begrudgingly preparing themselves for the dark, damp and cold days of fall and, eventually, (sigh) winter. While we enjoy the last few weeks of shorts, summer dresses and t-shirts, hoping against the inevitable change in weather, Toronto-based start-up Wuxly Movement has been planning for it…Winter is coming.

As the more forward-thinking among us begin to take inventory what we need for our fall and winter wardrobes, a warm, durable winter jacket is an essential item for all Canadians. When we think of a warm winter jacket, most of us think of features like goose down or fur-lined.

Former CFL linebacker and animal-lover James Yurichuk wanted to dispel such traditional thinking by creating Wuxly Movement (formerly Wully Outerwear), a high quality ethical and animal-free lifestyle outerwear brand, made in Canada for Canadian winters.

The idea for Wuxly Movement first came to James Yurichuk in 2012 when he wanted to a buy an animal-free winter coat for his wife, who was moving to Canada from South America. He couldn’t find one.  So James took matters into his own hands, approaching Anthony DeBartolo, his best friend of 25-years and a 3rd generation Master Tailor, with the idea of starting an animal-free outerwear line to withstand harsh Canadian winters.

Receiving Start-Up financing from Futurpreneur in 2016, Wuxly has since built a design team and moved in to a showroom in Toronto’s trendy downtown Queen West neighbourhood, and Wuxly has field-tested its products in all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.

“After playing professional football, I knew I wanted to create this company but didn’t really know where to start” says James Yurichuk. “All the young entrepreneurs I would meet kept guiding me toward Futurpreneur. When you start up a business there are always blind spots and my Futurpreneur mentor and, more recently, participating in the Growth Accelerator this year really helped me navigate those blind spots.”

Futurpreneur’s Growth Accelerator is an exclusive opportunity for growth-focused Futurpreneur entrepreneurs. Participants receive industry-leading coaching and resources, plus the concentrated support they need to scale their business to the next level.

One Growth Accelerator session in particular stands out.

“At the Growth Accelerator, we had a great session on HR and Talent Acquisition and it really stressed the importance of having a great work culture as a vehicle to help us grow.”

Wuxly has been featured in Now Magazine, blogTO, The Globe and Mail, TSN and CBC News, and their clothing has been worn by prominent Toronto athletes including, Olympic Medalist Gabrielle Dalemen and Toronto Maple Leafs stars, Connor Carrick and James van Riemsdyk, to name a few.

So what’s on the radar for Wuxly?

 “We want to appeal to the mainstream consumer. We already know we appeal to animal-lovers who want to stay warm in the winter, but we want everyone to think about where their jackets come from and are made of and be proud of it.”