Toques of Compassion

Toques of Compassion

Winter conditions hail sweater weather aesthetic, songs and even candle fragrances. But we’re all about shining a seasonal spotlight on the humble hat, the Canadian toque! And now with the colder weather in our northern hemisphere, it's time to assist those living without consistent shelter during bitter sub-zero conditions. The Seam Team is busy on this, making a difference by showing some good ol’ community caring with our love of toques. And you can get involved. Read our pal Kendra Coupland's article here about compassion and the project.

compassion tuques, pine green, tomato red, navy blue, honey yellow

Toques of hope

For our third year, and now available online, we are offering Compassion Toques. A toque is a Canadian term for a beanie or stocking cap. 

And here's where Connally adds the compassion part. For every toque purchased, another will get donated and distributed to folks in urgent need in Vancouver's DTES (Downtown Eastside). In addition to distributing over 175 Compassion Toques last year, our Seam Team managed to spread winter warmth with care kits containing other essentials and comfort items to the community.

Toque fit and features

  • 95% certified organic cotton, 5% spandex
  • Machine washable 
  • Soft, non-itchy fabric (double layered GOTS certified cotton, perfect for skin sensitivities)
  • Three sizes (small, medium and large)
  • Four colours (Honey Yellow, Tomato Red, Navy Blue, and now, Pine Green!)
compassion tuque, pine green, on our founder Connally McDougall

Ready to rock factor

  • Colours Honey and Pine are ready to ship now
  • Tomato and Navy are being sewn and will be ready to ship in January 2023

The history of the Canadian cap

Have you seen different spellings or forms of this heralded headpiece? That’s because it has many spelling variations adopted and adapted over the years. You may have seen ‘tuque/toque/touque’ – and yes, they are all valid naming conventions. 

The word ‘toque’ links back to early English, about 1500 or so. But how did this fine adornment come to be, you ask? 

Essentially, ‘Toque’ in Breton means hat. The ‘que’ spelling is Middle Breton, the Modern Breton spelling is ‘tok’ and Old Breton spells it ‘toc’. It happens to be a loan word from the French ‘tuque’ (15th century), a name for both the chef's uniform and the knit cap.

From here, it traces back to the Spanish ‘toca’, for a woman's headdress. This word goes even further back to the Arabic ‘taqa’ طاقة, from Old Persian ‘taq’ for a veil or a shawl. 

So summed up, its evolution looks like:

  • Taq
  • Taqa
  • Toca
  • Tuque
  • To finally touque/ toque! (There ya go! Canadian naming modification at its finest)

And nothing quite says signature style like making your toque look and feel good for you. Check out some great styling ideas to make your winter cooler than ever.

toque of compassion, honey yellow

Fashion for compassion

Give the gift of winter warmth this season and we will do our part to match every order. So, share our IG post, order a Compassion Toque, and be a part of a movement to keep Vancouver DTES covered with toques.
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