Seeing as one of the main tenets of the yogic lifestyle is “Do No Harm,” I find it curious that so many yoga apparel companies (cough, Lululemon, cough) out there are operating in questionable ways when it comes to sustainability and ethics. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but having a yoga practice isn’t about the brand of clothing you’re wearing, or really about clothing at all. You can get your flow on in your old college sweatpants, a plain white tee, your St. Paddy’s leprechaun costume, or buck-naked for all I care.
Alas, I know for many of you out there, showing up to class feeling comfortable and looking cute is important, so I’ve rounded up a list of brands who offer stylish yoga apparel with high standards of environmental sustainability and fair labor.
1 | TEEKI
Teeki is a fun and free-spirited brand of yoga apparel that encourages a greater respect for the great outdoors. Their earthling-inspired tops and leggings are constructed out of fabric that is made from recycled plastic water bottles. Everything is manufactured in the US using only eco-friendly practices. Plus, their clothing will have you feeling like the mystical mother-fucking unicorn you’ve always known in your soul that you are.
2 | YOGA DEMOCRACY
Yoga Democracy’s colorful, stylish leggings come in patterns like “Frida Kahlo” and “Day of the Dead” and are made from post-consumer plastic and non-toxic dyes. You can read this interview with the Founder Natalie Oldroyd on what it’s like to start an ethical clothing business.
3 | ANJALI
Anjali uses a mixture of recycled fabrics, organic cotton, and bamboo for their line of yoga leggings, tops, and bras. Their clothing is manufactured in the USA, or else in sweatshop-free, fair trade facilities by their partners.
4 | PRANA
One of the most well-known brands of ethical yoga wear, Prana is partnered with several sustainability and fair trade focused organizations including the Fair Labor Association and the Responsible Forest Initiative. They use sustainable fabrics including organic cotton, hemp, and recycled wool, polyester, and down, and take pride in the traceability of their materials. In addition to a large selection of dedicated yoga and climbing wear, they also offer casual tops, skirts, dresses, and swimwear.
5 | SHINING SHAKTI
Guided by a vision to create beautiful clothing for active, stylish, and eco-conscious women, founder Rachel Richardson has created a brand of vibrant yoga wear that is 100% Made in the USA using only organic fabrics and non-toxic dyes. All levels of production take place under one roof at Sundog Productions in Fairfax, Virginia.
6 | SATVA
Puja, the creator of Satva Living, believes strongly in the marriage of conscious and active living. Having grown up in India around extreme poverty, Puja sought to become an agent of change for the social and economic issues which she witnessed on a daily basis. Her mission statement sums up Satva Living beautifully:
“Satva is an organic lifestyle company that lives its mission to create a balance of people, planet, and product. Every eco conscious and socially responsible step is considered on the way to production. We are very proud of the work we can do in the communities of India to bring educational opportunities to young girls and agricultural advancements to our organic cotton farmers- and it’s all possible because of our eco-conscious customers who choose to shop sustainably.”
7 | JALA
Not everything offered by this popular yoga lifestyle brand is necessarily eco-friendly, but their SUP yoga collection is made using a fabric dyeing process that is cleaner and greener than traditional screen-printed fabrics. They also have a collection of apparel made from recycled plastic bottles. All products made using “green” practices are noted with a symbol in the product description on their website. I’d like to see Jala move in the direction of all of their clothing being made sustainably and responsibly, but I give them a pat on the back for making an effort.
Alternative Apparel has a special line of active wear as well as a variety of basic tanks and tees that can easily transition from day-wear to studio-wear. Sustainable fabrics constitute the much of Alternative Apparel’s offerings, and the company is incredibly transparent about their production chain, which you can read about here.
YOGA MATS & ACCESSORIES
1 | MANDUKA
With emissions-free manufacturing, a commitment to the sourcing of recycled materials, and creating the first ever 100% recyclable yoga mat, Manduka makes sure your mat has a small carbon footprint so that you can have a big, impactful practice.
2 | YOGA DESIGN LAB
Yoga Design Lab creates colorful, stylish yoga mats made from biodegradable natural tree rubber and water-based inks and donates a portion of profits to Urban Youth Yoga Programs.
3 | JADE
JADE yoga mats are super popular with yoga teachers for their cushioning, durability, and non-slippery nature. They are made using natural rubber in the USA and contain no PVCs or synthetic rubbers.