ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA CLOTHING AROUND THE WORLD
Photo By: Yogasana
ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA CLOTHING SUSTAINABLE ECO YOGA MATS
Impact of the mat and fashion-forward, eco friendly organic yoga clothing company alternatives.
Did you know it can take 2055 grams of carbon dioxide to drive just 5 miles? Or that buying a pair of imported socks contributes to greenhouse gas emissions? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) every individual has a carbon footprint that creates greenhouse gases.
To the practicing eco friendly yogi, some of the ways to reduce your carbon footprint includes really knowing where your yoga clothing and tools come from. The main issue is most products travel thousands of miles from the raw material to production to the marketplace. Over 36 million people in the U.S. practice yoga, leading the exercise to become a multi-billion-dollar industry with just as big of an ecological impact on the environment.
Our carbon footprint is defined by the EPA as “the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company. A person's carbon footprint includes greenhouse gas emissions from fuel that an individual burns directly, such as by heating a home or riding in a car.” Carbon footprints stem from our everyday existence in our homes, utilities, commutes and commerce.
Buying yoga clothing entails going to a store or shopping online. Most times the yoga clothing we purchase is imported, putting out transportation emissions with every purchase our yoga clothing . Transportation Services account for 15% percent of the total emissions in the U.S. according the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Due to relentless activism in eco friendly yoga clothing and organic eco awareness along with an in-pour of new information relating to harmful emissions, eco-friendly yoga clothing now has a permanent place in yoga commerce and isn’t just a niche yoga label anymore. Let’s take a look at the environmental impact a standard yoga practice possesses and some of the eco-friendly yoga companies around the world.
Eco Friendly Yoga Clothing, Why use Organic?
It may seem obvious that a cotton shirt would take a lot of water to create, (2,700 Liters to be exact!) Or that polyester, containing less raw materials, would contribute more to dangerous chemical emissions. In the midst of keeping savvy it can be hard to find a balance of doing no harm and swapping the lesser evil.
According to the World Resources Institute “Cotton is the most common natural fiber used to make clothing. Cotton farming is responsible for 24 percent of insecticides and 11 percent of pesticides despite using about 3 percent of the world’s arable land.”
Just One of the many reason to buy organic and eco friendly yoga clothing for your practice.
According to WRIs’ website “Water use and pollution also take place during clothing production. About 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to garment manufacturing, while the world uses 5 trillion liters (1.3 trillion gallons) of water each year for fabric dyeing alone, enough to fill 2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.”
Eco Friendly Yoga Clothing company Luminous Being and the others listed below strives for sustainability through their water usage, organic textiles to make yoga clothing , the dye process, and manufacturing of sustainable processes.
photo by Luminous Being
Luminous Being was inspired out of love for the planet. The eco-friendly yoga clothing company is passionate to attain sustainability in it’s manufacturing, sourcing, production and retail.Luminous Being is located in Los Angeles, California with production done locally in the city's Fashion District where all clothing is made in the USA with love.
Hand-dyeing the Yantra collection at the family sanctuary in north California and producing leggings with recycled bottles are vital components of Luminous Being’s sustainability practice.
“There are so many options today that companies can choose to be the change. Truly amazing what can be done with today's latest innovations for sustainability,” Founder Star said.
Eco-Friendly Yoga clothing companies can be a voice for the environment and participate in sustainable eco friendly clothing associations. Luminous Being currently volunteers at the Alexandria house for homeless women in Los Angeles by teaching meditation and yoga while giving back two percent of revenue to various charities focused on empowering women, environmental sustainability, and protecting wildlife.
photo by :SMK
Sandra Meynier Kang was launched in August 2014 in Seoul, Korea. Completely sourced, manufactured and produced in Seoul, even the organic cotton supplier is local and certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS.)
Buying locally made and locally sourced goods helps keep carbon emissions down which assist in being eco-friendly as well as supports local communities. The United States Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration reported that “The Manufacturing sector is often the focus of discussion about pollution control. Manufacturing was responsible for about one-quarter of total CO2 emissions in 2006, down from 30 percent in 1998. It reduced its CO2 intensity over the 1998 to 2006 period.”
photo by :SMK
SMK also talks about the importance of using clean organic textiles to all their customers “by using very soft and positive communication - helping the eco- friendly fashion movement to spread the word,” Sandra said.
French and Korean roots lay history to Sandra’s eco-friendly philosophy, inspired by a French philosopher. “I started really questioning myself about the environment in 2014 when I read a book from French ecologist philosopher “ Le retour à la terre, Pierre Rabhi” that totally opened the door to a thousand questions on the food & the fashion industry, and how our modern society was ruled. I started to integrate the fact that if we wish a brighter, cleaner and more responsible future, it all starts by our own behavior and our respective impact on the world,” Kang said.
Commercial responsibility reaches beyond corporations into every business no matter how small or large. Kang’s approach to changing her own behavior doesn’t reflect on consumer trends, yet.
Cotton Incorporated invented a “lifestyle monitor” that tracks consumers preferences relating to the clothing industry. Their data showed 57 percent of all shoppers show sustainability as a priority yet 23 percent “only” buy clothing marketed as sustainable. Even more
discouraging only 26 percent are willing to pay more for eco-friendly clothes. The study showed consumers would pay more, however, for durability.
SMK is 100 percent vegan, donating five percent of each collection benefits to the Korean animal protection association Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE.), sustainable development is a natural upper priority of the brand.
Eco friendly Yoga Clothing Company
ROSE BUDDHA Made in Canada
photo by Rose Buddha
Conceived in in Montreal, Canada by Maxime, Madeleine and Benoit, Rose Buddha focuses on eco-friendly yoga clothing, jewelry and workshops.
Working directly with manufacturers, garment makers, printers and knitters to create a product that will not harm the environment, damage control translates into sustainability, using minimal water, pesticides and chemicals in their dyes.
Photo by Rose Buddha
Rose Buddha’s Second Chance Jewel Collection revitalizes “unusable” scraps to give fabrics a second chance at life. Rose Buddha donates $1 of each legging sold to the One Drop Foundation.
Rose Buddha reached out to us and reflected on their start.
“It all begin with that thought: when you open your closet, do you find yourself bombarded with clothes, but with nothing to wear? Are all the tags marked “Made in China” or “Made in Bangladesh?” Is just about everything pilled and falling apart, and sewn out of fabrics whose origins and composition we continue to ignore?”
“We are all in the same boat, stuck in an industry that pressures us to consume more and more at an increasingly faster rate. The cycle forces us to renew our wardrobe constantly. To keep up with this pace, we’re confined to the cheapest options. It has become imperative that we shift our paradigm and learn how our
clothes are made and where they come from. Sustainability. Ethics. Transparency. Why not bring these words back into fashion?”
“We’re fed up with clothing that’s made under problematic conditions that require our brothers and sisters to be treated like animals. To follow the latest trends, we must endlessly revamp our closets, and we don’t want to pay top dollar over and over again. That’s enough. From the very first stitch to the final product, we’re asking for transparency. Disposable fashion entails a high human cost. Our environment also pays an enormous price,” Co-founder Madeleine said.
ECO FRIENDLY YOGA MATS :
The Eco- friendly Practice also involves the yogi’s practice is the mat. A LOT of mats are made from Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC, which is not eco-friendly. PVC was declared an unhealthy building material by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2007, banned for use in children’s toys in 2008, plastic packaging in 2013 and shunned from countries like Spain, Canada, South Korea and the Czech Republic. The United States has policies in major cities to phase out PVC, yet it keeps popping up in our yoga mats. The eco-friendly yoga practitioner should be aware of this and purchase eco-friendly yoga mats that are in harmony with the planet and sustainability practices.
PVC is 57% chlorine, 43% carbon and contains Dioxin and DEHP. Dioxin, a human carcinogen, is formed during manufacturing and incineration. The other key component of PVC is DEHP, a phthalate that increases flexibility in PVC plastic and is linked to birth defects. HejHej Mats and Yogasana are two companies working to eliminate PVC mats.
Photo by: HejHej Mats
Sophie, 24, and Anna, 26, of HejHej Mats co-founded their company in Germany after receiving their master’s in Leadership for Sustainability in Malmo, Sweden. Inspired by an art exhibition about global warming and sustainability that featured yogis and plastic mats, the pair decided to create a 100% sustainable and closed-loop eco-friendly yoga mat.
Photo by: HejHej Mats
“Anna and I personally both really care about sustainability. We try to live a sustainable lifestyle and make decisions in line with the environment and society. We feel that all of us can’t just continue consuming as we are used to but need to take social and environmental aspects into consideration,” Sophie said.
Treehugger.com breaks down the impact of PVC mats as “A 3 pound (1.36 kg) PVC yoga mat requires 23 kg of petrochemical and mineral inputs, uses 925 liters of water, and 15.8 kg of air.” That is just the breakdown of the PVC alone. “Shipping of the raw materials for the PVC to the US and the final product to the customer could result in greenhouse gas emissions over 7 kg. So, the overall greenhouse gas emissions for the PVC mat, including transportation and production, would be over 23 kg. The TPE mat would be responsible for greater than 5 kg of GHGs, and the organic cotton mats would release around 1 kg.”
HejHej mats are made using off-cuts occurring naturally in the foaming industry. For each yoga mat 1 kg of foam off-cuts gets up-cycled into a yoga mat. Adding to that, all used HejHej-mats can be taken back at the end of their lifespan to be recycled, not producing any waste. HejHej mats can guarantee their community a 100% sustainable yoga mat.
INDIA-YOGASANA Made in India
Photo By: Yogasana
Yogasana upholds sustainability in the eco-yoga community by producing their mats with zero electricity. Completely woven by hand with 100 percent cotton, Yogasana is a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council which promotes sustainable manufacturing practices.
“Unlike the ubiquitous ‘sticky mats,’ Yogasana mats are woven by weavers in the region of India where yoga originates. Cotton is the traditional material for a yoga mat because the genesis of the practice predates the advent of plastic. Each mat takes 3 days to weave and 10 days total production time. The pride of craftsmanship is reflected by the master weavers‘ signature on each Yogasana mat; this creates a connection between the weaver and the yogi,” according to Yogasana.com
Photo By: Yogasana
Sticky mats are new to yoga on the timeline of asanas, meditation and breathing. Early yoga mats from the 1800s were folded cloths, evolving into cotton rugs in the 1930s. The 1960s birthed the modern mat that we know today and manufacturing in the 80s revealed that the plastics used were too weak for repetitive use. In search of a cheap, widely available fix the 90s introduced PVC into the mat.
While increasing durability PVC is disruptive in it’s link to cancer and harmful environmental waste . PVC is not bio-degradable however it does decompose through granulation at a rate of about one yoga mat per 100 years. Under non-ideal conditions this number jumps to 1000 years.
Yogasana has been producing eco-friendly yoga mats for more than twenty years and their mats are guaranteed for fifteen years and expected to last a lifetime.
“Cotton is more durable than rubber. Users who may suffer from allergies are more receptive to a cotton surface. It’s more eco-sustainable than other non-PVC materials like TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and PER (polymer environmental resin) and does not deteriorate in direct sunlight. Cotton provides a superior grip. With a rubber mat, the more you sweat, the more you slip. With a cotton mat, the more you sweat, the more you stick,” According to Yogasanas’ website.
Editors Note: Companies interviewed do not participate in child labor.