This question is part of our “Can You Practice Without Plastic?” Global Campaign (also known as our Plastic-Free Yoga Revolution #plasticfreeyogarevolution!), which will be launched on Earth Day, April 22, 2019.
Eco-friendly means different things to different people. It is a complicated issue. In this campaign, we are trying to keep it simple. We are asking yoga-related businesses to do their best to reduce the amount of plastic within their production process, their products and packaging. And we are asking students to support the businesses that are committed to making clothing and mats that are plastic-free.
To help us reduce the amount of plastic being added to our fragile planet, tell us about the eco-friendly, yoga-related companies that you love and why you love them!
Be the change you want to see in the world!
Hello everyone - David, I’m so glad to asked this question! My favourite supplier of yoga clothing is Dear ‘Lil Devas of Toronto. I started off with their light weight cotton yoga pants and will NEVER wear clingy yoga clothes again!!
Rosie offers yoga clothing and accessories in linen, cotton and bamboo “made in a relaxed, benevolent, non-factory environment in Canada”. Her orders are shipped in boxes what make you happy.
I recommend checking out her site www.dearlildevas.com
I have no connection to them other than being a very, very satisfied repeat customer.
I’ve never been a fan of synthetic clothing and have struggled over the years to find what I’m looking for in organic cotton or wool instead. Currently, I usually wear capri tights from Fig Clothing Company. MEC has one tank/shelf bra top that comes in cotton for one colour and synthetics for another - I bought the cotton, of course!
I’m really enjoying the suggestions here, and the conversation in general. Thank you for that. will definitely look out for these suggestions when I come to replenishing my yoga stuff!
That said, I really want to encourage you (as a huge fan of the site and suscriber) to revisit this topic (eco-friendly) with other parameters in the future… Reducing plastic use is really important, but it would be a shame and wasted opportunity (I think) not to encourage respectful reflection on flying. As the global yoga community grows, so has flying around the world to retreats, and while I aim not to be dogmatic or have 100% unbreakable ‘rules’, this troubles me. As tough as these conversations can be to have, I think they are not only something that an engaged and ethically minded community like Doyogawithme fosters can handle, but they are also essential to yoga, to our own personal development, and to our environment.
Great suggestions everyone. As I’m sure you agree that this is a very important conversation to have, considering the amount of plastic (and other pollutants) that are being added to our natural environment daily.
As you said, @kbquinn53, the problem is much bigger than plastics. As we committed to this issue, we spent many hours discussing our approach and including other prominent players in the industry. We needed to be conscious of many factors, including honouring peoples’ busy lives, constant information overload and the prevalence of negative press.
For simplicity (for our sake and our community’s) we chose to keep the message simple (for now, anyway) and limit the focus to plastic in clothing and yoga mats. We want to see if people get inspired by this message, and we can grow it out to other issues from there.
I agree with you that flying to retreats around the world is a problem in itself, and as you know DoYogaWithMe leads our own retreats around the world. Being ethically minded in all aspects of life is challenging and this is also a complicated issue. We are hoping to host more retreats that encourage local students to participate, to minimize the need for flights. I know that likely won’t address this problem enough, but we do our best to minimize our negative impact on the planet.
Thanks for you thoughtful comments.
Thanks so much for your response. It’s genuinely interesting and illuminating to hear the kinds of processes you guys have for working out your direction, and I agree it’s a topic that needs nuance. There’s definitely a tricky balance between respecting people’s busy and complicated lives and trying to activate a critical reflection on ethical practices…so, I’m happy to hear you’d like to grow out the conversation further in future.
And encouraging local participation at retreats sound really good!
Thanks again, and thanks for this great site.
Thank you for initiating a discussion on this topic. I feel it‘s important to not only purchase eco-friendly yoga clothing and yoga equipment, but to also responsibly recycle what one already owns. One way to do this is to pass on good yoga things to others who may not be able to afford new things. I try to select classic items in all my purchases, for example, clothing, household items, that will last and not quickly go out of style. It’s just part of my minimalistic nature, I suppose.
Yes, we’ve thought about this long and hard, and we still consider our approach fluid. We’re open to adapting. We do have enough understanding of the issue to know what the biggest problems are and the current solutions. And yes, we need to honor that everyone has busy lives and they may not be able to afford clothing made from organic cotton or tencel!
And yes, recycling! Absolutely. It seems, at least for now, there is no way to recycle PVC (a common plastic in yoga mats) or polyester, outside of what you just said, which is to pass the clothing on to someone else.
We just added two articles, by the way, if you haven’t seen them. They go into some depth on the topics of mats and clothes.
Be Good to the Planet - The Environmental Impact of Yoga Mats
Be Good to the Planet - The Environmental Impact of Yoga Clothes
This is an issue worth talking about so thanks for sharing!
Bhumi in Australia where I live uses recycled cotton for its clothing, activewear and homewares. So that is where I sourced the last set of yoga gear I bought.
But my bigger focus is to not buy at all. Old T-shirt’s too misshapen to wear out now get out in my sports pile. Developing my home practice rather than only going to a studio has also helped stop the drive to buy more. I am no longer tempted by fashion around me, but really just get into something comfy to move at home.
I would recommend wearetala.com .
It is not exactly a 100% plastic free company, but it uses a lot of upcycled materials and recycled plastic. They try as well to use as little water as possible and the conditions of workers are said to be very good - they are quite transparent about what they do. I think they try to consider all aspects of sustainable fashion, including competitivity (ie prices). I have no personal connection to them, I have already made two orders and am very satisfied !
Thank you @jennyharry and @barbora.duchonova! I’ll check them out.
Covid has exacerbated my quest for locally sourced products, yet more and more it’s very hard to find out where products are actually made ! Many many companies, including so-called eco-friendly ones, do not publish this information in their online platforms. Therefore, as consumers we are unable to cut down on purchasing from countries with dubious credentials, or limit the shipment miles of what we buy.
For me, the answer now is to just buy less, and to avoid buying unless absolutely necessary.
Exactly. It’s hard to know and takes time to do the research. If it helps you, @elenaLon, I’ve created a list of eco companies that we trust here:
I am getting ready to purchase my first eco-friendly yoga mat from TranquilYogi. It’s a cork mat, so I am looking forward to trying it out. I’ve taken into consideration, David, your notes about it’s lack of grip in some instances, so I’m prepared to use a little water to increase the grip if needed.
Great! They are a fantastic company. Please mention that you know me - I’ve spoken with the founder a lot.
I will. Thanks for the great series on the ecofriendly products.
So went through this list you thoughtfully provided.
I haven’t looked much at the US companies in the list but the UK one I found didn’t specify where the mats were made. In my experience of the last year trying to source local products this made me suspicious so I emailed them. They sent back a nice reply, but bottom line their mats are made in China.
I find it really frustrating that companies that advertise as ethical are not prepared to support the local economies ( which at 150 pounds a mat they could definitely do) and instead opt to make their products in countries with dubious political and environmental credentials, which also adds up to massive shipping and travel environmental cost…
Of course customers might be completely fine with purchasing products regardless of where they are made, but I believe this information should be prominently displayed on the site…
You’re absolutely right, @elenaLon, but we also need to take into account the reality of operating their business within their given category. It may be extremely difficult to create their product in their home country for a variety of reasons, so sometimes we need to honor the efforts that they are making.