Eco clothing for yoga?

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There has been so much said about eco clothing for yoga and it makes sense. After all, in turning to yoga for better mental and physical health, one of the fundamentals we learn is to simplify our lives. Drive out the torrent of worries and fears that plague us daily and simply…live. To find relief in every deep breath we take, to draw energy from mother earth as we plant our soles firmly for the Mountain Pose.

We’ve seen so much written on organic cottons or bamboo yoga clothing that we had to say something here.

When we look at eco clothing, we examine the whole process of the item,lets call it the yoga tank as an example. How were the fibers obtained? Did any forests have to be cleared in order to plant the fiber? Or is it a man made fiber using oil based materials?

How was it dyed? And how much energy and carbon emissions was used in the dyeing? What happens with all the mucky water from the dye baths?

Most of the answers are pretty horrendous and the main reason we say that clothing is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil.

Organic cottons starts off great but starts sliding into the pollution tank when they start washing and bleaching the fibers just to get it ready to dye! Its common knowledge that one tee shirt uses up to 22,000 liters of water just to get it to the store. With this sort of knowledge popping up into public domain recently, the industry has tried to counter with closed loop production where the dye waters are supposedly cleaned up before being discharged into our lakes and rivers. It all sounds great except they won’t tell you what they do with the hundreds of barrels of dye sludge that they skimmed off the dye waters…

Bamboo’s problem, when we were looking for a great all natural alternative to nylon and polyester for yoga clothing, was that non of the fabric makers could confirm exactly how much bamboo juice went into the fabric. None. Zero. It got to a point where the Competition Bureau finally shut down any eco claims by bamboo clothing as no one was able to tell them whether the fiber was indeed 100% from bamboo juice or maybe it was just a few drops of bamboo juice in a barrel of common rayon juice. That’s the example the Competition Bureau gave us anyway.

So, back to eco clothing for yoga. We started out with one version. Using 100% recycled fibers. 65% recycled cotton from cotton scraps that clothing factories were going to throw out. 35% recycled polyester from recycled water bottles.Pretty cool right? It doesn’t stop there.

What makes our recycled cotton clothing so eco friendly is that no bleach is ever used and the colors are not dyed! Those colors you see are from the colors already in the cotton clippings when they were picked up! Major savings in chemical, water and energy as we could skip all these processes and go from raw fiber to colored fabric!

But not everyone can tolerate the polyester content in our recycled fibers so we introduced a second collection under the Jute brand.

Why jute? Because its so readily available! Its planted in wetlands in China,India,Bangladesh and widely known to be one of the most sustainable fiber crops in the world as it takes no time to grow, uses no pesticides and the small farmers fertilize the fields by leaving the leaves on the fields!

It had amazing natural stretch and we spent months in development trying to make a stable fabric and after numerous tries, we finally gave in and accepted the fact that we had to add spandex to it for stability. It would have been so amazing to see it in its natural stretch though…one day, we may bring this to market still.

In the meantime, our eco yoga clothing in jute is the softest, fuzziest thing you will ever put against your skin. The first reaction we get from people is how cool it feels to the skin! This amazing fabric drapes like you wouldn’t believe and we’ve done well with it because it hugs you just right. Unlike nylons or polyesters that tend to squish and show every roll or bump, our yoga pieces were cut to only bring out the best parts of you and provides a soft cover for the rest of you!

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