Breathing Easy Yoga Wear

By Sandra Ramani / September 11, 2013
yoga

Photograph by Robin Jolin

Awareness of yourself and your place in the world. Strengthening connections between mind, body and other beings. Living a pure, clean life. The principles of yoga and green living are right in sync—as these eco-friendly yoga-wear brands are well aware. We checked in with the people behind four notable active fashion lines to find out what inspired their designs, makes their pieces standout, and helps their customers breathe easy.

 

yoga

Photograph by Robin Jolin

SENSE: 100% Biodegradable/Made in the USA

The Story
During her years as a sales rep for eight activewear lines, followed by a post as National Sales Manager for Bloch Dancewear, Robin Beachner learned about the industry from both designers’ and buyers’ perspectives. Through selling to spas and resorts, she was introduced to a world of wellness. “Soaking and steaming in those spas got my creative juices flowing,” she remembers, “and I dreamed of creating a clothing line that would feel like you were wrapped in luxury.” In 2004, SENSE was born, and has since grown into a go-to apparel brand popular with the spa, travel, active and resort industries.

The Line
The brand goes beyond the yoga studio, with comfortable, well-thought-out pieces designed to build on others in the collection, and transition between seasons. Staples like the pleated Godet Skirt, cozy leggings, and the Essential Active Tunic pants (a fitted cotton legging topped by a flattering short skirt) are joined by lifestyle pieces like smocked palazzo pants, chiffon cardigans, breezy tops and open-shoulder tees.

Eco-cred
The primary material in SENSE items is 100 percent biodegradable Lenzing Modal, made from spun, reconstituted beech tree cellulose. An environmentally-friendly and sustainable production process leads to a breathable, soft, and fade- and shrink-resistant  fabric with a texture similar to silk or fine cotton.

Giving Back
Committed to supporting conscious business practices and offering a living wage to American workers, SENSE makes everything in the USA. Pieces are designed and shipped from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and manufactured in California. They support local and national charities. senseclothing.com

 

PAZ Yoga & Style: Color-grown Organic Cotton

yoga

The Story
Chilean-American Maria Barraza grew-up creating costumes for her dolls and, later, patterns for her own clothes. She went on to study at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, work with some of the industry’s top talents, and sell her designs to luxury retailers. Then, in the early-2000’s, her life took another turn—and PAZ Yoga & Spa Wear was born.

“I started the line just after my successful treatment for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma,” Barraza explains. “I took up the practice of yoga with my husband as part of my recovery, and I could not find any yogawear that was not made of man-made, dyed materials like Lycra or Spandex.” Now recovered, the New York City-based designer’s organic cotton pieces have become popular both with yoga practitioners, and for wear on long flights, cruises and in spas.
The Line Launched in 2004, PAZ features comfortable and style-conscious organic cotton pieces like jerseys, tanks, and Deep Relaxation tops that often feature 3/4 sleeves, and pants are often cropped, making them versatile and appropriate for a variety of sizes and heights.

Eco-cred
PAZ’s organic cotton is “color-grown”—meaning the fiber grows naturally in three different colors: tan, which PAZ calls Chai; light green, or Thyme; and off-white, or Lotus. No chemicals are used in the processing, leading to soft, plush fabrics that fans say feel like cashmere.

Giving Back
PAZ donates a percentage of each sale to a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting clean harbors and responsible boating practices along the East Coast. purestylesalesandmktg.com

 

prAna: Fair Trade/Bluesign

yoga

Courtesy of Prana

The Story
Climbing and yoga may seem like different worlds, but both were inspirations behind prAna, whose name is Sanskrit for “breath, life, and vitality of spirit.” “We started prAna to give form and function to the connections we felt to the outdoors and being alive in the moment,” says founder Beaver Theodosakis. “Climbing and yoga brought us there, and inspired our tag line ‘Born from the experience.’”

The Line
Though athletes like climber Chris Sharma and yogini Shiva Rea are some of the inspirations for the brand, prAna strives to offer “apparel that performs well on the rock or on the mat” while also boasting “hip, street-savvy style.” The result: high-performance pieces that can be worn beyond the workout. From tops like the Vanessa and Isabel, to shrugs and wraps, dresses, bra tops, cords and jeans, prAna’s got a bit of everything.

Eco-cred
prAna is a member of the Fair Trade Association and a bluesign® system partner; the latter ensures that strict environmental, health and safety standards are met in the manufacturing process. The company now ships all clothing in 100 percent recycled paper bags. Sustainable textiles like organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel are used whenever possible.

Giving Back
In 2005, prAna launched their Natural Power Initiative to solidify their commitment to lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions, accelerate development of renewable energy, and raise awareness of the benefits of wind power and other sustainable sources. prana.com

 

Satva: GOTS-Certified/Organic

yoga

Photograph by MIGHTYkarma

The Story
New Jersey-based Satva (Sanskrit for “pure”) was launched in 2012 by Puja Barar, a fashion industry veteran who, after having her son, was inspired to start an apparel company she could believe in. “I wanted my brand to be holistic in nature and to create something good for the mind and body,” she explains.  Partnering with a friend with ties to small-batch organic cotton farms in India, Barar created Satva for a consumer that is “conscious about herself, her environment, and her well-being.”

The Line
Barar designs for a woman that is “free spirited and on the move,” offering versatile pieces that layer well, like camis, tanks, hoodies, leggings and capris. The fall collection is inspired by the colors of the earth—deep clay reds, mossy greens—and also features vibrant graphic prints that can be mixed and matched.

Eco-cred
Satva is GOTS-certified and uses only certified organic cotton; they are on their way to earning Fair Trade certification as well. All the organic cotton is grown on marginal farms in India, the pre-shrunk fabrics are bio-washed for softness, and the final garments are produced using Fair Trade supply chain practices. The clothing comes packaged in functional, plastic-free organic backpacks.

Giving Back
Satva donates $1 from every purchase to WITS (Wellness in the Schools) to help promote healthy eating, environmental awareness, and kids’ fitness. satvaliving.com

 

inPhorm: Solar-Powered/Recycled Fuel

yoga

Photograph by Ductstore Bangkok

The Story
Based in Thailand, this style-conscious line has caught on stateside for its yoga and activewear offerings. Their mix-and-match pieces are made using eco-conscious production methods.

The Line
Each seasonal collection features a similar color palette—this fall is gray and purple,  next spring is black and white, with splashes of coral—and with items like long, loose tanks, sleeveless and regular hoodies, lounge pants and chic cap-sleeve tops.

Eco-cred
Organic cotton and knitwear is produced in a solar-powered Bangkok factory; all Thai-made items are then transported in trucks fueled with recycled vegetable oil. The brand is also developing other eco-friendly fabrics, like a material blended with coconut fibers. All materials are certified green by the European Union, UK Defra, and Thailand Greenhouse Management. inphormnyc.com

 

Sandra Ramani

Sandra Ramani

Senior Contributing Editor at Organic Spa Magazine
In addition to serving as OSM’s Senior Contributing Editor, writer/editor Sandra Ramani covers travel, wellness, and lifestyle topics for such publications as Travel + Leisure, Robb Report, Premier Traveler, AFAR, Bridal Guide, Elite Traveler, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is also the author of “Day Trips from Dallas / Fort Worth,” now in its second edition. Recent assignments have found her sleeping in the Sahara, hopping helicopters in New Zealand, and making this new friend in Bali.
Sandra Ramani

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