From environmental damage to poor labour conditions to body-negative messaging, there are many things to consider when buying yoga clothes, props and more. As conscious consumers, we all strive to make choices that align with our values and beliefs.
And when it comes to yoga this is especially relevant. As a practice that emphasizes harmony, well-being and unity with other beings and nature, it’s only natural that we seek out brands that share our commitment to the environment and the people who inhabit it.
We not only seek comfort and style in our yoga clothing, but we also want to support brands that love the earth, celebrate diverse body types and cater to our unique needs. And what’s more, we don’t want our pursuit of these qualities to bruise our bank account.
Fortunately, there are a number of remarkable yoga brands out there that are leading the way in building a better and more compassionate fashion industry – and in this article, we’re giving them the limelight!
We’ll explore 4 yoga brands that we believe everyone should support and why. We’ll highlight their good bits, as well as areas that we believe they could still improve.
4 Yoga Brands you should know (and love!)
First on our list of yoga brands is Nube – a shining example of mindful production and consumption in yoga and athletic wear.
Central to this brands sustainability efforts over the last 10 years has been their dedication to using recycled materials and designing products with longevity and comfort in mind.
Using mostly recycled polyester, Nube significantly reduces their water and energy consumption while also curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, an impressive 79% of their polyester is recycled to create their signature thick and super soft fabrics.
What’s more – recycling is only one aspect of the ethics of Nubes fabric sourcing.For years, all fabrics were sourced locally in the US, being custom knit in LA. However, as the brand grows, some fabrics are now being sourced overseas, but they are committed to bringing sourcing back to the US.
This commitment to being fully US-made is a potential milestone, not only minimizing unnecessary and excessive transportation but also supporting local economies and ensuring adherence to fair-wage and ethical working condition standards.
Even the packaging reflects Nube’s sustainability ethos. From kraft mailers to order confirmation paper, postcards, and hang tags, all of Nube’s shipping materials are plastic-free, made in the USA, and composed of 100% recycled, recyclable and compostable materials.
In the dicey realm of dyes and finishes, Nube also goes the extra mile to ensure non-toxic, low-impact, and lead-free products. Their fabric printing processes all take place in their very own sewing studio, with solid dyes sourced from a nearby dye house equally committed to reducing energy use and toxins.
Finally, to tackle the sad issue of fabric waste generated during clothing production, Nube has collaborated with various talented artists, fashion students, and rag traders, to transform fabric scraps into new creations, even prioritizing patterns and designs that minimize waste.
And now, rumor has it they are in the process of developing a take-back program to reuse loved Nubes for new creations, allowing customers to become part of this transformative process!
Ticking so many eco-boxes, what we love about Nube is their palpable and genuine desire to make a positive impact on the world. Thank you Nube!
#2: No Nasties
As its name may suggest, Indian-born brand No Nasties stands firm against “nasty” ingredients and methods in clothing production – earning them the second spot on our list of best yoga brands.
Dedicated to both people and the planet, the brand proudly holds a Fair Trade certification that ensures their items are both ethically and sustainably crafted, and that workers behind the products receive fair remuneration for their hard work.
Despite some shortfalls, this Fair Trade badge is a pledge to respect and uplift. Ensuring living wages, traceability and safe working conditions, this means that consumers can trust that they’re supporting a company that champions fairness throughout its supply chain.
As well as their everyday clothing range, the brand offers a wide choice of durable, comfortable and stylish yoga wear that quite literally has sustainability woven into its fabrics, which are made from organic GOTS certified cotton and utilize solar power in production.
A true environmental ally, every No Nasties garment literally becomes a breath of fresh air (well, almost) with the brand dedicated to offsetting its carbon footprint through strategic tree planting that avoids some of the pitfalls of similar well meaning tree planting schemes.
And now, every single garment produced by No Nasties can now be recycled, repurposed, or utilized again, regardless of its age or condition. Nothing is discarded. Achieving zero waste and embracing a fully circular approach.
And for the animal lovers such as myself, we can rejoice! No Nasties is proudly and wholly vegan, promising a creature friendly, cruelty-free wardrobe.
All good things said, room for improvement does still exist with No Nasties.
For example, sharing their audit reports and embracing waste reduction could further elevate No Nasties transparency and sustainability game. However, we think their current efforts are commendable – and their yoga clothes are equally worthy of praise (and purchase!)
Girlfriend Collective is one of our dearest yoga brands, for their commitment to social and environmental betterment, which is plain to see through their various business initiatives and certifications.
And we’re not the only fans – since their inception in 2016, their signature subdues shades and simple silhouettes have become cult favorites with minimalist yoga practitioners seeking sleek and timeless activewear.
One of our favorite things about this yoga brand is its dedication to inclusivity and body positivity, showcasing models representing diverse shapes, sizes, and skin tones.
Offering size ranges spanning from 2XS to 6XL, Girlfriend Collective caters to their message that yoga is for everyone, regardless of body type, age, color, or culture in a way that doesn’t feel like empty virtue signaling.
While I couldn’t seem to find any specific measures to lower energy consumption and offset greenhouse gas emissions, their use of eco-friendly materials does mitigate their climate impact and reduces resource use in production.
For example, this yoga brand crafts its pieces from recycled PET from plastic bottles and recycled ECONYL® nylon that might have otherwise gone to landfill, as well as lower-impact dyes and responsible wastewater treatment, proudly practiced throughout their supply chain.
As well as their ReGirlfriend initiative that allows customers to return old clothing which will then be processed and upcycled into new pieces, their textile waste is also combatted through the reuse of offcuts.
Their materials and production also meet the guidelines of certified fair labor regulations, meaning workers’ welfare is truly prioritized.
All of their facilities are certified by Social Accountability International and the brand also comprehensively adheres to the principles of the International Labour Organization. This ensures good working conditions, fair wages, and ethical sourcing in all parts of its supply chain – reassured by their substantial supply chain traceability.
Overall, Girlfriend Collective is a shining example of sustainable innovation amongst yoga brands – support them and help them grow!
#4: Dharma Bums
Last but far from least on our list of yoga brands to know is Dharma Bums – a company that has emerged as a dependable option for conscious consumers across various domains, including environmental impact, social initiatives, labor practices, and sourcing strategies.
Based in Sydney, Australia, this brand’s approach resonates with those who prioritize ethical business practices and sustainability, demonstrating a genuine commitment to reducing its ecological footprint.
Through the use of eco-friendly materials, including recycled components, and adherence to Bluesign certification standards, Dharma Bums is truly dedicated to minimizing the use of chemicals, water, and wastewater in its production process.
Similar to the other yoga brands on this list, they also work hard to repurpose offcuts to combat the pervasive problem of textile waste – if all fashion brands did this, the environmental impact of the fashion industry would look very different!
Dharma Bums’ is also proudly cruelty free, offering of a fully vegan product range. The brand’s decision to eschew animal products and harsh chemicals in its garment-dyeing process is something we’d like to see all yoga brands move towards.
Dharma Bums also has a noteworthy dedication to worker rights – reflected in its adherence to various labor and social standards, encompassing freedom of association, non-discrimination, occupational health and safety, decent working hours, protection of young workers, fair remuneration, and the prohibition of child and bonded labor (see their list of principles below!)
In terms of labor practices, this yoga brand gets top marks, adhering to a comprehensive Code of Conduct aligned with the Business Social Compliance Initiative principles.
Not only is Dharma Bums’ supply chain is systematically traced, but audits are regularly conducted, ensuring compliance with ethical standards, and a full living wage is provided in the final stages of production, reflecting a true commitment to fair worker compensation.
Beyond its core operations, Dharma Bums also participates in meaningful partnerships that reflect its values.
For example, by collaborating with Thread Together, a non-profit organization aiming to provide clothing to Australians in need, they support the provision of essential clothing to individuals facing various challenges, such as homelessness, poverty, and unemployment.
In conclusion, Dharma Bums is a great choice for all of us wanting to vote with our purse. With tangible efforts to minimize environmental impact, ensure fair labor practices, and support social initiatives, Dharma Bums aligns with so many of the values of responsible consumerism.
Dharma Bums Business Principles
Dharma Bums operates by 11 self-proclaimed ethical guidelines to reassure conscious consumers and counteract the damaging nature of the fashion industry in a comprehensive and holistic way. These are:
- The Rights of Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
- No Discrimination
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Decent Working Hours
- Special Protection for Young Workers
- Fair Remuneration
- No Child Labour
- No Bonded Labour
- Ethical Business Behaviour
- Protection of the Environment
- No Precarious Employment
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