Updated: Jun 25, 2020
When it comes to sustainability and Yoga clothes, it is important to make the right choices on clothes which make you feel comfortable and pure during your practice and therefore support you in finding your inner peace. Making the right choice for you and the planet.
More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Just washing them can pollute the oceans and our water supplies.
The Clothing Industry is one of the major polluting industries in the world. Some of the causes of this pollution are the vast overproduction of fashion items, the use of synthetic fibers and agricultural pollution from fashion crops see more on Wikipedia This is why each and everyone is urged to make better decisions not only for themselves but as well for the planet. There are many different factors which contribute to the environmental impact of every piece of clothing you have in your closet. These factors mainly consist of:
Water and energy used to produce the fabric
Where it is manufactured (Production standards and environmental laws)
How much the biodiversity is affected by the production (deforestation for resources).
To make a wise decision of the fabrics "Fashion for Good" recommends to use the "Five Goods" concepts which take into account the general sustainability from production to consumer of each product. The Five Goods are:
Good Materials – safe, healthy and designed for reuse and recycling
Good Economy – growing, circular, shared and benefiting everyone
Good Energy – renewable and clean
Good Water – clean and available to all
Good Lives – living and working conditions that are fair, safe and dignified But its not that easy... Read on to get a good overview of each subject.
It is always worth exploring alternative brands which are passionated about sustainability and have strong policies about how they approach the environmental issues within the clothing industry. Today we are lucky; we have already many companies that are dedicated to a more sustainable way of fashion. Nevertheless there is no way around changing the way we consume, we only have one planet and we should work hard to keep it in good shape for the short period we are living on it.
While our ancestors have been around for about six million years, the modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago. Civilization as we know it is only about 6,000 years old, and industrialization started in the earnest only in the 1800s. While we’ve accomplished much in that short time, it also shows our responsibility as caretakers for the only planet we live on right now. Source
The earth is about 4.543 billion years old. Which means Humanity has not even been around 1% of the Planets life.
Fabric overview and their features.
Cotton Cotton is a natural fibre that can biodegrade or be recycled at the end of its lifespan which is certainly good for the planet. However it is also one of the most enviromentally depending crops because of its high usage of water and pesticides. It is used in about ~33% of all apparel from the global textile indrustry. Organic Certified Cotton is a alternative to conventional cotton. It uses less water and the use of pesticides from synthetic sources is prohibited.
Tencel Is a brand name for a Lyocell(Modal) type of fabric marketed by the Austrian Company Lenzing AG. As cotton and viscose Tencel are made from natural fibers and can therefore be biodegraded and as well recycled. It also uses less energy and water in the production then its counterparts. According to Lenzing, the wood sources to produce Tencel is from certified sustainable plantations (mainly beech wood from forests in Austria and neighboring countries source).
The solvents used to turn the wood pulp into fibre are made using petrochemicals. However the closed loop production process, means that the solvent is recycled over and over again to produce new fibres and minimise harmful waste. According to Lenzing Group the solvent recovery rate is 99%.
Tencel is a good alternative for activewear because it is breathable, absorbs moisture (~50% more than cotton) and is soft on the skin. It also inhabits bacterial growth naturally, is antifungal and has a low allergy risk. Furthermore, there is REFIBRA™ from Lenzing, which is Tencel made from cotton production residues, which saves resources.
Synthetics (Polyester, Nylon and Acrylic) Today almost all synthetic fibers are made from Petroleum (petrochemicals). The global fashion industry uses about 60% synthetic fibers (polyester accounts for 55%), the production of these fibers uses no agricultural land and only little water, but it still has a big negative impact on the enviroment. The fibers are not biodegradable and the extraction of oil leads to massive environmental problems that you are probably aware of. Also, there is a huge problem with micro- and nanoplastic that arises when washing and using your clothes. more on that here: https://www.oceancleanwash.org/ https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749117309387 https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2018/9/19/17800654/clothes-plastic-pollution-polyester-washing-machine Furthermore, some synthetic fibers can leak toxic gases because they are treatet in wrinkle-free, fire-resistence, waterproof, stain-proof and their overall production, allthough they can be recycled, this is usually a difficult process.
Rayon / Viscose
Is made from wood-pulp (cellulose) which is chemically converted into fibers. What sounds good at first glance is more harmful in the end. The chemicals can be absorbed by your skin, as also harm workers and communitys in and around the factory. The wood often comes from unsustainable forestry.
Like other synthetic fibers Nylon is made of petroleum and hosts similar problems in terms of chemical leakage. It is often used in underwear and socks but it is known that it does not absorb sweat well.
Elastan / Spandex / Lycra
Is as well a synthetic fiber and mainly known for its elasticity. Like the other synthetic fibers it is mainly made of petroleum. (can be recycled or made from cornstarch) It is widly used in swimwear, active- and sportswear and bodythight clothing. With all the side effects of synthetic fibers we need to mention that "Elastan" is used as "additive" and often accounts for only a few % of the total content. It also ensures that your clothes stay in shape longer and therefor helping to consume less. That is a good thing. Nerverthless, it has the same problems in production as the use of chemicals and high energy requirement.
The industry is constantly on the move and there are some Recycled elastic fiber labled as "Lycra eco mod" or "Eco Lycra" but they are still NOT biodegradable.
Because the world is not (yet) perfect, we still have to make sacrifices.
But you can choose what is best for you and the planet. In the long run, YOUR choice will make the difference. For this reason, we have decided to promote sustainable, fair and ethically correct yoga clothing - see our collection here. Soon we will doing a follow-up for Yoga-Mats Stay tuned. #yogawear #yogaclothing #mandala #yogiupyourlife #fabrics #powerofprana #yoga #yogaeveryday #yogaislife Although all of the informations has been carefully checked. There may be incorrect information might be fault information and you should always do your own research.