Asana with prAna

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In life before writing (now) I sat in an office from 8.30am to 6pm (ok, 10pm let’s be honest) working for a corporate sustainability consulting company. Whilst many think of lifting heavy boxes, crouching under other people’s armpits on the subway or crawling around after small children as back-breaking, sitting hunched over a computer for 10+ hours a day, 5 days a week is actually one of the worst offenders. I had terrible issues, I was seeing an osteopath on a regular basis and experiencing cracks in places that definitely shouldn’t crack when I finally stood up at the end of the day.

Then, someone recommended yoga. “Just do it at home!” they said. Prior to this, and for some of the aforementioned reasons, I wasn’t much of a gym bunny so naturally I had to get an entire new outfit and that’s when I discovered prAna. As a sustainability geek through and through, I always look for a sustainable option when shopping, especially with apparel, so when I came across prAna and read about all their sustainability initiatives, I was sold. Here, I discovered not only yoga but a whole host of lifestyle tips through their “Stories” features and a collection of completely sustainable activewear.

prAna make versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. Behind the brand are people who are doers and makers whose life experiences filter into their products meaning they’re road-tested before they’re even on the shelf. Their extensive list of sustainable materials include:

Organic Cotton: Contrary to conventional cotton, organic cotton replenishes and maintains soil fertility, has a reduced use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and builds biologically diverse agriculture.

Recycled Wool: prAna’s wool comes from old garments and the cuttings from new garments and is processed down into fibres at an environmentally-friendly facility in Italy. This is actually a process that dates back hundreds of years and can continue for recycling your already-recycled garment at the end of its life.

Hemp: Hemp (grown in China thanks to the ban in the US), is a pretty organic plant in its own right, thanks to its existing natural qualities hemp doesn’t require any chemical pesticides or fertilizers, which makes it’s safer for the farmers that grow it as well as the land it’s grown on. It also keeps the soil arable meaning farmers can plant crops for several consecutive years.

Recycled Polyester: Recycled polyester is a more eco-friendly alternative to virgin polyester as it is made of only recycled material. Using recycled materials means there is lower energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and water used in the manufacturing process.

Responsible Down: Since the Fall 2016 collections, prAna have been working with the Responsible Down Standard to ensure that all their garments using down are sustainable and ethical. This standard means that there has been no plucking, no force feeding, humane treatment is continued from hatching to end of life and that all processes have been audited by a 3rd party to ensure valid certification.

Alongside the use of sustainable materials prAna partner with companies, factories and associations that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy. With partnerships with the likes of bluesign®, Fair Trade and the Fair Labor Association they are continually maintaining the founding values of the company. Thanks to their commitment to sustainability, prAna are able to make the beautiful and functional products that we all love, in a way that we can all feel good about.

Now, what to buy? If you’re not sure where to start with the super sustainable apparel here’s my top picks from their latest collection:

Yoga wear

The Delicate Tank: soft and comfortable, made with heather performance fabric, this top is moisture wicking, has removable modesty cups and is bluesign® certified.

The Roxanne Capri pant: the dragonfly paradise is my favourite pattern, but these come in 5 different colours. Made of micropoly performance jersey these will give you all the stretch you need and also have a wide waistband for a more flattering appearance.

Swimwear

 Azora bikini top, in Aquamarine Rio pattern: multi-strap and fully lined, this bright and summery bikini top is also made from 78% Recycled Polyester / 22% XTRA-LIFE LYCRA®.

Lahari halter bikini, Dragonfly Fleur D’Amour pattern: Great moderate bust coverage for those with a larger bust (see our previous article on the best swimwear for your body shape for more tips) with fully adjustable halter and back wide ties. Like the rest of the collection, this bikini is also made from 78% Recycled Polyester / 22% XTRA-LIFE LYCRA®.

Casual

Beachside Dress: In pink or black this dress looks super cute, especially with the tie back. Made from an organic cotton recycled poly blend with a little bit of stretch this is the perfect dress for casual beachwear or a chilled evening dinner by the beach. This dress is also made in a FAIR TRADE FACTORY CERTIFIED™. Sustainable all round.

Nari Dress: This is a beautiful little piece for wearing on the beach, a popping to the shops in a seaside town, or out for dinner. This one is also made in a FAIR TRADE FACTORY CERTIFIED™ and made from 100% Lenzing Modal which is a botanic fibre.

Fashion has been part of our global culture for centuries, we use fashion to make ourselves and others look and feel good. This isn’t just a trend for women either, men’s fashion is bigger than ever before. The latest trend to hit retailers is the demand for more sustainable and ethical fashion. Consumers have an increased eco-awareness and are beginning to expect more transparency and sustainability in all products, not just fashion. This is hugely important, as one of the greatest challenges we face as a global community is to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle to ensure the planet, and it’s people are in a better place for future generations. Businesses like prAna who have built their business around sustainable and ethical values are hugely important for encouraging the fashion industry to make a change, and to allow consumers to be part of that change.

If you’d like to find out further information about prAna’s sustainability initiatives then you can read all about it on the dedicated Sustainability page of their website.