I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to find sustainable yoga wear or any kind of sportswear that is of good quality and has some sort of eco ethos.
During lockdown I have been practicing yoga in my old leggings with holes in, sometimes in my boyfriend’s pants, my pajamas, basically anything I can grab. It’s been quite comfy and convenient, to be honest. But, since the gyms and yoga studios are soon to be open again, I think I need to step it up a notch.
First up I wanted to share with you some eco-friendly Yoga Mats! This might not be something you have even thought about before, but… have you ever noticed the toxic smell coming from your yoga mat? A few years ago, I invested in an eco-friendly yoga mat, and here is why, around a year before I went into hospital and was diagnosed with a brain condition, I started to become really sensitive to toxic smells (which randomly is a symptom) especially to things like, glues, paint, air freshener, even the smell of a new carpet. I also really hated the smell of my yoga mat, which smelt synthetic and toxic. So I did some research and found out that…
What are VOCs and PAHs?
Chemicals such as volatile oil compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are emitted as a breathable gas from PVC yoga mats, as well as from carpets, furnishings, paint, cleaning supplies, printer ink, and other household products. In a nutshell, these chemicals can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness, nasal irritation, allergic reactions, neurological problems, liver and kidney damage, cancer, and possibly even fertility problems and miscarriage.
Ok and if that wasn’t enough, anyone who loves hot yoga, should definitely think about switching to a more sustainable yoga mat… eeeek! (Read Below)
The ‘yoga mat chemical’, AKA azodicarbonamide
Now known colloquially as the ‘yoga mat chemical’, azodicarbonamide (ADA) is a synthetic chemical with a crystalline structure at room temperature and a yellow-orange color. It is predominantly used in the rubber and plastic industries as a chemical foaming agent. When it is mixed into polymer plastic gel it creates tiny gas bubbles, resulting in PVC, polyolefins, and natural and synthetic rubbers that are strong, light, spongy, and malleable.
ADA is also used in beer-making processes and is added to cereal flour for its whitening effect and to bread flour to remove the need for traditional proofing where natural yeast is used to make bread rise. As such, many fast food restaurants and bakeries make bread and other baked goods with ADA.When heated, ADA releases carcinogens including ethyl carbamate (R), with the chemical linked to DNA damage and an increased risk of cancer (R). ADA has also been linked to immunosuppression (R).
So basically when I was on my Yoga mat getting all Zen and trying to do something good for my body, I was actually poisoning it at the same time, great! But fear not, here are a few yoga mat options that are safer for you and better for the environment.
Yoga Mat Ideas
Sustainable Sports Bras
Then I have the struggle to find supportive and good quality sports bras and tops! I often find that these can often seem a bit steep in price, but buying a good quality item that is made ethically is much better than buying something cheaper items that lose its elasticity and then get tossed away. The selection I have pulled together is made from either Organic Cotton or Recycled Materials.
My latest excitement is that I have recently discovered these guys Perky Peach and I love their leggings, they are super comfortable and they are made either organic or recycled PET.
Here is what they say about some of the fabrics they use …
rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) It is made from re-formed polymers gathered from post-consumer plastic bottles or post-industrial manufacturing packaging. rPET consumes less energy than producing virgin polyester and keeps bottles and other plastics out of the landfills. Unlike natural fibers, polyester is exceptionally durable. It also resists stretching, shrinking, and does not wrinkle. It is easy to wash, dries fast, needs no ironing, and keeps its shape. Sweat evaporates through the garment because of its low level of absorption. Specific functions can be added to the fiber directly during the extruding process, giving the garment targeted purposes such as sweat-wicking, anti-crease finish, or anti-bacterial properties. Recycled polyester is comfortable, functional, and sustainable.
Hope you have enjoyed some of these Sustainable Yoga options! If you’re interested in joining yoga classes online I’d recommend checking out these guys at https://www.letsbreathehappy.com/.