Sustainable Yoga Brand in AZ
Did you know that there is a fresh, sustainable yoga brand made right here in AZ? I met with the founder of Yoga Democracy and here is what I learned.
Natalie Oldroyd started Yoga Democracy and launched her business in 2015. Yoga Democracy is a sustainable yoga brand that incorporates the following sustainable practices:
- manufacturing is sweatshop free
- giving back 10% of profits to the community
- clothes are made from recycled materials, and
- everything is made in the USA (only the fabric comes from Italy).
The material is sourced from polyester made from recycled water bottles and from recycled nylon called Econyl®. Other than cutting the fabric pieces, everything is completed in this workshop including the unique designs that Natalie creates herself. The designs are printed on paper patterns in house and are transferred to the fabric pieces with a sublimation machine. However, very soon, they will be moving the fabric cutting to AZ. Her workshop is in Carefree, AZ conveniently 30 minutes north of where I live. So I went to meet her and talk about the business.
Sustainable Yoga Brand
I asked her more about the sustainability principles she incorporates. The most important decision was that the fabric had to be “right” and that means high quality because otherwise the “eco-friendliness” doesn’t matter. The clothes are made from 95% recycled material; the lining is not sourced from recycled material because it’s not available. The fabric is surprisingly soft and they also reverse the seam (see photo below). So what this means that the rough side of the seam is on the outside of the garment rather than the inside against your skin. I also saw thefirst pair made from the recycled nylon (see photo). You can read more about why fabric choices matter.
There is a lack of manufacturing in the U.S. let alone in Phoenix. Natalie and her team taught themselves how to use some of the complex machines needed to produce the garments. Finding skilled employees such as pattern makers and seamstresses was a challenge. Secondly, they try to educate their consumers about the price point and why it matters. I think it’s important to consider that one pair of these high quality yoga leggings will likely outlast something you can pick up at Target. Remember when shopping to consider the “price per wear” and while initially a garment may seem more expensive, the more you wear it (and the longer it lasts), the lower the price per wear.
To learn more about Yoga Democracy:
Review of Yoga Democracy leggings by EcoCult.
Article by Natalie on five things she wish she had known before starting a sustainable business.
Shop Yoga Democracy online.
For more sustainable brands based in Phoenix and Arizona visit my Sustainable Style Resources page!
Note: Please know that I was not asked to endorse or mention this brand or any of the products in this post. All opinions here are my own.