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  • Ethical Fashion Part 2: Eco-Fashion for the Body


    Siddhasana / Siddha Yoni Asana in Green Apple Bamboo Sweats

    “Your skin is a massive respiration organ and has the tremendous responsibility of working with your sacred breath to keep you clean and pure.” -World Healing Academy 

    Every yoga practitioner has had that time when they wore the wrong outfit to Yoga - too loose, too tight, not breathable. Practice is distracting at best in the wrong clothes. Clothing has the power to shape any experience. It can make us feel attractive, inspired, even smarter, but not all clothing is created equal and what we choose to wear can either help or hurt our health. 

    Collectively, we have become aware of the importance of what we put into our bodies, in terms of how we eat and the toiletries and beauty products we use, but the quality of the clothing we wear slips our mind, despite countless hours of interaction. 

    Scientific studies that focus on the dark side of the fashion industry are rare, but available research confirms that the clothes we wear can get under our skin and cause health problems. That formaldehyde and other chemicals are harmful to our health seems obvious. Yet, many clothes have been marinated in chemicals known to cause illness and even death - including formaldehyde, pesticides, flame retardant, heavy metals and some dyes and glues. 

    While the reality seems dismal, moving in the direction of eco-conscious fashion is possible. Here are a few rules to live by when purchasing clothes: 

    1. Choose clothes made of plant-based fibers, such as organic cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp that contain natural dyes.
    2. Avoid clothes that must be washed separately or with special features, like “wrinkle-free” or “dirt-repellant.” 
    3. Buy vintage and used clothing.  Used clothing is more affordable and stripped of irritants from time and wear. 
    4. Connect with local, reputable retailers like Open Way Yoga for further ideas. 

    Most clothes contain toxins that we would never knowingly expose ourselves to, but because symptoms can be subtle, we willingly dress in them. Those with sensitive skin may experience a host of issues while standard medical tests suggest over and over that nothing is wrong. The solution may be within reach.

    We at Open Way Yoga want everyone to be able to afford to consider their health when considering their clothing, so we are dedicated to providing up-cycled items that are stripped of most irritants, in addition to top-notch, eco-conscious lines like Synergy, Green Apple and Manduka.  (These hyper-links take you driectly to each company's web-pages that describe their ethical practices.)

    We are here to open the way to a best yoga outfit that is as good for you as it is fashionable.

    by Elisabeth Sowecke

    Part 1 of 5:  Introduction to Ethical Fashion: What and Why
    Part 3 of 5:  Ethical Fashion Part 3:  Fashion for Humanity
    Part 4 of 5:  Ethical Fashion Part 4:  Fashion For the Environment