Yoga Leggings Made From Recycled Water Bottles

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Yoga Democracy, The Ethical Yoga Wear Company™, is committed to introducing sustainable and ethical US-made sportswear using recycled fibers and zero-water dyeing.

American brand Yoga Democracy has launched their maiden collection of yoga wear, including leggings made from recycled water bottles. The brand, founded by Natalie Oldroyd, features unique, colorful prints, and fabric dyed in-house using a zero-water method that produces fade-resistant, no-bleed, fully-saturated color.

The brand’s mission is to bring ethical, high-quality yoga wear to consumers worldwide while developing in-house prints and working with independent artists to promote sustainable apparel manufacturing. All of the company’s garments are sewn in San Diego with fabric sourced from only responsible fabric manufacturers. As part of its commitment to recycled fibers, by spring 2015, 90% of the company’s fabric consumption will be recycled fibers, including recycled polyester and nylon made from discarded carpets and fishing nets.  The company has also committed to donating 10% of its net profit to environmental charities worldwide.

Yoga Democracy began its prototype development in the summer of 2014 driven by Ms. Oldroyd’s belief that an entire range of sportswear could be built around recycled fibers. Several months of fabric-sourcing and development led to the creation of a range of leggings made entirely from recycled polyester.


As a further commitment to eco-friendly apparel manufacturing, Yoga Democracy took the decision to in-house dye all of its fabrics in fall 2014, ensuring consistent, high-quality printing. The only inputs to the company’s dyeing process are paper, all of which are recycled after use, and non-toxic dyes. The dyeing process used by Yoga Democracy requires no water – this is unlike traditional dyeing methods which require large quantities of water and an energy intensive treatment process before the water can be re-introduced back into the environment or re-used for industrial purposes.

Concerned about poor environmental standards in Chinese textile manufacturing, Yoga Democracy uses only European and US fabrics. According to the World Bank, the textile industry is second only to agriculture, contributing 20% of the world’s water pollution. While most of the water-use attributed to textile production is related to cotton, the use of nylon also has its own set of challenges.

Milling nylon requires the use of adipic acid, and nitrous oxide is a significant by-product in this chemical’s production. Rising global nitrous oxide levels are one of the fastest growing sources of ozone layer degradation. China’s rapidly growing nitrous oxide emissions have been attributed in part to rising global demand for nylon. China accounts for two-thirds of global nylon production.


Yoga Democracy has overcome this challenge by sourcing an Italian-milled, recycled nylon which is not only extremely compressive but 100% opaque. This fabric contains 65% recycled polyamide, generated from post-consumer product including carpets and fishing nets, and will be introduced in its spring 2015 collection.


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