The new age yogi is not only raising the vibratory frequency of the physical body through the practice of yoga and meditation, but is also fashionable, health conscious, and aware of the sustainability of his or her actions on this planet. With self-awareness and self-improvement as the focus, how can the clothing we choose to wear impact our health, environment, and the wellbeing of our brothers and sisters around the globe? To truly walk the walk on the journey to self-illumination, there must be consciousness in every aspect of our lives. Fashion is no different. How does one look good, feel good, and live sustainably in a high speed, mass-producing, offshore manufacturing world? The answer is simple because simplicity is divinity.
Toxins are absorbed through the skin, which is the largest organ in the body. The skin’s major job is to release toxins, about one pound per day, to help the organs function at their highest capacity. Petrochemical fibers suffocate the skin and do not allow it to release what the body doesn’t need. This just adds to the toxins that the body is doing it’s best to get rid of each day. Did you know that wearing the traditional brands of yoga attire made from spandex, lycra, polyester, and nylon can carry bacteria that causes various diseases, yeast infections, fungus, skin irritations, nausea, fatigue, headaches, negative effects on the glandular system and the hormones, and can even lead to infertility? Not to mention the effects the chemicals in these materials have on the environment, the way they are produced, and the injustices they support due to mass production.
Enough about the problem… what is the solution? All natural fibers and materials are the answer to all of these issues. Clothing made from organic cotton, bamboo, soy, and hemp can offer beauty, non-toxicity, and sustainability.
Organic cotton is a great alternative to regular cotton, which uses an abundance of pesticides and a large amount of water to produce. Organic cotton still uses a lot of water, but because it is all natural, it does not need chemicals to convert it into the fabric that we wear. This material is the second strongest natural fiber and takes dye well, so you can find it in a variety of colors. It is also very easy to find organic cotton that is fair-trade, helping our offshore brothers and sisters and the integrity of treating people fairly for their services.
Bamboo is one of the fastest growing grasses in the world. It is also grown without pesticides and with very little water. It is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, super absorbent, dries fast, and is thermally regulating, helping to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
One of the Earth’s most renewable natural resources is hemp. Across the board, hemp is the material that is in the highest integrity in regards to health and sustainability. Hemp can be used as sustainable clothing as well as food, shelter, industrial material, paper, and so much more. It is the earliest known woven fabric, dating all the way back to 8,000 – 7,000 BC. This amazing material is acid-free and can withstand heat, mildew, insects, and cannot be damaged by light. It is grown without pesticides or herbicides, is easy on the soil, high yielding, very inexpensive, durable, and can grow just about everywhere. It produces more fiber per acre than trees, cotton, or flax (linen). Hemp also needs about half of the amount of water to grow compared to organic cotton, and it grows 200%-250% more fiber in the same amount of land. Hemp material breathes well and is known to absorb and release perspiration quickly. It is anti-microbial and resistant to mold and mildew, comfortable to wear in both winter and summer, UV resistant, durable, and wears well. It also absorbs dye easily and retains color well. You will never have to take your hemp clothing to the dry cleaners, as it holds up to repeated washings and gets softer the more it is washed and worn.
Life is about balance. We have to live the middle path, and that means shifting our wardrobes over time. Since we are karmically responsible for everything we say and do, it is important to be in alignment with our truth. It is one thing to hide your head in the sand and pretend that these issues do not exist, and another thing to educate yourself and act accordingly. This is the beauty of free will. May we choose to spend our energy in the most conscious ways and truly align our will to the highest will – and in the process, look and feel our best in order to spread the yogic philosophy of oneness, love, peace, and light.