It’s a sad reality that 90% of all yoga pants/leggings sold in North America – and likely the world – are made from synthetic fibers. As is explored further in our article on the Environmental Impact of Yoga Clothes, conventional synthetic fibers take massive amounts of energy and chemicals to produce, and damage the environment during each phase of their lifecycle. Conventional synthetics are part of what makes the textile industry one of the most polluting in the world, and yoga clothes are contributing to the problem in a big way, with 83 million items sold yearly in the US alone. The good news is that eco-friendly yoga pants and shorts for women and men are now more available than ever. Gone are the days when going sustainable meant paying a fortune and compromising on functionality and style. Many companies are producing eco-friendly products that won’t break the bank and often out-perform their synthetic competitors, and we have written this article to help you find them! Over the last few months, we’ve been testing more sustainable alternatives to conventional yoga pants and have come up with a list of companies and products we think you would like to check out. Below, you will find brief company descriptions of the growing list of seven companies we recommend based on their eco-friendly yoga pants and leggings, along with featured men’s and women’s yoga pants that we have personally tested and feel good about endorsing to our fellow yogis. To help you make an educated decision, we provide a breakdown of each product based on style, comfort, material, country of manufacture, and affordability.
Prana Vida is a Canadian-made, women run and eco-friendly comfort apparel line. It was created in 2013 by Winnipeg yoga instructor and mom Amelia Barnes who saw a need for ethical and environmentally conscious clothing that would fit comfortably throughout maternity, postpartum and beyond. Prana Vida leggings are made with Lenzing Tencel from eucalyptus, which utilizes a closed loop zero-waste processing system, blended with GOTS certified organic cotton. Main Features We Like
Prana Vida is one of our favorites because of the great sustainable fabrics they use, but equal to that they get gold stars in our books for great style and amazing comfort. As other reviews on their website attest, the Euphoria fleece-lined leggings are some of the coziest and softest we’ve tried, and they have a great array of colours to choose from for all of their leggings. Top marks from us is the fact that the Euphoria leggings are not at all see-through – a feature that can be hard to find in many natural fibers. The Breeze leggings are a lighter, breathable medium- weight option that come in a ⅞ length that are perfect for warmer climates of hotter yoga. Both leggings are a great design with a high, yet comfy waist that offers good coverage, and thoughtful features such as their diamond gusset and flatlock stitching means no camel toe, ladies! Cons or Things to Consider After days in a row of wearing the Euphoria leggings (I didn’t want to take them off they were so cozy!) I did find they stretched out a little – so as recommended on their site, it might be wise to consider sizing down with this stretchy fabric. They are nice and stretchy so if you are after a tighter fabric to keep your tummy tucked, this might not be the best for you, though the comfort really can’t be beat. The fleece-lining is amazing, however, it is quite warm, so likely not the best for warmer climates or practices. The lighter Breeze leggings are a tiny bit see-through when doing forward-folds, so if this is a concern, you might want to stick with the Euphoria leggings.
Icebreaker is a Global Leader in Natural Performance Apparel. Since inception, sustainability has been at Icebreaker’s core,sourcing top quality renewable merino fiber direct from New Zealand farmers and creating premium apparel for consumers within the outdoor, training and lifestyle channels. This is where the company’s ethos begins and leads to its complete Transparency of ethical processes – please check out “Our Story” for more information about Icebreaker’s commitment to transparency and sustainability. Main Features We Like The first time I discovered the moisture-wicking, odor-suppressing, thermal-regulating magic of Icebreaker’s superfine merino wool on a long hiking trip, I never looked back. We love Icebreaker for their values and commitment to helping to move the needle on sustainability and transparency in the active apparel industry. On top of all that, they make incredible, high quality clothes that are made to last (I have classic Icebreaker pieces that are over 10 years old and still holding strong.) Hip hip hooray for Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite fabric which combines two natural performance fibers – merino wool and TENCEL – for a breathable, soft and cooler option than straight-up merino. We love the weight of this lightweight fabric – it keeps you cooler in hotter conditions while still being stretchy, odor-resistant and comfy. Though not technically part of this review, Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite tank tops and Cool-Lite t-shirts are a perfect complement to these or other yoga pants. We tested Icebreaker’s Women’s Solace Yoga Leggings because of the higher natural fiber content, compared to some of Icebreaker’s other performance tights and leggings. They are a good, versatile basic slim-fitting legging that provides all the benefits of merino wool mentioned above. We liked the amount of stretch and gusseted design. If you are after super cozy, warm and breathable sweat pants for a restorative or gentle practice, Icebreaker’s Men’s and Women’s TABI RealFLEECE® Sweat Pants are divine. Soft on the inside, with a smooth, resilient feel on the outside, they have great stretch for yoga. The pleated front panel and back pockets make these pants a stylish option to throw on to keep warm after class. Cons or Things to Consider Icebreaker’s Women’s Solace Yoga Leggings are a pretty basic legging so if you are looking for more technical yoga pants, you might want to check out some of Icebreaker’s other options. Despite the “no itch” claims, I found these slightly itchy, though imagine this would lessen with washing over time. The Icebreaker Women’s Cool-Lite™ Momentum 3Q Pants are on the more relaxed, looser-fitting side, so may work best for layering up or pre/post yoga, depending on the look you are after. If you are looking for slimmer fitting pants or leggings, keep an eye on Icebreaker’s latest options in the Cool-lite fabric. While merino wool is known to be thermo-regulating, Icebreaker’s Women’s TABI RealFLEECE® Sweat Pant are definitely on the warm side, so not ideal for all types of yoga. The legs are also a tad on the short side, so might be a consideration for taller yogis.