Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Green Workout Wear

Green Workout Wear That Goes The Distance

written by Rachel @

Yes, we work out to feel good. For some of us, it’s the bells and whistles of the gym. For others, it’s accessing the exuberance of dance. Swimmers meditate through movement; runners through the heart-racing euphoria of the sprint. And, of course, there’s always the deep calm of muscle melting yoga to get you to an all-day high.

But we also work out to look good and—let’s be honest—we want to look good while we’re doing it. Because there’s nothing worse than showing up for class in your grubby old leggings and realizing your regular instructor has been replaced with the sub who’s a dead ringer for Colin Farrell.

These clothes and accessories are all crafted from eco-friendly fabrics—some embracing fair trade, upcycling or other sustainable initiatives—with designs that perform as good as they look. Because the last thing you want is your gear distracting you from your practice.

Getting all hot and bothered by the sight of said yoga teacher in a side arm balance? That’s the kind of distraction we live for.

Here’s something you don’t learn every day: Though it tastes great on your pasta, the immense quantities of salt used in the commercial fabric-dyeing process can cause irreversible harm to our ecosystems. That’s why Earth Creations’ clay-dyeing process is so cool: All components used in the process are natural and biodegradable, and meet the strict guidelines of the Organic Trade Association Fiber standards. Roll up or fold down the waistband of their Dharma Pants and you can practice anywhere like, say, a deserted meadow with just a cameraman for company.

Beloved by “barefoot” runners and water sports enthusiasts who need their feet wet but still protected, kigos weigh less than five ounces and feature a flexible midsole, which allows the shoes to fold closed—a bonus for travelers. Featuring a high-density, non-slip grooved outsole made from recycled plastic and a recycled-nylon lining, and they’re packaged in biodegradable and compostable materials. Rope swing not included.

Walk much? Serious trekkers look for the perfect pants: Not so short that they ride up and chafe; not so long that they flap around your ankles. With a perfect, calf-skinning length and wide, smooth waistband, Horny Toad’s Trudy Cropped Pants—made from high-performance, low-environmental-impact Tencel—might just be the answer.

Early morning running is a funny thing. For the first fifteen minutes, everything from your ears to your fingertips is freezing, but once you warm up, all you want to do is strip down. That’s where the Lightbeam jacket comes in. Designed by legendary eco-clothier Nau—each and every piece of clothing they make is recyclable—the Lightbeam is a windshell with purpose. Crafted from water resistant, breathable, quick-dry recycled post-industrial polyester with a stashable hood and elastic cuffs long enough to tuck frigid fingers inside, the Lightbeam keeps out the cold when you need it, but is light enough to wrap around your waist when you don’t.

Think hemp’s rough and tumble? Think again. Be Present’s new Hemp line is ridiculously soft, sheer and sexy. The peek-a-boo Cross Back Tee is the perfect cover up for yoga—flip it around and you can even wear it to the beach. Plus, hemp is a naturally insect-resistant, anti-microbial crop that requires no herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers to produce. If the 1.4 billion cotton t-shirts sold in American each year were replaced with hemp tees, the energy savings would equal 3.5 billion gigajoules and the water savings would equal 1.3 trillion gallons—enough water for half the U.S. population for an entire year. That’s a lottawatta.

We love soymilk in our lattes, but on our bodies? Indeed. Designer Patricia King-Davies’ PKD Spa line captures protein from the discarded non-GMO soy “cakes” left once the oil is extracted from soybeans, then spins it into fiber for yarns without any toxic chemicals or bleach. The resulting fabric is so soft and supple, it begs for shavasana.

For more eco-workout insights, visit EcoStiletto's Fashion section...
Now, get moving!

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