This past Monday was Earth Day and I thought it would be cool to open up discussion around the clothing industry. This blog post by Erin Snyder of carbon neutral clothing company, Wildlife Works, is very close to my heart. Though I appreciate fashion for its aesthetics and comfort, I don’t take them too seriously– after all, it is just clothes at the end of the day. Over the years through my teaching and practicing, I have witnessed an evolution of yoga fashion from wearing anything that you didn’t mind sweating or rolling around in, to today where a classroom is full of yogis clad in the latest technical spandex to support your yoga practice. I drank the yoga kool-aid and appreciate many of the yoga clothing out there. A clear perspective on ethics and personal values keep my eyes ripe to the impact of the clothing industry… the yamas and the niyamas come to mind. In particular, ahimsa- not harming. Clothing manufacturing has a very elaborate process and is very harmful to the environment and the people who live where clothing is manufactured. I do care about what materials the clothing is made from, where it comes from, and who made it. On that same note, yoga clothing, and clothing in general are part of our lives… that is unless you are down with going in the buff. 🙂 We can empower ourselves with information and ask questions of where our gear comes from, how its made, and better yet, do we even need it? Hopefully Erin’s post will shed some light on the fashion industry and also inspire you to make some positive choices.
Everyday is Earth Day! Om shanti! Om peace out…
Carbon Neutral Fashion, by Erin Snyder
Every single time you spend your hard-earned dollars, you’re casting a vote of approval. To most companies, profits speak louder than words, and as long as the profits keep rolling in the company will continue doing what they’ve always done. Ever hear of the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? When you engage in consumerism, you’re telling a business that what they’re currently doing ain’t broke.
But what if it is broke? What if that shirt you just scored at the mall for $10 comes at a higher price? Some companies use poor labor conditions and sweatshops to keep costs down. Some use unsustainable production methods that leave the local rivers stained, the air filled with smog and puts the health of the planet at jeopardy.
Fortunately, not all companies do this. By purchasing fair trade apparel made ethically from organic materials, you can rest assured that your clothing wasn’t made at the expense of another human’s well being. After all, isn’t that the point of life? We’re all travelling together on this big, complex, crazy planet for a short amount of time. If we have the power to lessen the suffering of another, why wouldn’t we do it?
Let’s take it one step farther, and use our consumer dollars to purchase from companies that are carbon-neutral. Everything from driving a car to drinking from a plastic bottle is responsible for the greenhouse gases that are damaging the planet we call home. By protecting acres and acres of CO2-gobbling forests, giving the people who live in these forests sustainable eco-friendly jobs, and keeping our own company 100% carbon-neutral, we are attempting to balance the immense amount of carbon consumed by human beings on a regular basis.
By reducing our own carbon footprints, purchasing products from carbon-neutral companies and supporting the United Nations’ strategy to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) we can make our consumer dollars count toward the protection of the planet. Happy Earth Day everyone!
Want to know more?
Find out exactly how Wildlife Works’ carbon-neutral supply chain works here.
Find out more about Wildlife Works’ specific brand of REDD+ here.
Shop for sustainable, carbon-neutral products here.