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World Health Day & Eco Activewear

The Irony of Activewear

World Health Day 2017

The 2017 predictions for the health scene include skipping alcohol, investing in organic makeup and sipping “super health tonics” all in a bid to cleanse our bodies inside and out. So it seems slightly ironic that the very clothes we wear to sweat away toxins could actually be doing more harm than good. We break down the host of negative implications that workout fabric has on our bodies and the environment - all the more reason to invest in some non-toxic eco-activewear!

VYAYAMA crop top and leggings
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It turns out that activewear is one of our closet’s biggest sources of harsh toxins and chemicals. Public health advocates, including Greenpeace and European regulatory bodies that oversee chemical safety, are becoming increasingly concerned by evidence that shows a possible link between sportswear and health issues such as cancer, obesity and developmental disabilities.

 

While toxic chemicals are a longstanding issue in various types of apparel, sportswear presents a particular problem because sweat and friction can prompt more rapid absorption of toxins into the body (not to mention what goes into a product to make it sweat or stain-resistant to begin with). The list of nasties hiding in our favorite workout gear is mind-boggling: phthalates, PFCs, nanoparticle silver, and dimethylformamide, to name just a few. The high chemical concentration paired with the conditions in which they come into contact with our skin presents unknown consequences for our health.

 

Silou Sweatshirt
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Yoga Democracy Leggings
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"The high chemical concentration (in activewear) paired with the conditions in which they come into contact with our skin presents unknown consequences for our health."

Josephine leggings
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Despite such chemicals being linked to these diseases and health issues, brands are hastily reassuring us that their products carry no real risk. But can they be so certain when “athleisure” wear has become an acceptable everyday uniform?

 

Deciding to pull on those lush yoga leggings, for example, rather than a pair of stiff jeans is becoming the norm. This super-comfortable trend undoubtedly has it perks, but with our increasing daily exposure to activewear, perhaps it is time to start considering what the long-term effects could really be. Not just for us, but also for the planet. Both the production and end-of-life processes for activewear are harsh on the environment; commonly used materials such as polyester, rayon and nylon can take decades to break down. As they do, the chemicals they’re made from make their way into the land.

Information overload, I know. But no need to panic. The good news is that there is a host of brilliant brands that have made it their mission to make activewear without toxins. From Teeki’s playful leggings crafted from recycled water bottles, to elegant graphics printed with non-toxic dyes from yoga brand Vyayama, there are eco-activewear pieces to suit every personality and budget.

 

As a team of devoted yogis, we realised that it doesn’t make sense to be doing something that connects us to people and the planet while wearing clothing so at odds with both of those things. Our curated eco-activewear section addresses this problem specifically, with a range of beautiful, high-performing and ethical pieces.

 

Shop the collection of eco-activewear here for playful prints and colours that will inspire your next workout (without the nasties of regular gear!).