Yoga Democracy: Q&A With the Founder of This Ethical Yoga Wear Company

Ever wonder how cool clothing is made from recycled materials? We did too!  We sat down with Natalie Oldroyd, the founder of eco-friendly athletic wear company Yoga Democracy, to understand more about how this process works.  

Q: Tell us more about the creation of the Yoga Democracy brand?  How did you get started?

A: I started out blogging on issues related to sustainable clothing manufacturing before launching the company.  The idea behind Yoga Democracy was to find a safer way of making clothing that didn’t compromise on quality, style or ethics.

Q: We love the message of an “Ethical Yoga Wear” brand.  What steps do you take to achieve this status?

A: We source eco-friendly fabrics made from things like recycled plastic bottles and used fishing nets. We’ve also added recycled nylon to our line-up this summer. We dye our leggings in-house using a zero-water, non-toxic method and sew in California. We also donate 10% of our profits to environmental causes. Despite these steps we have never had to make any sacrifices to quality or style. The aim at YD is to create a company that puts ethics at the heart from the very beginning.

Q: Tell us more about making clothing from recycled plastic materials. We are so impressed!

A: I love to talk about this! The fiber used to spin the yarn for our leggings has been independently certified as post-consumer in origin. The fabric for our leggings for instance takes half the energy to produce as standard polyester. That means less CO2 and cleaner air. The process itself is not water intensive either which is a key issue in textile production. The textile industry is the world’s 3rd largest consumer and polluter of water.  I don’t think this is a well-known fact.

When we receive our recycled polyester it is white. We effectively print our designs on the fabric using an eco-friendly process. Our colors never bleed in the wash and don’t fade with normal wash/wear. It’s exciting to see it take shape at our workshop. The recycled nylon we’ve introduced recently is also really exciting. The fabric is made from fibers such as ‘fluff’ (the tops of carpets) and from used fishing nets. So in effect in a YD outfit you’re wearing plastic bottles and fishing nets! But once customers feel the quality of the fabric they could care less! Our fabrics are chosen for their eco-friendly credentials but also for their quality and texture.

Q: Your motto “Big Steps Towards a Small Footprint” really inspires us. Who do you turn to for inspiration – fitness, business, or otherwise?

A: I’d take Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal for her business style and I’d take the countless community activists who push for better recycling programs and challenge businesses on how they treat their communities and the earth.

Q: Now that we absolutely need a pair of Yoga Democracy leggings, where are the best places to shop for the brand?

A: Web shop open 24/7 at www.yogademocracy.com!

Yoga Democracy: Q&A With the Founder of This Ethical Yoga Wear Company