My yoga pants are causing pollution? Here’s what you need to know

Let’s be real: yoga pants are magical. They stretch with you as your body moves, they can keep you warm or cool as you exercise, and they can even wick away moisture. They do all this because they are synthetic—that is, they’re made out of artificial materials like nylon, rayon, acrylic, and spandex, most of which are plastic-based materials.

These materials are made in laboratories and used in clothing that is durable, versatile, and, according to the latest research, harmful to the environment. We’ve all seen the iconic images of “trash gyres” found in our oceans. But aren’t they made of plastic bottles and other large garbage? Microplastics are also found in plastic pollution.

What are microplastics?

It is defined as plastic particles that are smaller than 5 millimeters. Microplastics can be found in a variety of sources, including the beads that make up popular exfoliating lotions, pieces of broken-down plastic products, and even microfibers that come from synthetic clothing.

The last item on the list is the one that most often finds its way to the waterways. Poorly made clothes shed more fibers with each wash than garments of better quality. All synthetic clothing clears plastic into plumbing, wastewater, and, ultimately, our oceans.

It is not necessary to mention that our oceans have diverse, fragile, and precious ecosystems. Plastic pollutants, whether microscopic or visible, can have a negative impact on them, blocking the light needed by the organisms that are at the base of the food chain to produce energy. Also, larger organisms may eat plastic and suffer from malnutrition or poisoning, or they can become caught in it and be hindered, affecting their movement and, ultimately, their survival.

What can you do?

How can we reduce our pollution as yoga pants lovers who also care about the environment? Patagonia’s research on the subject states that both consumers and distributors need to “invest” in durable gear. These garments will not only shed less microplastic but also require you to purchase less throughout your yoga practice.

We can work together to create a world free of microplastics by purchasing clothing made with natural fibers such as hemp, silk, linen, cotton, and wool. Bamboo fiber, which is as comfortable and flexible as synthetic fiber, is increasingly being used in activewear. Patagonia and PrAna are two of the most popular natural fiber activewear brands. Nike is also a big player.

You can contribute to the health of the oceans by paying attention to the material listed on the clothing tags and perhaps investing a bit more in the price. This is just as satisfying if you don’t better than wearing yoga pants all day.

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *