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4 ways to make your fitness gear eco-friendly

Posted: 6:30 PM, Dec 17, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-18 10:13:49-05

With the deadline for New Year’s resolutions inching near, it’s safe to say that a lot of 2016 goals will revolve around working for a better mind, body and planet. You can't completely avoid making a negative impact on the environment, but these products at least make your workout more eco-friendly.

Shoes For A Healthier Planet

The unique look and feeling of toe-shoes might take some adjusting, but other than that The List’s Bradley Hasemeyer says that Vibram shoes are great!

"There isn't much EVA foam, if any in some cases," said Chris Melton, Sales and Distribution Director of Finished Goods for Vibram. “Certain styles, specifically the CVT hemp and wool, use organically sourced materials from the earth, rather than a synthetic nylon type of upper fabric, so those can decompose easier.”

Eco-Friendly Headphones

The headphone company thinksound uses wood, pvc-free cables and recycled packaging to reduce material waste. They also cut back by eliminating wire ties and plastic bubble inserts and they are thinking beyond the bag as well by offering a recycling reward program.

President, CEO and Engineer of the company, Aaron Fournier is passionate about making his products as environmentally sound as possible.

“The problem with many companies right now is that they just order any product from a factory in China without asking or checking on the sources of materials. I personally lived in China many years working on the production lines and building relationships with suppliers and factory workers," explains Fournier. "I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Audio Engineering which is an obvious asset to running an audio company. Living near the factories allowed me to see that it is very rare to see any company inspecting or checking their sources which can result in sometimes questionable sources of materials. Many companies try to pinch pennies by choosing the cheapest source and cheapest material without determining if they are from recycled materials or responsible sources. I am hoping the in the future every company will check their sources to make sure they are choosing responsible manufacturing techniques and sources. We use recycled materials wherever we are able to use them even if it means we pay more in manufacturing."

Environmentally Conscious Workout Wear

Natalie Oldroyd, Owner of Yoga Democracy, produces some of the most eco-friendly yoga pants on the market. First, Yoga Democracy uses fabrics made from post-consumer plastic. Second, they use a water-free dying process that utilizes heat and pressure to create their intricate, artistic designs.

Not using water reduces the amount of emissions their workshop produces and doesn’t produce waste water. Last, their entire process happens at one location. Even though the ship around the world (they are a hit in China) working from one workshop reduces the need for transportation, which lessens their overall carbon footprint.

Now, if you’re not into yoga pants (who isn’t though?) Oldroyd has tips for shopping eco-friendly.
• Synthetic fabrics: look for recycled polyester, recycled nylon and other recycled synthetics first.
• Natural fibers: Bamboo is a great alternative to cotton, if you are going to buy cotton opt for organic.
• Look for USA Made products. This helps reduce the carbon footprint in transport.
• Choose clothing sourced from fabrics that are dyed using responsible water management processes.

Sustainable Equipment

JadeYoga uses natural rubber and Life Factory produces quality glass water bottles.

“We make eco-friendly yoga mats and props and give back to the earth with every product sold.  In addition to being eco-friendly, Jade mats come in fun colors and have incredible grip and comfort," explains Dean Jerrehian of JadeYoga. "Jade mats are made sustainably with natural rubber tapped from rubber trees, a rapidly renewable resource and are made in the United States in compliance with all US environmental, labor and consumer protection laws. And, Jade plants a tree for every mat sold.   In fact, later this month we will be going over One Million trees sold."