November 10, 2009

elephantjournal.com Review: Athleta Yoga Eco-Apparel.

Note: Athleta provided free items in exchange for guaranteed review. That said, we say what we think, that’s why readers bother to read our reviews, which is why companies want us to do reviews. ~ed.

Athleta, a yoga-clothing powerhouse consistently delivers inspiring silhouettes but is not well known for its eco-responsibility. So now is the test:

how environmentally responsible are Athleta’s clothes?

The first thing I noticed about the Athleta shipment was the size of the box: huge. Although they were generous in their shipment of reviewable winter yoga apparel, they were also liberal with their unrecyclable, uncompostable packaging. Naughty, Athleta!

Of the five items I received, only one of the plastic bags surrounding each garment was recyclable. To be honest, for a company owned by the likes of the Gap and Banana Republic, I was impressed that even one recyclable bag was swimming in the sea of unrecyclable materials.

In all fairness, the Gap and Banana Republic are sustainable companies in the sense that their core products are basics—items that are used and kept by consumers for the longest duration of time, thus contributing less to mass consumptions of fashionistas.

Okay, here’s the run-down of Athleta’s gorgeous goods:

Long-Sleeve Organic Cotton Senorita Dress in Very Berry & Asphalt ($79)

“Perfect over leggings or perfect on its own, the Organic Cotton Señorita Dress needs only a sweater layered over the top to make the perfect cool weather dress for cruising around town. Semi-fitted and made from stretch organic cotton, this 24-hour dress has a deep V-neck with gathering and a slight A-line shape”

Points for the organic material and double points for the killer silhouette. Athleta nailed the womanly design of this piece with emphasis around the ribcage and a length perfect for jeans and tights alike. The colors are really appropriate for fall and winter while the fabric feels great against my skin. From a morning yoga practice to a date at night, I plan on wearing this dress all winter.

Lodge Pants in Khakina ($79)

“The Lodge Pant has a boot-cut fit with a flattering flat front, an extended tab zip/snap closure, internal waist adjustment, two front mesh-lined jean style pockets, one right leg zip pocket, two back patch pockets, and Athleta chi logo rivets”

Polyester?! Wait, recycled polyester. Whew!

Unfortunately, the fabric of these pants reminds me of the “swishy” pants I wore as a child before soccer games. Neither warm, nor terribly comfortable, these pants sit in my “red zone” (the area between my natural waist and belly-button), which invariably leads to unnecessary wedgies. If you like your pants a little higher, however, these are a great choice.

Organic Cotton Rooted Top in Oregano and Espresso ($59)

“Your favorite organic cotton T-shirt just got even more personality, making it a must-have for your post-studio endeavors. Semi-fitted with a scoop neck, this top has raw edge seams at the cuffs and hem, a rib knit neck, and shirring at the sides and back for a flattering fit”

This shirt, like the dress mentioned above, it flattering to a woman’s body. Ruching and extra-long sleeves contour to my shapes while providing a cover-up for the gym or a base-layer while mountain biking. This is not a piece I would normally pick out, but it’s a nice addition to my workout and day-to-day wardrobe.

These clothes were made for active women who expect more out of their performance apparel. Although Athleta does not have all organic options, it does cater to a growing audience of eco-sensitive consumers.

For more information or for ordering, please visit the Athleta website.

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