At Bodhi Surf, our operations depend greatly on having a healthy, aesthetically-pleasing natural environment. It is with this in mind that we make our business and personal decisions largely based on our environmental impact, and we admire and look up to others who do the same. Two such businesses are Patagonia and Prana. While there are many yoga and outdoor apparel companies, a number of which are doing great things, Patagonia and Prana are two prominent companies that as a business we look up to, and as individuals we support. Here’s why.
Patagonia: A Leader in Responsible Business
Patagonia has been at the forefront of shaping themselves into a responsible business for decades and they continue to be an example for the rest of us, whether they admit it or not:
We can’t pose Patagonia as the model of a responsible company. We don’t do everything a responsible company can do, nor does anyone else we know. But we can tell you how we came to realize our environmental and social responsibilities, and then began to act on them. Like other things in human life, it began with one step that led to another.
As a thought-leader in the industry, Patagonia continues to set the bar in corporate environmental responsibility; whether it be by utilizing less impactful materials (conventional cottons vs. organic cotton), promoting a culture of fixing what is broken (worn threads blog, ifixit partnership), establishing a closed-loop product cycle by taking back consumers’ old Patagonia gear for recycling, or promoting environmental activism amongst their consumers. These are all initiatives that we can admire, but greatest of all is the ability of a business to take responsibility for their mistake(s). A business is made up of imperfect human beings, and there is always room for individuals and businesses to improve upon their own journeys towards sustainability.
Patagonia Apparel at Bodhi Surf School
Each individual of the Bodhi Surf team own clothing items from the Patagonia brand. While not every Patagonia item we’ve owned has been the best product in the world, but we have some favorites due to functionality and/or longevity.
Travis’s wardrobe consists of 12 shirts (total!), a number of them are Patagonia, but his favorite is this Patagonia button-down shirt which he designates for meetings. Unless you are spending your days in an air-conditioned room or at the beach, it can be difficult to stay cool and avoid being sweaty throughout the day in Costa Rica’s tropical climate. Thanks to the breathable and quick-drying material, this Patagonia shirt is ideal for tropical climates, and is Travis preferred professional work attire.
As a full-time yoga instructor, Pilar puts her yoga attire to the test. She has found that on average, her yoga pants and tops last her around 2 years. While this may not seem very long, it’s to be noted that the local climate and exposure to sun and humidity can also affect the lifespan of clothing. However, Pilar’s favorite yoga top is a Patagonia top which she’s had for nearly three years and cites, “it still looks brand new and fits perfectly!”
However, the most highly functional and favorite item of Patagonia clothing in the family belongs to Maya Paz. Maya has been the proud owner of a Patagonia dress since she was two years-old, and she is now four! You may be wondering: how does a four year-old still fit into a dress that was her size when she was two?! This Patagonia dress was made with buttons to allow for the length of her dress to be adjusted. Long-lasting functionality at its best!
Prana: Fair Trade Certification Pioneer
Prana is a newcomer to those of us at Bodhi, but after some research (performed by Adrianne, see below) the thing we admire most about Prana is their commitment to being socially aware of the lives they impact. Though their environmental initiatives should not be overlooked, Prana claims to be a the major player and mover of Fair Trade Certified apparel in North America, which they get two thumbs-up from us for. In an industry that relies heavily on dirt-cheap labor for production of its goods, it’s a breath of fresh air to know that there are individuals behind businesses that understand that there is a difference between legal obligation and doing the right thing – regarding both our fellow humans or our planet.
Prana Apparel at Bodhi Surf School
Adrianne, Bodhi Surf’s self-proclaimed fashion consultant, recently researched Prana while on her quest to find a socially and environmentally-conscious clothing brand. During her research, she found this John Oliver video about the cost of fast-fashion:
Adrianne ended up purchasing a beach dress which she hopes to wear out with her daily beach visits. She notes:
While some of the more corporately responsible companies seem to make items whose style isn’t quite up my alley, Prana makes clothes that I know I will be okay with wearing for years, and whose style fits my own — fun, funky, and original.
Though Prana is a new edition to the line of products utilized within the Bodhi Surf family, the last Bodhi Surf intern, Sarah Coburn, was quite familiar with the brand. Earlier this year, Sarah spent four months living in the backcountry. During this time she relied heavily on her Prana hiking/climbing pants as her bottoms of choice, regardless of whether she was skiing in the Wyoming Range, paddling the San Juan and Green Rivers in Utah, hiking Canyonlands National Park, or rock climbing Sinks Canyon. Lately, Sarah has been showing off her Prana pants during yoga classes at Bodhi Shambala Yoga Center, and if she’s worn them as much as she claims, then it’s likely Prana apparel will become a staple of the Bodhi team’s wardrobe!
We know there are many other socially and environmentally-conscious outdoor apparel companies out there doing great things. Please share your favorite(s) in the comments and tell us what makes them great!