This is a question that I have been asked time and time again. And I’ve asked myself the same thing – all the time when ordering retail! Originally, I’d ordered popular yoga brands like Beyond Yoga, Be Present, Hard Tail, not really realizing why they were so expensive. Then I learned that they were all made in the USA, mostly in California, where yoga is widespread and the brands have been made popular by star teachers in LA and Yoga Journal magazine.
Masin has been really interested in purchasing fair trade and USA made clothing and products since we were in college. When Masin started becoming more involved in Ahimsa, he was adamant that I didn’t order retail that was not fair trade or made in the USA. So, that’s what makes everything more expensive. It can be a confusing and tough transition as a consumer to purchase things at higher prices for fair labor, and I don’t buy everything for myself fair trade (it’s also probably impossible), or shop at co ops all the time, or Whole Foods, but I think it can make a difference, and so does Masin.
I’ve asked Masin to write a bit for this blog post and here’s what he has to say:
“Ahimsa means practicing non harming in all areas of life. We realize as a retailer of yoga clothing and supplies that where our purchases come from has a significant effect on human lives. As of December 2016, all of our new retail items will come from sources with ethical work and labor standards (either Made in USA or Fair Trade). Previously, most of our items followed these standards, but we’ve decided its time to fully embrace the practice of Ahimsa in our retail areas. These standards lead to higher costs for us as a studio, and you as a consumer, but we feel its mandatory for us to support companies that offer living wages for their employees and lifestyles that we all enjoy. Your purchases from our retail stores support this ideology and we thank you, from ourselves and on behalf of the better (less harmful) world you’re contributing to. Namaste Yogis.”
So, there you have it! And here’s a video on the topic as well: