from growing up in vanuatu, to a genetics ph.d. in england, yoga teacher training in the united states, living in bermuda and settling in australia; amanda the founder from yogi spirit is one fascinating wandering yogi greenie superstar. yogi spirit is an eco conscious online yoga store based out of sydney with everything from clothing, mats, water bottles, mala beads, and body oils. when you want to shop consciously it can be a bit overwhelming so yogi spirit is what I’ve been searching for – one place where I can be confident that all the labels are ethically and environmentally responsible. I chatted with amanda about the impact of the fashion industry on the planet, her selection process, and the yogi spirit.
what inspired you to start your own sustainable and ethical yoga store?
my inspirations have been my passion for yoga and my love of the environment. I have always been aware of the profound impact that we are having on our environment partly from growing up in vanuatu but also because I did a marine biology degree where I saw the effects of pollution on the great barrier reef. my first business was online selling cloth nappies so I have been interested in ways that we can reduce our garbage load on our planet which is what I look for – brands that use processes that reduce this impact.
why is it important to choose more consciously when it comes to fashion?
the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. textiles is now the second most polluting industry beat only by the oil sector. and it is not just impacting our planet, but is also affecting the air we breathe and water we drink. the fashion carbon footprint is tremendous. as a result, the fashion industry is contributing to climate change and to damage of our natural resources. clothes are infused with chemicals that don’t wash out that our skin keeps absorbing long after the clothes have left the factory. fast fashion is a huge industry but often intrinsically uses child and forced labour.
as marci zaroff says, “this is a lifestyle choice. once you start thinking about what you’re buying and using, wearing and eating, you don’t go backwards – you want to keep going forward.“
how do you go about choosing the labels for yogi spirit?
this is both easy and hard, easy because I tend to follow my gut feeling about whether customers will love the products, but hard because there are so many beautiful yoga brands to choose from. I would love to stock them all but I can’t just yet. most importantly I look for brands that give back to the community, that are environmentally and ethically responsible and are gorgeous to wear! I want women to celebrate themselves in their leggings. these are not just for the gym anymore, leggings are so beautiful and comfortable that you want to wear them all day. there is a new breed of yoga fashion that is more sophisticated and more eco conscious. you can now find yoga clothing made with organic cotton, silk and bamboo. leggings can be created with fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled fishing nets.
what does yogi spirit mean to you?
it has multi-faceted meanings for me. the first comes from the saying ‘they can take anything away from you but never your spirit’. the second is that for me it represents the fact yoga is about more than the poses, there is an essence to yoga which can permeate your whole life if you allow it. the third is that it comes from the latin word spiritus which means ‘to inspire’.
what causes does yogi spirit get behind?
helping those in need is a responsibility for all of us, but sometimes it is challenging to know where or how to help. I tend to have a “follow your heart” kind of approach to my own donations; from hurricane relief in vanuatu and fiji, domestic violence centre here in manly, black dog institute to boomerang bags and living ocean who seek to reduce the use of plastic bags and organise beach clean ups. I am not sure that it is the most effective approach but I am led by my heart and that is where my heart goes. this will evolve as yogi spirit grows.
what’s your personal mantra?
can I have two personal favourites? I have lots but there are two that I come back to time and again. they are ‘what is required of me in this moment’ I find this one particularly helpful when dealing with my sons. and the other is “oh, but my darling what if you fly?’ this one I repeat to myself when self-doubt creeps in to my mind. the author of this quote is erin hanson, a young poet from brisbane.
what is your favourite tip or piece of advice for greener living?
my favourite piece of advice might be; that even small steps count, don’t wait to make major improvements. before you know those small steps add up and you will be doing things differently in your home. I think this applies to refusing single use plastics to buying greener fashion items.
you can find out more about yogi spirit on their website, instagram, and facebook. amanda has also created a wonderful my yogi community facebook group where you can connect with other yogis, studios, events and retreats. in the photos I’m wearing made of love top from be love apparel and stay grounded leggings & south impact bra top from moonchild yoga wear.