Alo Yoga and Lululemon are two major competitors in the yoga and athletic-wear industry. As a brand, Alo Yoga also appeals to the streetwear enthusiast, and their styles are seen on many top American models (including Kendall Jenner). Alo Yoga is very open about their passion for the environment, and there is evidence of strong sustainability practices, however the brand must be more transparent about how and where their products are made in order to get a higher rating. I can confidently say that Alo Yoga has many values that an environmentalist would agree with, and I applaud their efforts thus far, however there is room for improvement.
While Alo Yoga’s website is very transparent about their ethics and practice, finding out what their products are made out of is practically impossible. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a pair of Alo Leggings and look at the tag that reads: “Designed in Los Angeles. Made in Vietnam. 87% Nylon, 13% Spandex.” Nylon and Spandex are extremely energy intensive materials to make from scratch. Spandex has many negative environmental impacts due to it being chemically produced, and toxic chemicals may also be used in its creation. Additionally, spandex is rarely recycled and very wasteful because it is also not biodegradable. Nylon is a human-made material derived from plastic, and while there are more sustainable methods of reusing or making Nylon today than in the past, Alo Yoga’s lack of transparency on what their leggings are made out of makes me question if they want to hide these details from consumers. On the product listing page for their Airbrush leggings, the only details listed are that they stretch four ways, are odor resistant, and are made from their “Sculpting signature Airbrush fabric,” but that doesn’t tell us what the leggings are actually made of. Due to this lack of transparency and use of extremely energy intensive materials, I have to give these leggings a low rating.
Looking through Alo Yoga’s website, one can deeply connect with their story and passion for yoga and the environment. In a 10-minute video posted to their “About Us” page, Alo Yoga discusses how they came to be, why they care about the environment, how they create their products sustainably, and how their workplace community thrives. Alo Yoga states that they are 100% sweatshop free, they test each of their styles and sizes, they analyze their water consumption, they track their dye cycle times to prevent the overuse of water and dyes, and they also implement sustainability into other aspects of their company, such as having electric car charging stations and sky lights in their warehouses. As far as all this sounds, Alo Yoga seems extremely sustainable, however they don’t provide much evidence to back up these statements. The company is W.R.A.P. (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified, meaning that an outside organization has verified safe and fair working conditions, although W.R.A.P. has been a part of many past scandals involving child labor and harassment. Despite the allegations, however, they are much more transparent about their workplace functions and manufacturing processes than other companies. In another video posted to their website blog, snippets of the factories and workers are shown, and the video states that they have staff monitoring every sewing facility. Alo Yoga states that they have “their own staff that work and live daily at their factories", but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee safe living and working environments. Additionally, Alo Yoga manufactures their products the U.S., Turkey, Indonesia, Portugal, Vietnam, and China. Several of these locations are known to have involvement with child labor and labor abuse, so while Alo Yoga does have high marks for certain aspects of sustainability, there is room for improvement in practice and transparency.
As a company, Alo Yoga has excellent values and their brand itself focuses on community, environmentalism, and harmony. Alo stands for Air, Land, and Ocean, three elements that the company wishes to preserve and protect, and their passion for doing so is evident in their videos and website. For example, their blog highlight a broad range of topics relating to the environment, physical health, and yoga. They have incorporated several different aspects of sustainability into their workplace, such as electric car charging stations, solar panels, and recycling programs. I do not think that they are greenwashing, however there are areas that they could be more transparent in, including what their products are made of, their supply chain, and their environmental policies.