Launching its own quiet war against synthetic yoga wear, Indian startup brand Proyog recently launched a line of the active gear that “stays true to yoga” because its breathable fabrics keep synthetics from ever touching the wearer.
Synthetics, according to Proyog, are never supposed to touch the skin in the practice of yoga and garments are never supposed to compress the body. So to preserve the ancient traditions of the practice but still accommodate today’s practitioner, Proyog developed a non-restrictive fabric dubbed HyperBreath, which uses core-spun technology where Lycra yarn gets wrapped with organic cotton before knitting.
“Yoga wear across the globe has largely been sportswear in disguise,” said Malika Baruah, Proyog co-founder and product head. “Today, more than 90 percent of the market consists of polyester and nylon products that are essentially plastic or PET fabrics which are not at all conducive to yoga. Proyog, on the other hand, has stayed true to yoga wherein every product is designed to enhance the practice.”
The point, Proyog explained in a statement, is that the wearer should hardly be aware of the clothing’s presence. Colors in the line are also earthy and calming rather than fluorescent and psychedelic.
“Indian yogis traditionally wore natural, unstitched clothes which were neither too tight, nor too loose,” company co-founder and design head Priyanktha Iyengar said. “We’ve tried to come as close to those fabrics and designs as possible. It is no coincidence that the world’s first specialized yoga wear brand is Indian. If yoga comes from India, surely the onus of true yoga wear cannot be on the world.”
Proyog uses an organic cotton and Lenzing Modal blend, as modal is one of the most naturally breathable materials. The innovative fabric technology, according to the brand, offers greater stretch and recovery than commonly-used cotton-elastane and the line’s designs don’t compress any part of the body or harbor odor causing bacteria as true synthetic garments can.
The line includes 12 styles, four of which are new to the Western yoga world, including Padma shorts, designed specifically for Iyengar practitioners, Dhoti pants and shorts and the Katori tank—all inspired by centuries-old yoga wear. Tops range in price from $45-$65 and bottoms from $45-$89.
“Over 200 million people around the world practice yoga,” Proyog co-founder and CEO Sanjay Nayak said. “The estimated market for yoga apparel in the U.S. alone is well over $13 billion annually. Unfortunately, the market is dominated by players who are simply passing off synthetic fitness-wear as yoga wear. There’s a lot of harm being done to yoga. We are looking at becoming a serious player, if only to liberate the yoga world from its cling-wrapping and help it breathe again.”
The line is available for purchase in the U.S. on Amazon, at proyog.com and jabongworld.com, and Proyog plans to make the product available at leading retailers, specialized e-tailers and sporting goods chains later this year.