prAna, an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, has helped guide our actions and lift our aspirations since day one.
We started in 1992 making clothing that worked well for climbing and yoga. It turned out that the clothing worked well for lots of other passions too, so we added new products with "purpose" in mind and scoured the world for design inspiration.
We cut and sewed clothing in our garage and shipped it to customers in surplus fruit boxes gathered from the local grocery store. For hangtags, we ground up old newspapers, added essential oils and cut out the handmade paper with a pizza cutter. Our first employee slept on a hinged bed that turned into a shipping table by day.
What's changed since then?
Not much - and a lot. We've grown a bunch, but most of our original employees are still here. We participate in business with like-minded folks who want to promote conservation and create positive change, which reflects the same intention as the old days, just taken up a few notches. Organic cotton, fair trade and wind power initiatives are on the short list of what we support.
We are inspired by athletes like climber Chris Sharma - who's been with us from the beginning - and yoginis like Shiva Rea. These friends, and many of our customers, help inform our designs and keep us legit. Which is why our founder, Beaver Theodosakis, still answers customers' letters.
Looking back, we think that the name prAna fits us pretty well. Looking ahead (because we love change), we're excited to see what the future holds.
That's our story. We hope you like our products. We welcome your feedback and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you.
Journey to Sustainability
We started prAna to give form and function to the connections we felt in our own lives: to the outdoors, to ourselves, and to each other. As our product line evolves and our impact grows, those connections continue to guide us.
Mindfulness is at the core of everything we do, and here and now is where change happens. Everyone in our company owns a piece of our process: Every decision, every product, every day. We know that what we make and how we make it affects the whole ecosystem���
We haven't found all the answers, but we will always be asking questions. Even our best efforts have only scratched the surface of what is possible, and we remain dedicated to our ideals of the community, sustainability, and mindful action.
Look and Feel Good
Making mindful goods means always looking for a better way to make them. We are increasing the use of sustainable textiles such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and Tencel® whenever possible.
Doing More with Less
Making a positive difference means being more conscious of the materials and processes we employ. prAna has become a bluesign® system's partner to hold ourselves accountable as well as provide guidance for environmental health and safety in making our goods.
From the Inside Out
Healthy change often comes from within. When one of our store managers expressed how upset she was at the amount of plastic she threw away, we took a good look at our packaging process. Today, we have reduced the number of plastic bags our products are shipped in by 50%. We also took the opportunity to look at how we were shipping products to our customer and now ship all clothing in paper bags made of 100% recycled content instead of industry-standard plastic bags.
Connected, Compassionate, Global
The Fair Trade system values people as much as the goods they produce. Fair labor conditions, direct trade, and fair price means what you wear is directly connected to the community that made it. prAna actively supports Fair Trade Certified��� apparel and is a member of the Fair Labor Association.
Practice What we Preach
No detail is too small when it comes to running our business as mindfully as possible. We endeavor to use responsible materials in our purchases. We aim for FSC and recycled content in all of our paper purchases. Our behavior in waste, recycling and reusing is found in all of our stores and prAna headquarters to name a few.
Natural Power Initiative
In 2005, we launched our Natural Power Initiative. This initiative committed us to engaging in business practices that would lower our Greenhouse Gas emissions and accelerate the development of a renewable energy economy. For this initiative we began measuring our energy use, improving our energy efficiency and "greening" the electricity we did use through the use of renewable energy certificates (RECs). In addition, as part of this initiative we also worked to raise awareness among our customers, partners, and industry peers of the importance of minimizing energy use and the benefits of wind power and other forms of renewable energy.
Tracking our Impact
We first had to figure out where we use energy and create a system for measuring this energy consumption. This process would enable us to assess our current environmental impact and measure any future changes (both increases and decreases). With help from The Climate Registry we were able to calculate our energy use and categorize it into different scopes.
Currently we track:
- Electrical energy use at our California headquarters
- Electrical energy and gas use at our store in Boulder, CO
- Electrical energy use at about 200 retail stores that carry prAna products
- Electrical energy use at the homes of our employees
We also track our indirect emissions from company vehicles, business travel and the daily work commuting of our employees. To accomplish this we track the mileage for our company vehicles and adjusted our expense reports so that we can track all of our employee business travel. And in early 2010 we began our TO & FRO program that easily allows employees to track the emissions generated from their daily commute to work
Reducing our Impact
Calculating energy usage was just the first step in the initiative. The second step was to then reduce our energy consumption. Here is what we have done so far:
- We had an energy audit of our head office and distribution center to identify areas where we can reduce our energy use, several of which we are currently addressing.
- We also put in place an incentive program for both our Vista office and Boulder store to encourage employees to commute to work using mass-transit, bicycles, carpool and other methods of transportation that have a low environmental impact.
- We have educated our employees on how their behavior impacts our energy use, and ways they can change their behavior to lower energy use while still doing their job.
Renewable Energy Certificates (REC)
After calculating our energy use and taking steps to lower it, we then worked to "renew" or green the energy we did use. We did this by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC -- often just pronounced: rek) equivalent to our annual electricity consumption. A REC represents the right to the environmental, social, and other nonpower qualities of renewable electricity generation. A REC, and its associated attributes and benefits, can be sold separately from the underlying physical electricity associated with a renewable-based generation source. While this might seem an abstract concept, it is really no different than buying a bonds or stocks mdash; except instead of claiming rights to interest or future cash flows, you are instead claiming rights to environmental benefits. RECs have been recommended as a way to support the development of renewable energy by groups ranging from respected environmental advocacy groups ranging from The Union of Concerned Scientists to the Environmental Defense Fund to The National Resource Defense Council
While it might seem intimidating, figuring out the number of RECs you need to balance out your electricity use is a straightforward process. At prAna we calculate the amount of electricity used at our California headquarters, our Boulder store, at the homes of our employees and at the approximately 200 retailers who sell prAna's products. Once we got this figure we then purchase RECs representing the generation and delivery to the electric grid of wind power equal to this amount of electricity. Since prAna launched its Natural Power Initiative program in 2005 these purchases have prevented the emission of an estimated 71,961 metric tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This has the equivalent climate impact of removing 13,180 average cars off the road or protecting 16,355 acres of forest.
Our REC purchases (and the REC purchases of other individuals and organizations) provide wind farms and other renewable energy project operators with a revenue stream that is helping make renewable energy generation as profitable as fossil fuel energy generation. As a result, more banks are willing to finance renewable energy projects, more engineers and developers want to build them, and more companies want to operate them - moving us all one step closer to a renewable energy economy.
Headquartered in Switzerland, bluesign is a worldwide standard that is applied to production chains to measure the safety and sustainability of raw materials used by chemical and manufacturing companies. Because bluesign uses the latest scientific technology and starts at the beginning of the production process, companies are able to tackle environmental and safety issues at their root.
For prAna, the new bluesign partnership allows us to assess every aspect of our supply chain for guaranteed environmental and human safety, as well as easily identify like-minded companies for future partnerships. Globally, bluesign partners embrace a holistic approach to production that's a step further than simply ���eco-friendly', and considers such additional aspects as air and water emissions, occupational health and resource productivity mdash; that's a step forward we believe in, and are proud to be part of.
prAna became a bluesign system partner in March 2012. We since have required our entire supply chain to commit to following the bluesign systems substance list. And as importantly, we as a company have committed to using more bluesign approved fabrics and trims because we can ensure that they have met the highest standards for chemical management. This means that harmful chemicals will not be discharged, because they were never used in the manufacturing process to begin with.
Which brings us back to you. You're wearing the end result of the very best practices in corporate mindfulness. Or, a great shirt (jacket, skirt, pants...) that you can truly feel good about. If you'd like to learn more, visit www.bluesign.com.
Fair Trade Certified
Fair Trade certification for Apparel and Linens is the first social, economic and environmental standard that directly benefits the farmers who grow the cotton and the workers who sew the garments. It offers companies and consumers an unprecedented opportunity to positively impact the lives of these farmers and workers.
Consistent with the brand���s mission to offer products with ���purpose,��� prAna has partnered with Fair Trade USA to support and promote the Fair Trade Certified Apparel and Linens pilot. The March 2011 release of prAna���s SOUL T is the first in a line of Fair Trade items to come and puts prAna among just a handful of manufacturers offering Fair Trade Certified apparel in the United States.
Fair Trade Certified is based around the following principles:
- Fair price to farmers for their goods
- Fair labor conditions and wages for farm and factory workers
- Direct market access eliminating unnecessary middlemen
- Democratic and transparent organizations
- Community development
- Environmental sustainability
Chris Sharma���s meteoric climbing career started when he won the Bouldering Nationals at age 14 and opened the hardest climb in America (at the time, 5.14c) a year later. In the decade that followed, Chris has continued to take climbing to a new level. Not only has he consistently shattered previous conceptions of difficulty, he was recently voted 8a Climber of the Decade. He has sent multiple 5.15 routes, bouldered V15, onsighted 5.14b, and established deep water solo routes at the highest grades. Chris holds claim to the current hardest route in America, and perhaps the world, with his ascent of Jumbo Love at Clark Mountain in California.
Steph Davis has been pushing the limits of climbing for 18 years, cross discipline. She is known for her free ascents of El Capitan, for climbing hard cracks in the Moab desert, for free soloing long and committing routes, and for first ascents in South America, the Karakorum and the Arctic. Steph is also an avid BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot. She has made hundreds of jumps, including combining free soloing with BASE. Aside from climbing and jumping, Steph loves running, skate skiing, gardening, cooking and writing. She is a prolific blogger and a vocal supporter of veganism, animal welfare and simple living. Steph prefers climbing areas that are good for dogs.
Shiva Rea, M.A. is a yogini firekeeper, sacred activist, and leading innovator in the evolution of vinyasa flow yoga integrating the tantric bhakti roots of yoga, Krishnamacharya's teachings and a universal, quantum approach to the body since she began teaching twenty years ago. She leads retreats and pilgrimages worldwide and has served as a creative catalyst to bring community together including Yoga Trance Dance for Life, Moving Activism for 1,008,000 Trees, Yogini Conferences and the worldwide Global Mala Project.
Paul Robinson started climbing at the age of 11. In the last decade, he has bouldered and established climbs up to V15, and has sent literally hundreds of problems in V11 to V14 range. Not surprisingly, he has won or placed in nearly all of the international bouldering competitions he has entered.
Paul is also an artist and painter, who majored in Fine Arts at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he graduated in May 2011. He writes a lively blog about his accomplishments, art and his global travels promoting the climbing lifestyle.
Amy is a yoga teacher, writer, and philanthropist. She is known for her innovative methods to bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern day life. Amy is a pioneer for advanced yoga education serving both students as well as fellow yoga teachers. She co-founded 90Monkeys.com, an online professional development school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 43 countries around the globe. She has graced the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine and has been featured in Yoga International, Self, Origin Magazine, New York Magazine, Yogini Magazine (Japan), Allure (Korea), Elephant Journal, intent.com, and many more. Amy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute, Esalen and Kripalu. A regular presenter at the Yoga Journal Conferences, Omega Institute Conference, Wanderlust Festivals, and The Hanuman Festival, Amy represents prAna clothing and Boardworks Surf as a yoga ambassador. Since the age of 14 Amy has been a champion of all forms of eco-consciousness, animal conservation and more recent forays into marine conservation.
Olivia began her relationship with yoga whilst attending law school at the University of New South Wales in Australia. First a climber and then a yogi she began yoga as part of her curiosity with the art of movement. She naturally gravitated to yoga and has been dedicated to practicing ever since. She thus decided to abandon her legal career and dedicate her time to something she believed would benefit society more than another lawyer! Olivia has had an in depth study of the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition having first done a traditional apprenticeship in Australia for several years and then furthered her studies when she moved to Boulder in 2006. In the 4 years that she has been in Boulder she has complete two teacher intensives with Richard Freeman. Her teachings draw from the knowledge of her own experience as a teacher and as a practitioner making yoga both accessible and non-intimidating to her students. She also has interest in cultivating the mindfulness that flows from a focused and continuous asana practice. Her teaching style comprises of intuitive hands-on adjustments, energetic alignment and bringing an internal awareness to the self. Olivia feels blessed to have had so many wonderful teachers and hope that she too can cultivate that appreciation of yoga with her students.
Born and raised in Maui, Talia grew up surrounded by surfing, art, and all that is beautiful about Hawaii so it was only natural that she was inspired by the culture. When she was only 15 months, her father took her out on a surfboard ��� and that was just the beginning. Talia became the youngest woman to ever paddle the 32-mile Molokai to Oahu paddle board race on a team. Not only is Talia a natural-born athlete, but she also has a strong entrepreneurial drive with two businesses to add to her list of accomplishments ��� Pashey Designz (a jewelry line) and Mgbikini (a bikini line, with her sister). Ultimately, Talia’s goal is to continue to carry on the Polynesian tradition of paddling and becoming one of the best water women to beat ��� and she is well on her way.
Michael's yoga journey has been filled with curiosity, exploration, growth, and expansion. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, and multiple forms of Vinyasa yoga, he's been blessed to have studied with many gifted teachers including Tim Miller, Shiva Rea, Anna Forrest, Roger Cole, and Judith Lasater. Since 2000, Michael has immersed himself in the practice and teachings of Anusara Yoga under the guidance of John Friend. He is deeply honored to have gained direct teachings from John and his senior certified Anusara teachers.He loves learning and is always a student first. Michael is known for insightful and clear teaching that threads precise biomechanical techniques with the most universal and transformative understandings; applying them on and off the mat. He encourages students to honor and expand their edges and celebrate their individual expressions to such a refined degree that they become art. He is grateful of the unwavering support and wisdom of his artist wife, Pam Wells. He balances a "day job" with teaching yoga and enjoys the dynamic meditation and dance of the ocean, while surfing or riding his stand up paddle board.
prAna Fall Brand Reel
Breath Series Shiva Rea
prAna Fair Trade