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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 out 18 years ago 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.
prAna - born from the experience
18 years ago, what began as simple love of the outdoors has moved with us through all of our adventures over the years. It has brought a breath and vitality that continues to energize our thinking and designs.
Nature has guided prAna since the very start, with its abundance of color, materials and energy along with endless inspiration to make products that can be well worn and, more importantly, well lived in. Whether in our sports, our travels or in our yoga practice, the adventure has never failed to make us many wonderful friends and memories. For these incredible generosities, we are grateful and hope to give back something in return.
We're always looking for new ways to fold the intention of sustainability into our materials and practices, working to reduce the impact on soils, water supplies and other natural resources.
Every day we learn something new about the world and our need to be global citizens. We have set our intentions on what matters most to us and have made a commitment to align our actions with our values.
As any one with a regular practice of sport, hobbies, meditation and internal growth - living your values is constantly challenged by the world around you. prAna's path is the same, and sometimes customers and friends are surprised that we don't have everything buttoned up and have all the answers. prAna has products and practices that are at odds with our values, we are not perfect by any means, we have a lot to learn. To help us get there, we have set up a more formal sustainability program, the idea is to build and manage a master plan that aligns our company actions and products with our values. We look forward to raising our own level of awareness, education, discipline, and action on the long and winding road of sustainability.
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: rěk) 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 – 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.
Carrie Cooper lives in Salt Lake City. She started climbing in 2001, and quit her job as a web manager to tour Europe and Africa solo for 8 months. Now she balances motherhood, school and climbing. She is currently earning her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and her next goal is to break through to the V11/5.14 level. Carrie prefers living simply and adventuring with her husband, their four year old daughter, six month old son, and dog Lewis. For her, the best part of climbing is the opportunity to hit the road and experience the world.
Katie Brown started climbing at the age of 13. That same year, she won the Junior World Championships, and then won the legendary Arco Rockmaster twice. In 1999 she won the World Cup at Besancon, and also won the X Games three times. Known for her tendency to onsight almost everything she climbed, in 1999 Katie flashed a route in Siurana, Spain called Hydrophobia (5.14a). That feat placed Katie among four others, all men, who, at the time, had flashed a similar grade.
Now, at age 30, Katie has expanded her horizons from the competition climbing world, though she maintains her onsight prowess. She has made several fast ascents of testpiece desert cracks at Indian Creek, and an impressive, rare onsight of the 23 pitch Northwest Face of Half Dome in Yosemite.
In the traveling climbing community, Katie is perhaps best known for her silver Ford Focus hatchback, where she often resides with her little dog Cody, and for packing an unbeatable selection of accessories on road trips. Katie is currently, however, living in a real house in Boulder, CO, where she spends rest days designing jewelry for a local shop where she works.
Dean Potter is characterized by creativity, commitment and challenge. He started climbing as a child, with a free solo fall from a stone wall as one of his earliest memories. Since that time, he has speed soloed Half Dome and El Capitan, Cerro Torre, and Fitzroy. He was the first to make a one-day free ascent of El Cap and Half Dome, and a one-day speed linkup of both of those big walls and Mount Watkins, Yosemite's third Grade VI wall. He has also established test piece crack routes in the Utah desert and highball boulder problems in Yosemite.
Dean has walked the longest highlines, often without a safety leash, though he has dedicated over a decade of engineering and testing to create the safest highline systems currently used. Most recently, he has combined BASE jumping skill with highlining and free soloing, using a specially engineered ultralight BASE rig as his backup system.
Dean currently bases out of Yosemite, where he can usually be found on a large piece of granite.
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.
I was born into a family of climbers.
My great grandfather and my grandfather were high mountain guides. They died in the mountains, and now they both lie in the cemetery in Chamonix. My great grandmother and my grandmother climbed in Fontainebleau, and my parents and my sister are also climbers. Climbing is part of our family story! (or you could say... Climbing is a family thing!...)
I started climbing in 2004, first with my family and with the climbing club, Grimpâ€™Azur Nice. I was immediately attracted to climbing in the middle of nature. I love lines that are short and challenging). To succed an exteme move, that takes me to my limit, is a crazy/amazing feeling. I try to be the most weel rounded possible.
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. .
CHRIS SHARMA DOES WANDERLUST
A SENSE OF PLACE
THE LEGACY CONTINUES
DOSAGE V TRAILER