On Shopping: Yoga, Ethics, Farting

We interrupt your regularly scheduled No Repeats programme to bring you the following. Because I am still in my pyjamas and have been for the last three days. 
 À propos of nothing, then, let the record show that the yoga virtuoso directly behind me in last night’s ashtanga class treated every pose as “wind-relieving” posture. This was by turns distracting, amusing, and horrifying – but at least I wasn’t directly behind herI have to hope that the flatulent virtuoso will, in future, return to the expert-level classes in which she clearly belongs. Unless I take (sartorial) action, however, and minus her windy distractions in next week’s class, I predict I shall resume worrying that my boobs are going to poing out during the next inverted pose.

In short and to sum up: it’s time for a top that has more structural integrity. And since Lululemon is crappily unethical, Dudegirl (yes, that’s their actual brand name) – as suggested by Style Underdog last June (in a conversation that I cannot find) – may be the answer. In fact, the Saguaro Tank in either peacock and seaglass (shown in second photo) or black and seaglass (first photo, far right) may be exactly what I need. See?
image from Dudegirl.com
image from Dudegirl.com

That said, I have a question. Why do brands that profess interest in ethical manufacturing rarely speak to the working conditions of those who actually manufacture their commodities? Shouldn’t human rights and ethical labour practices be tied more directly to “greenness”? Currently, my “right” to not harm the environment through shopping appears to trump the rights of workers to not work in sweatshops.

Am I wrong, StyleNation?
Also, ‘see you next year! Have a lovely time this eve, whatever your plans.

22 thoughts on “On Shopping: Yoga, Ethics, Farting

  1. Have you looked at Athleta.com? It's in the Gap inc. family. But, has incredibly reasonable prices comparatively speaking. I still think Target, Champion section is THE place to go for some "yoga" style athletic gear!

  2. I kid you not, the day you posted this I was thinking about your yoga gear. I swear! Yes, I do have a small life and live through all the peeps I meet in Style Nation but who cares, it's awesome.

  3. Ahh Yikes. After re-reading comments and understanding your concerns. Gap inc. among other major retailers are known for their incredibly low wages and sweatshop manufacturers overseas. Clearly, this is an issue. I'm appalled! Without this post and some investigative skills I would have never known. Or I would still be in the dark. Thanks

  4. Have you looked at Athleta.com? It's in the Gap inc. family. But, has incredibly reasonable prices comparatively speaking. I still think Target, Champion section is THE place to go for some "yoga" style athletic gear!

  5. I kid you not, the day you posted this I was thinking about your yoga gear. I swear! Yes, I do have a small life and live through all the peeps I meet in Style Nation but who cares, it's awesome.

  6. poing poing poing poingfart fart fart fartYou're not wrong. "Green" has become the latest trendy label to slap on commodities in order to make us feel better about ourselves via consumption. Commodity fetishism for the guilt-ridden upper classes. In my totally unscientific investigation I've found that at least half the brands that claim to be green aren't, or at least aren't half as green as they claim to be. Labour practices aren't nearly as easy to tackle via logo redesign and clever marketing.

  7. Farting, varting, poinging… all the good words are used at IPF.I dislike Lululemon for the exact reasons you've mentioned. Sure, other countries have similar practices but they don't claim to be some kind of good corporate citizens. It's sad when they promote self love and well being, but does it have to be at the expense of other people's right to decent work? I am going to write a paper soon on the ways that corporations have adopted "voluntary" codes of conduct for labor practices and whether they've made a difference. I think US (maybe canadian) consumers just don't care about ethical production the same way that European consumers do, as fair trade and clean clothes are much bigger their. With the exception of No Sweat Apparel (atrociously ugly) and Alta Gracia (only collegiate licensed wear), there's not a lot of options in terms of labor rights respecting clothing manufacturing because of the way the factoring contracting works. I just hate that some companies like Lululemon, Whole Foods, Body Shop, etc. claim to care about human rights and the enviornment but think that bad labor practices are just par for the course. And the reality is that more expensive labels do not perform better on factory audits than cheaper ones.I hope that Dudegirl does not disappoint!

  8. I don't own any Lululemon, but they are certainly very popular here. I didn't know they weren't ethical – I just thought they were overpriced! Luckily for me, teachers in my district get a huge discount on Adidas clothes at their employee store (Portland is home to their US headquarters). So, I use them for all my gym clothes. Now I'm feeling guilty that I don't know their business practices.The Auspicious Life

  9. So this is not about clothing, it is about food, but the Jewish Conservative movement just came out with a new Kosher certification that approves food based on 1) Employer & Employee Responsibilities 2) The Humane Treatment of all Living creatures 3) The Environment 4) Benefits to the Kosher Consumer 5) Corporate Responsibility6) Animal Welfare 7) Environment & SustainabilityBenefits to Business 8) Business Growth & Brand Goodwill 9) Recycling & Green Efficiency. As a non-kosher keeping Jew, I am really excited about this movement because it seems like it might actually manage to give me information on both labor and environmental ethics. Again, not about clothing, but exciting to see those concerns merged.And I have to admit to being with Cynthia on the "everybody farts" thing. But I too am glad that you were not down wind…

  10. Well I am pretty annoyed at Lululemon. How irksome. For some reason, I thought they made everything in Vancouver. Ack! It's really frustrating that so called "green" companies don't apply the same ethical standards to their treatment of employees.On another note, I enjoyed reading about farting and poinging. Funny! I wasn't aware of the connection between farting and yoga until I did my first yoga class a few years ago and the instructor really let one rip. I had to try REALLY hard not to laugh because even though I'm 31, farts are funny. My husband later informed me that farting is par for the course. Anyway, I have plenty of boobage to hold up, and I haven't yet found a good bra/top combo. Shock Absorber makes great bras for running, perhaps they do tops as well?

  11. dang it…had a lovely comment all written but then google decided my URL request was too large.So let me sum up: Love the tops, however I have too much boob-acreage to wear them. I do my yoga at home so that I can fart and let my boobs fly free un-bondaged.I had to leave church early once because a woman in front of me let go a burbling poot and I couldn't quit laughing – I blame Curly.And yes, we need to start inquiring the companies we buy from to find out how they treat their employees. We applaud them for their concern for our environment, now what are they doing for the people who live in that environment?

  12. Lovely yoga tops, but alas, much like other posters, I could never wear one without some serious boob-bondage. A few months ago someone at church gave a good burbling fart a few pews (LOL PEWS – PEEE YEEWW!! I am also five) in front of me. It happened right before communion, so it was deathly silent (LOL I promise I'm not doing this on purpose!!). I was okay holding in the giggles, cuz, really it could happen to anyone, but one look at my friend Curly and I had to leave the sanctuary! We ended up having to spend the remainder of the service in the Narthex trying to calm ourselves down. Isn't that awful?! Good "Christian" behavior! Anyway, I enjoy doing my yoga, pilates, yoga booty ballet at home so that I can fart and let the boobies fly. If a nip slips, at least the only person who might catch it is the husband.I've been worried about the good for the environment vs good for the people thing for awhile. I know that companies go to small countries because they can get away with paying a pittance and not giving their employees quality health care. boo-hoo it's so expensive for a company who makes a lot of money (I'm looking at you, Wal-Mart!!) For me I worry about where my beads come from. Some of those beads, the chips of semi-precious stones, are tiny. I worry that unbeknownst to me that some child is working in awful conditions, blisters on her hands, so that I can make jewelry.Maybe we can all contact the companies we buy from a lot – even down to our food – and just send an inquiry. Where are your products made? What are the conditions that the employees work in? Maybe I'm naive, but who knows. We might start a worthy revolution. I would love to buy green products (or anything) and know that the people making the products are enjoying the benefits of employment that I enjoy (again, Wal-Mart, looking at you…man up, you low down dirty….)

  13. I have been known to fart and occasionally to vart during yoga practices. I've never managed to do it through the whole asana practice, though. Clearly it's something I need to work on, kinda like bakasana….I have poinged out once, as well, and once my pants fell off at yoga. I had to make the joke about naked yoga and tell my instructor she could charge $500+ an hour.Happy New Year!

  14. I'm madly giggling due to the farting, poinging, chestal arena, and the fact that there's a company called Dudegirl. Clearly, I am five. Also, my old yoga teacher's cardinal rule (which always surprised the new people in class) was "tuck in your shirts, for goodness sake!" I miss her.On a more serious note, GOOD GRIEF YES about the lack of discussion about labour standards with regard to "ethical" clothing. I wonder whether it's because it's easier to obtain organic cotton/bamboo/whatever than it is to find decent working conditions, or whether it's because good working conditions can't be marketed in the same way that organic whatnots can, or whether because it's unprofitable to pay people properly AND use sensibly sourced goods. Frustrating and depressing, for sure.

  15. As an avid Pilates-er, farting is sadly par for the course in a lot of these exercises. However, farting through every move? A bit excessive.Agreeing with Erin, I wouldn't be able to wear the above tops without some serious sports bra-age going on underneath. I usually wear two as it is; my breasts are a formidable foe.And, sadly, it seems that few companies equate the "greenness" of environmental responsibility with social responsibility. A big part of the museum work I do is developing narratives (for exhibits, programs, books, films, etc.) that show that people are irremovable from the environments they live in, and that the two are perpetually connected.

  16. Okay, I can't decide what I love more: our new follower Courtney Erin (welcome!), Cynthia's excellent use of "chestal arena", your use of the word "poinging", a post about farting (seriously, is "wind-relieving" an actual yoga thing?), or your sensitive and informed treatment of the ethics of ecology and workers' rights and our intervention as shoppers.It might be that "Dudegirl" is an actual company name. Do they make running clothes because if they do, I am in. I can't speak to the poinging-containment capabilities of this top, but I like the black and seaglass version.

  17. One of the many things I learned in yoga and dance classes is: "Everybody farts. Get over it." Words to live by! But perhaps not to breathe deeply by.As for the tops, hmm. Are you expecting your top to support you without a sports bra? If so, dudegirl looks like a flop. Floppity floppy flop. There's no encapsulating going on there. I'm a 36 C+, though, my chestal arena eats tops like that for lunch.

  18. I can't quite get over the image of a farting yoga virtuoso. And the fear of boobs popping out is exactly why I work out in my living room! The Dudegirl tops definitely look like they might be a bit sturdier though. And I absolutely agree with your point – the idea of being ecologically sound or "green" seems to have become synonymous with ethical production but whatever has happened to actual labour practices being a gauge of ethical practices? I'm all for green production but not if we loose sight of the labour practices end of things.

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