Dumplings, we the editors of PD have been waiting to write this article for years now. One time, we very nearly thought we had it—but it turned out the brand wasn’t, in fact, biodegradable, and we had to scrap the piece. But the day has come when we can share that there is a 100% biodegradable yoga and athleisure brand out there. And its name is Port de Bras.
Named after the manner of moving one’s arms in ballet, Port de Bras is a Venezuelan-born brand that uses the world’s first certified biodegradable polyamide*. The company also eschews toxins to dye and produce the fabrics, and tracks its CO2 footprint. The company also claims that its polyamide transforms body heat with bioactive minerals in the yarn, “emanating far infrared rays back to the skin offering thermo-regulation properties and improving blood micro-circulation.” If that really means I get a mini infrared sauna sesh while tucking through barre class, I’ll take it! (*Note: the 100% biodegradable refers to styles that only use polyamide, not those that also feature elastane.)
The most salient point for sustainable fashionistas, however, might just be that polyamide used by Port de Bras is completely biodegradable. This isn’t useful because we want to bury our leggings and bras in our backyard—biodegradable is not interchangeable with compostable, and the correct method of disposing of your stretched-out clothing is still going to be the landfill. (Most donation centers accept gently worn clothing, which most likely excludes old exercise clothes.) Nonetheless, biodegradable activewear won’t be shedding microplastics into the environment each time it is washed or even worn.
Microplastics in our oceans, rivers, and lakes have already made headlines the world over. A study estimates that there are 15-51 trillion microplastic particles on the ocean *surface*, alone. Recently, scientists have begun uncovering the vast quantities of microplastics in our atmosphere, raining down on cities and remote mountain regions, outdoors and indoors alike. Microplastics can result from the fragmenting of large plastics like bottles and cutlery; on the other hand, clothing made of synthetic materials is a major culprit, shedding tiny plastic fibers each time they are worn, washed, and dried. It goes without saying that we are all ingesting tiny plastics every day. The health effects of microplastics on ecosystems, animals, and humans are not fully understood yet, which makes the situation even more dire.
For eco warriors who like to stay in fighting form, Port de Bras allows mobility and style without guilt and concern. The brand already counts some fierce eco goddesses as fans, including vegan supermodel Petra Nemcova.
Without further ado, let’s check out some styles, shall we?
Natalie Leggings, $125
Strategically placed stripes elongate the legs and lift your derriere; high waist keeps everything in place (who else hates showing “abs” when in downward dog and loose top rolls down to your face?).
Celeste Bra, $90
The scallop detail in the front adds just the right amount of femininity to this otherwise fierce bra.
Ruffle Leotard Black, $165
This gorgeous leotard doubles as a swimsuit, for the most bang for your style buck.
Would you try biodegradable yoga and activewear? I am totally into it—after I finish wearing my existing fitness clothes, of course.
Photo: Port de Bras