Fifteen years ago, yoga, activewear, and sustainable fashion were just buzzwords in a niche market. But thanks to the work of people such as Mandala founder Nathalie Prieger, these concepts have now entered the mainstream. As we enter the new decade, eco fashion is at the forefront of a revolution in the global fashion industry. And Prieger’s line is holding the fort in the yogawear front.
Founded in 2001, Mandala is among the first eco-friendly brands in Germany. Dedicated to “high-grade sustainability, ecological materials and fair working conditions,” Mandala has since become known as one of the pioneers of sustainable wellnesswear. It is the brainchild of Esmod alumni Nathalie Prieger who has worked with various German brands, including MCM Fashion, before deciding to forge her own sustainable path.
An astangga yogi herself, Prieger shared that she wanted to bridge her practice with her love of fashion. “One morning during yoga I suddenly knew what I wanted to do back home: run my own yoga clothing line embodying the principle of respect for people and the environment.” The brand has since become known for making ecologically-conscious clothing and upcycling PET bottles into leggings.
In the recent years, Mandala has enjoyed renewed success as activewear and athleisure dominated the global fashion scene. As the line between studiowear and casualwear blurred, Mandala’s timeless and elegant pieces have charmed new patrons who share the company’s core values.
Mandala’s identity is shaped by its adherence to “conscious consumerism” and resource-saving production. Throughout the years, they have gradually incorporated the use of natural fibres, recycled materials, and ethical production into its supply chain. They also ensure that their workers are given fair pay and decent working conditions. They believe that “feminism.. should even be stronger in places where women most in need of support are concerned.”
Their products are manufactured in a GOTS certified production site in Izmir, Turkey. They also source their organic cotton from Turkey as well. The production site is responsible for producing all the cotton, polyamide, and cotton-Modal blends for the company. Meanwhile, all the recycled polyester, tencel, and Modal are produced in Shanghai.
Philosophy of Yoga and Fair Fashion
What separates Mandala from most sustainable fashion brands is its focus on yoga apparel. Their wide variety of lounge and sweatpants, leggings, yoga tops, and other garments are all made with ease and utility in mind. Mandala is obsessed with providing a perfect fit so that their patrons can focus on their breathing and asanas.
These values are thought of in the context of using organic and recycled textiles. Their yoga pants, for example, are mostly made of Tencel, Modal, Merino wool, and recyled polyester textiles. The Tencel yoga pants are softer than cotton while the polyester-based ones are very elastic and quick-drying, making them perfect for intense yoga sessions. Other materials that they use are organic cotton and bio-based polyamide. In the spirit of slow fashion, Mandala’s products are durable and can withstand multiple uses.
Mandala’s visual aesthetic is also elegant and versatile. Their products are designed to highlight the female form. They also offer a wide range of style and sensibilities, including modern and minimalist designs as well as prints and even some wild psychedelic patterns.
Today, Mandala’s products can be bought from more than 120 stores and 20 online stores worldwide. They have also acquired many certifications over the years, including the Approved Vegan Label by the Animal Welfare Organization PETA. Mandala’s devotion to sustainable fashion is a testament to the power of holistic change, one that involves both the inner and outer world. It shows that it is indeed possible to transform the world, one breathe, and one garment, at a time.