Is Athletic Apparel Retailer Alo Yoga Considered Fast Fashion? Here's What We Know

Alo Yoga has their work cut out on becoming a greener company.

Jamie Bichelman - Author

May 24 2024, Published 11:19 a.m. ET

You've got your sights set on a healthier, happier you, preparing to attend your first yoga class in a fresh new outfit from athletic apparel retailer Alo Yoga. You're also eco-minded and trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

As you look around at a class full of yogis in fast fashion apparel, the dreadful thought arises: are my new clothes from Alo Yoga considered fast fashion?

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Before you work up a sweat heavier than the one you endured in your Bikram Yoga class, let's explore if Alo Yoga is indeed considered fast fashion, what the retailer is doing right, and how they can improve.

A cellphone depicting the words "alo" and the word "yoga" against a peach-colored background.
Source: Getty Images
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Is Alo Yoga fast fashion?

The sustainable fashion rating app Good On You declares Alo Yoga as famous as Lululemon. Unfortunately, the app also declares Alo a fast fashion retailer they recommend avoiding.

Good on You rates Alo Yoga "Very Poor" for its environmental impact, "Not Good Enough" in its lack of effort to protect workers within their supply chain, and "Not Good Enough" in the animal welfare category, as Alo Yoga appallingly "still uses leather, down, exotic animal hair, and wool" in its apparel line.

Good on You goes a step further, taking Alo Yoga to task for not embodying the sacred tenet of "do no harm" that yogis seek to follow. Alo Yoga violates this core belief by using animals for its goods, lacking adequate labor protections for workers, and relying on hazardous chemicals and toxic emissions throughout the production process.

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Is Alo Yoga ethical?

Ethics are a complex and highly personal concept, so how we assess whether or not Alo Yoga is ethical may differ. However, there are many commonalities we can likely agree on, and it seems that the Alo Yoga model fails to even remotely resemble that of an ethical company.

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As the blog For The Love Of Sustainability eloquently points out, Alo Yoga may be worse than Lululemon, another unethical, fast fashion retailer. The blog points out that Alo is an acronym, standing for "Air, Land, Ocean," and, ironically, it seems they commit unethical practices that damage the environment.

Here's how they do so, specifically, according to For The Love Of Sustainability:

  • Alo Yoga charges high prices for their apparel, which the blog argues is not a sustainable practice.
  • The materials used in Alo Yoga products are unsustainable, and Alo appears to show no initiative to address their emissions nor their waste production.
  • Without a standard for labor conditions, those within their supply chain are left vulnerable.
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Is Alo Yoga PFAS-free?

It appears Alo Yoga may get a pass on this one. Mamavation, a website that investigates products to assess if they are toxic, found PFAS, more commonly known as "forever chemicals," in workout leggings and yoga pants produced by popular brands.

While they acknowledge Alo Yoga utilizes materials that contain petrochemicals, like polyester, the products they tested from Alo Yoga did not register a detectable level of PFAS.

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"Our third-party EPA-certified lab did not detect organic fluorine at or above 10 parts per million (ppm) detection level," Mamavation wrote in reference to Alo Yoga's High-Waist Alosoft Flow Legging.

Still, in my own research, I've reviewed the ingredients in Alo Yoga's beauty products, supplements, candles, and other wellness products.

Here's the problem: the scented candles may contain synthetic fragrances that prove toxic to humans and animals alike, per Pure Living Space. There's no guarantee at this point that we can be sure Alo's cosmetic products are entirely free of PFAS. PFAS are frequently detected in the unregulated supplement and wellness industry, like the bevy of forever chemicals found in popular electrolyte products.

To be safe, we'd avoid Alo Yoga.

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