3 unique yoga brands your fitness wardrobe needs

“Frankly, some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [for the yoga pants].” Remember when the founder of big name yoga brand Lululemon, Chip Wilson, made that comment?

After reading this statement in 2013, I vowed to never support Lululemon ever again. I also realized the only reason I was buying Lululemon and Alo Yoga in the first place was because everyone else was wearing these brands.

To paraphrase Kanye West, people are “slaves” to labels, and sometimes we think that the more expensive and well-known the brand is, the better. So, instead of following the masses, I decided that I wanted to support smaller brands that reflected my personal philosophies about fashion and fitness.

If you’re ready to trade in your basic brands for something uniquely designed to fit your style, body and beliefs, then here are three fitness brands that you should get to know:

Inner Sea Co.

Photo by Mohammed F Emran.

We’ve all had those “what if” daydreams. Well, taking a leap of faith, Carolina Hinestroza made hers come true. So, she quit her corporate job last October and went back to school to pursue her passion for fashion and interior design. Then came Inner Sea Co.

In less than a year, she launched her bathing suit leggings that are perfect for the yogis that takes their practice to the beach or on the water! “I found them to be very convenient, especially because the bathing suit material doesn’t retain much water and dries so quickly. I no longer had to get in my car drenched in sweat!” shared Carolina.

The fabrics she uses are mostly one-of-a-kind. Handmade out of bathing suit material with a perk of UV protection, the styles allow for comfort and the freedom to move. “There are other brands out there that have water apparel but they don’t use authentic bathing suit quality material like I do,” said Carolina. “This is something completely new to the swim industry and ‘bathing suit leggings’ is currently trademark pending with my company.”

“Modesty, elegance and natural beauty is sexy.”

And, with an anchor in the logo and decorating each Inner Sea Co. item, it acts as a reminder to always stay grounded and allow your life to stay balanced.

Denise Cronwall Activewear

Photo by Mohammed F Emran.

Driven by the idea of creating a unique boutique-style activewear line, Denise Cronwall equipped herself with a fashion design degree and dove into creating her own apparel.

“The desire to design activewear arose in me about ten years ago when it was hard to find options beyond those that the large multi-national brands offered,” said Denise. “In 2012 my brother, with his strong sales and business administration background, and I joined forces. And that year is when the company got off the ground.”

From pattern-making to sample sewing, Denise is completely hands-on when it comes to her the creative process of her fitness collection. “I enjoy interacting with the colors and materials and figuring out what they want to be made into,” said Denise, who manufactures everything in Miami where her studio is, allowing her to be involved every step of the way.

As for the finished product, Denise Cronwall Activewear is “feminine, flattering and elegant.” with layering sheer materials as part of her signature look. Her modest looks and lightweight materials make it easy to move – no matter the activity – without worrying about being revealing.

My Mantra Active

Photo by Mohammed F Emran.

Designer, owner and new mother Ina Plesca started her brand two years ago on the small, tropical island of Koh Tao in Thailand. Ina describes her collection as being “color, fun and free.” And with trendy, breathable fabrics that are bursting with color, My Mantra Active embodies the island life.

“My philosophy behind the brand is to promote a healthy and can do kind of lifestyle,” said Ina. “We encourage our tribe to stay active, eat well, travel often and take risks. This is what we’re all about.”

Inspired by Ina’s personal life, My Mantra Active’s clothes are definitely designed for an active life, on and off the mat. Ina shared, “I live a very active life; I travel a lot with my brand. I take loads of risks and I also take loads of awesome ideas from every experience possible.”

“Have no fear of anything and live life to its fullest.”

Their clothing moves and stretches with you, which is really important as you move through your practice. And, you can go into savasana with a peaceful mind knowing that My Mantra Active is eco-friendly. “We have made sure to use fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. We’re slowly going the eco way and want to only create pieces that have been mindfully made,” explained Ina.