IKA Yoga Wear

June 20, 2015 09:00 ET

New Indian Brand Proyog Launches Quiet War Against Synthetic Yoga Wear

Indian Startup Challenges Global Leaders in Multi-Billion Dollar Market; Blends Tradition With Technology While Staying True to Yoga

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Jun 20, 2015) - International Day of Yoga, June 21, 2015 -- Challenging the global leaders in the multi-billion dollar yoga wear market, India-based IKA Yoga Wear today launched Proyog, the world's first yoga wear line for women that stays true to yoga - where synthetics never touch the skin and garments never compress the body. Aimed at serious yoga practitioners, Proyog is designed to enhance their practice. Made from naturally breathable materials, Proyog's trademarked HyperBreath fabrics are non-restrictive and styled so that one is barely aware of their presence, unlike the synthetic garments from global brands which are inherently unsuitable for yoga.

"Yoga wear across the globe has largely been sportswear in disguise," said Malika Baruah, Proyog co-founder and product head. "Today, more than 90% of the market consists of polyester and nylon products that are essentially plastic or PET fabrics which are not at all conducive to yoga. Proyog, on the other hand, has stayed true to yoga wherein every product is designed to enhance the practice. Once a yoga practitioner wears Proyog, she is unlikely to go back to anything else."

The World's First True Yoga Wear
Inspired by 3,000-year-old styles, Proyog has created yoga wear that is relevant to present-day yoga practice. Each garment is designed in a manner that the practitioner is hardly conscious of its presence. It is the only company in the world to use core-spun technology in yoga wear, where the Lycra yarn is wrapped with organic cotton before knitting, ensuring that it never comes even close to the skin. It also does not compress any part of the body or harbor odor causing bacteria like synthetic garments do, while offering greater stretch and recovery than the commonly used cotton-elastane.

Proyog also uses an organic-cotton and modal blend, sticking only to Lenzing Modal®. Modal is one of the most naturally breathable materials and Lenzing Modal® is synonymous with softness, staying soft even after repeated washes.

Proyog is launching 12 styles this season, four of which will be entirely new to the western yoga world. These include the Padma shorts (designed specifically for Iyengar Yoga practitioners), Dhoti pants, Dhoti shorts and the Katori tank. All have been inspired by centuries-old yoga attire. Proyog's color palette is rich, earthy and calming, rather than fluorescent and psychedelic.

"Proyog will help you focus on your yoga practice, instead of being distracted or irritated by the clothing", added co-founder and design head Priyanktha Iyengar. "When you meditate we don't want you to sense the finiteness of your physical being. We're positive advanced practitioners will appreciate it more."

From the Birthplace of Yoga
Proyog spent two years in extensive research before developing the fabrics and styles of garments, closely consulting with yoga teachers and textile engineers. They also spoke with practitioners from 11 nationalities. Their findings showed that most practitioners are not even aware that they are practicing yoga in nylon and polyester clothing. No one had bothered to educate them about the contradiction between yoga and 'plastic,' all these years.

"Indian yogis traditionally wore natural, unstitched clothes which were neither too tight, nor too loose," said Iyengar. "We've tried to come as close to those fabrics and designs as possible. It is no coincidence that the world's first specialized yoga wear brand is Indian. If yoga comes from India, surely the onus of true yoga wear cannot be on the world."

Goal: A Serious Player in the Multi-Billion Dollar Yoga Wear Market
"Over 200 million people around the world practice yoga. The estimated market for yoga apparel in the US alone is well over $13 billion annually. Unfortunately, the market is dominated by players who are simply passing off synthetic fitness-wear as yoga wear. There's a lot of harm being done to yoga. We are looking at becoming a serious player, if only to liberate the yoga world from its cling-wrapping and help it breathe again," explains Sanjay Nayak, co-founder and CEO of Proyog.

"We are the only company in the world which is true to yoga. We are as committed to yoga as Speedo is to swimming, or Everlast is to boxing. None of the popular yoga wear brands have even bothered to understand the requirements for yoga. If they had even a modicum of respect for yoga, they wouldn't be churning out 'plastic yoga pants' day-in and day-out," said Dave Banerjee, co-founder and marketing head.

Proyog had raised an early round of funding from Naresh Malhotra, ex-Sequoia Capital and KPMG, and Ajay Malhotra of VAMM Capital. The company plans to raise Series A funding soon.

Where to buy Proyog? How much?
Proyog will be available in the U.S. from June 21 on, and with an MSRP ranging from $45-$65 for tops and $45-$89 for bottoms, this season. The company plans to make the product available at leading retailers later this year. It will also be available at specialized e-tailers and sporting goods chains.

About Proyog
Launched on the first International Day of Yoga, Proyog is the world's first true yoga wear. It has taken designs from ancient India and recreated them using cutting-edge technology, to make them relevant to the present-day practice of yoga. Proyog's yoga wear line for women targets serious practitioners, across the world. Proyog is designed, manufactured and marketed by Bangalore based company IKA Yoga Wear Pvt. Ltd.

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