prAna, an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit, has helped guide their actions and lift their aspirations since day one. prAna started in 1992 making clothing that worked well for climbing and yoga. It turned out that the clothing worked well for lots of other passions too, so they added new products with “purpose” in mind and scoured the world for design inspiration. They cut and sewed clothing in their garage and shipped it to customers in surplus fruit boxes gathered from the local grocery store. For hangtags, they ground up old newspapers, added essential oils and cut out the handmade paper with a pizza cutter. The first employee slept on a hinged bed that turned into a shipping table by day. What’s changed since then? Not much – and a lot. They’ve grown a bunch, but most of the original employees are still here. They participate in business with like-minded folks who want to promote conservation and create positive change, which reflects the same intention as the old days, just taken up a few notches. Organic cotton, fair trade and wind power initiatives are on the short list of what they support. They are inspired by athletes like climber Chris Sharma – who’s been with them from the beginning – and yoginis like Shiva Rea. These friends, and many of the customers, help inform the designs and keep them legit. Which is why the founder, Beaver Theodosakis, still answers customers’ letters. Looking back, the name prAna fits pretty well.
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