The Yogzi: cute one-piece yogawear helps replenish trees in sub-Saharan Africa

At White Rock Lake in a Yogzi: cute one-piece yogawear that helps replenish trees in sub-Saharan Africa

It lies in a new brand called Noya, brought to us by White Rock area entrepreneur Christine Reppa. The yoga student invented a one-piece workout ensemble called the Yogzi, which is the company’s current cornerstone. People are buzzing about the product, but it’s a means to a larger end, says Reppa, who has a tree planted in sub-Saharan Africa for each suit sold.

“In addition to designing comfortable, stylish and innovative products, Noya strives to initiate social change.”

Christine

Christine Reppa

Since graduating from University of Texas in 2009, Reppa has traveled the world experiencing a variety of interesting things — like working as an au pair in Spain and as a trekking guide in Guatemala, where she volunteered at a school for at-risk kids. There her environmentalist ideals were put to the test.

“It was in Guatemala that my whole world changed … There are a lot of devastating landslides in the highlands of Guatemala and part of the issue comes from deforestation. In general, I’ve always been an environmentalist looking toward the future. But in Guatemala it is a current issue that can’t be ignored.”

After moving back to the States, she discovered yoga — good for body and psyche, but …

“I noticed the issue with clothes right away,” she says. “It was something people talked about all the time, but there was no solid product choice on the market that solved the issue.”

That so-called issue was the fact that when you’re doing a downward dog, your tank top is falling in your face and everything underneath it is exposed to the class.

As Reppa puts it, it is hard to get in a meditative state with your shirt tickling your nose. The Yogzi, as you can see in the video, is a stretchy women’s capri and halter-top one-piece designed to “keep your focus on your yoga practice rather than your clothing,” she says. Sure, there are leotards and onesies on the market, but this one has the look of a two-piece set. The video has been generating a ton of buzz on social media. I shared it with my Facebook friends (among which there are a few yogis of varying levels of seriousness) and based on an unceremonious poll, I think this young entrepreneur has a hit on her hands.

“The less adjusting the more I can concentrate on what I’m doing,” wrote one commenter. “Also the less pieces I have to remember the better.” Another chimed in, “I really hate when my shirt falls down-up. Nobody needs to see that!” One male friend said he wished she’d make one for men (just give her some time—she will). And the only concern (aside from wondering how much it cost) was how difficult it would be to pull the outfit on and off when the need arose. Or as one noted and other echoed, “I need to know how to pee before committing.”  

At an early retail price of $119, the Yogzis started selling the moment the ordering site went live this week, Reppa says.

When you look at brands such as Lululemon, whose bottoms alone can run women close to $100, the price tag is quite reasonable.

And while this unique, neighborhood-made product — a heather charcoal pant and bra in shoppers’ choice of sea-mist, navy or raspberry — could be big, the Yogzi is just the beginning for Reppa and her Noya company.

For every sale of a Yogzi, Noya, in partnership with Trees For The Future, plants a tree in sub-Saharan Africa.

Here’s how she explains the tree project:

“The brilliant minds at Trees for the Future created a system of planting trees that sustainably changes lives. Their Forest Garden Program provides families with the tools necessary to create and maintain sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood, and increase their annual income by up to 500 percent. Trees are planted in a range of environments from coastal areas to mountains, restoring soil that had been unproductive for decades or even hundreds of years. When you plant a tree you’re helping the local people and environment now and the entire world for years to come.”

At the moment, the Yogzi is only available online. Reppa hopes to sell in local studios soon.