While doing a downward dog one day, Aspen-based Merle O'Brien was inspired to create a line of bags made from recycled yoga mats. She found venues to buy new and unused materials on their way to the landfill, then turned those materials into OLovesM Eco Bags, a functional, fashionable line of satchels. The materials range from yoga mats to sandal webbing, to fabrics from friends. All the bags are made in Colorado and cost $15 to $62. I like the Tri-Bag ($50 to $56; olovesm.com), which can fit a computer, a lot of diapers, or a days' worth of gym gear.
Many large companies have also incorporated recycled fabrics into their gear. Sierra Designs Flex Jacket ($249; sierradesigns.com), a 750-weight goose down parka, uses a water and tear-resistant 100 percent recycled shell. New for spring, La Sportiva's new FC Eco 2.0 and 3.0 ($140, $160; lasportiva.com) technical hiking boots are built from the ground up using recycled materials. The Vibram outsole uses 30 percent recycled rubber, and the upper uses 100 percent recycled material for the mesh, laces, and webbing.