This article is all about eco-friendly pole dancing and how we can all be more environmentally conscious and promote better sustainable practices within the pole fitness industry.
As a pole dancer, you probably haven’t stepped back to consider the impact that pole dancing can have on the environment.
Within this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can become more eco-friendly with your pole fitness workouts, covering everything from grip aid to clothing and even body glitter.
We will also provide tips and suggestions for pole dancing businesses and fitness studios to adopt sustainable practices and improve their environmental impact.
Pole Dancing And The Environment
Since pole dancing as a form of fitness gained popularity during the last 20 years, it’s generated a whole new culture and industry around the sport.
The wider fitness industry is responsible for producing billions of products every year  and a relatively new sport – such as contemporary pole dancing – has generated its own range of new products and merchandise.
Pole dancing is a sport that requires a lot of showmanship (or showwomanship) and this is often reflected in outfits, shoes, body glitter, staging and accessories.
All of these things have an impact on the environment that we need to be mindful of.
Choosing Eco-Friendly Pole Dancing Products
As pole dancers, we are regular consumers of:
- Fitness clothing, sports bras, shorts, leg warmers etc
- Grip aid products
- Cosmetic products
It’s important that we consider the overall lifecycle of a product and what we do with it when we’re done.
For example, your beloved pole shorts that are so worn out, what do you do with these? Dispose of them, or rip them to use as a cleaning rag for your poles?
And for pre-loved items, you can gift or sell your pre-loved pole dancing items that you no longer want to other polers (there are millions of us around the world!)
Sustainable Pole Dance Fitness Clothing
The first thing to look at is your pole dancing wardrobe and consider reducing the amount of new products that we buy.
When buying new pole fitness clothing, we should be looking for high quality items that are long-lasting and don’t need replacing every year.
So many fitness clothing brands mass-produce lower quality garments to make them more affordable. This creates a false economy.
Workout clothing can easily last 5-10 years if it’s high quality and cared for.
Look for local suppliers of workout wear that doesn’t need to shipped thousands of miles to reach you!
Eco-Friendly Pole Dancing Grip Aid Products
Ah, grip aids is such a huge topic in pole dancing. We’ve written an epic long comparison guide of every different pole grip product out there!
There are a wide range of ingredients used in different pole dance grip aids, including:
- Beeswax (organic, but not vegan)
- Silica (non-organic, vegan, but doesn’t break down when washed away)
- Chalk (organic, vegan, non-toxic, does not harm the local environment)
- Tree rosin (organic, vegan, can be toxic if ingested, but does not harm the local environment)
- Microplastics (non-organic, do not break down when washed away, can cause land and water pollution when disposed of)
Pole dancing grip aids that contain microplastics (such as Mighty Grip Powder) are not damaging when you’ve got them on your skin, but when you wash your hands, all those tiny bits of microplastic wash down the drain and eventually end up in the waterways, then finally, the ocean .
You also need to consider the environmental impact caused by the manufacturing process of these products. Just because a product sounds like it’s natural and eco-friendly, that doesn’t mean that the product can’t be extracted from nature in a harmless way.
Body Glitter Worn For Pole Dancing
Body glitter is often worn by pole dancers in strip clubs or during live performances for aesthetic reasons.
Glitter is beautiful and makes your skin look dewy under the lights on stage, so it’s no wonder that many dancers (not just pole dancers) turn to body glitter for some added bling.
However most forms of cosmetic glitter used in makeup or body creams also contain harmful microplastics. When you shower all that glitter away, it eventually ends up in the ocean where it disrupts the natural balance.
Microplastics in products such as body glitter don’t break down and are non-water soluble.
There are eco-friendly glitter alternatives, such as Kaima Cosmetics Chameleon Flakes which are water soluble and less damaging to the environment.
Buy Fewer Pole Dancing Products!
You don’t need more stuff!
A great step towards becoming a more eco-friendly pole dancer is to generally reduce the amount of new things you buy for your new hobby.
Do you really need a 4th pair of Pleasers?
What about your 12th pair of shorts? Or those new leg warmers?
Only buy items that you really and truly need, instead of building a wardrobe of pole dancing clothes that will burst!
Reducing Waste & Conserving Resources For Pole Dancing Studios and Businesses
If you run a pole dancing business or studio, then you have more opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint. Businesses are held to a greater level of accountability and scrutiny than consumers.
As an eco-friendly pole dancing business, you can also educate your students and customers about how to adopt more sustainable fitness practices into their lives.
Reduce The Amount Of Disposable Products Used In Your Studio
Use reusable products: Instead of disposable products, consider using reusable alternatives such as cloth towels instead of wet wipes, eco-friendly grip aids, and reusable cleaning spray bottles.
This can help reduce waste and also save your business more money in the long run.
Heating & Cooling Your Pole Studio Efficiently
Heating and cooling your pole dance studio is one of the more challenging aspects of running a fitness business.
In trying to create a safe and comfortable environment for your customers, you need to be mindful of how to make this more efficient.
Things like insulation, modern building code standards, well-maintained HVAC systems and monitoring your usage can help you reduce costs and your impact on the environment at the same time.
In colder climates, you can include more vigorous warm-ups in your classes or suggest that your students wear leggings and hoodies for the warmup portion of your class.
Repurpose or Recycle Products
As a business, you use a higher volume of products than a household.
Here are some ways that a pole dancing studio can repurpose or recycle products in order to have more sustainable business practices:
- Donate or sell gently used products: If you have gently used products that are no longer needed, you could donate them to a local charity or selling them to other studios or dancers. This can help extend the life of these products and prevent them from ending up in a landfill forevermore.
- Recycle materials where possible: Many materials used in pole dancing studios, such as cardboard, paper, plastic, and even scrap metal, can easily be recycled. Consider using a locally-based recycling program in your area to dispose of your recycling waste responsibly.
Efficient Dance Studio Lighting
Dance studio lighting has to be bright for safety purposes, however traditional dance studio lights are not particularly efficient and waste a lot of heat (which in turn adds to your a/c running costs).
Newer lights use LEDs that use a fraction of the energy to run. Consider reviewing your electrical light fittings in your pole dance studio with a qualified electrician to see where improvements can be made.
Does your pole dancing business have a sustainability policy?
It’s best practice for eco-friendly businesses to have a sustainability policy or charter for employees and customers to refer to.
A sustainability document for a pole dancing studio could include the following elements:
- Your mission statement: This is a short and simple statement that outlines the studio’s commitment to sustainability and explains why it is important.
- A list of sustainability goals: This could include specific targets that the studio aims to achieve, such as reducing waste, using eco-friendly products, and conserving energy. These goals should be measurable, achievable, and relevant to your studio’s operations.
- A description of current sustainability practices: This could include a list of the studio’s current sustainability practices, such as recycling, using reusable products, and supporting eco-friendly suppliers.
- A plan for implementing new sustainability practices: What are your plans for the future? This is your opportunity to provide a timeline of your future plans to ensure your business stays eco-friendly for years to come.
By including these elements, a pole dancing studio can create a comprehensive and actionable sustainability document that will help guide its efforts to be more environmentally friendly.
This also makes you accountable to your customers by publishing this information publicly.
Support Eco-Friendly Pole Dancing Studios & Businesses
When you’re looking for a studio or pole fitness instructor, consider choosing ones that are committed to eco-friendly practices.
You can ask about their sustainability policies and practices, and look for studios that use eco-friendly products, conserve resources, and support environmental causes.
Before buying any fitness or pole dancing product, check its origins, materials and how far the shipment has to travel. Always buy from local businesses if you can!
Beware Of Green Washing Tactics
Greenwashing is a term used for businesses who market their business as eco-friendly and sustainable in order to get more custom, when it’s all just for show.
In reality, it’s easy to stick a green sticker on a product label and for consumers to take that at face value – but you need to check their claims if you’re truly committed towards leading a more sustainable lifestyle as a pole dancer.
“Eco-friendly” and “sustainable” are marketing terms that have no real weight behind them and with no formal regulation around using these terms on your products.
In this post, we explored some of the ways that pole dancers and pole dancing studios can adopt sustainable practices and reduce their environmental impact.
We discussed the importance of using reusable products, donating or selling gently used products, recycling materials, repurposing materials, and choosing eco-friendly products. We also highlighted the benefits of implementing these strategies, such as reducing waste, conserving resources, and supporting the larger community of eco-conscious pole dancers.
We hope that this post has inspired you to consider the environmental impact of your pole dancing practices, and to take steps to make them more sustainable. Whether it’s using reusable products, supporting eco-friendly studios and organizations, or finding creative ways to repurpose materials, every little bit helps.
By making these small changes, we can help create a more sustainable future for everyone.
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- Mansfield, L. (2009). Fitness Cultures and Environmental (in)Justice? International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 44(4), 345–362. https://doi.org/10.1177/1012690209343029
- Shim, W.J., Thomposon, R.C. Microplastics in the Ocean. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 69, 265–268 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00244-015-0216-x