Activewear is moving toward sustainable materials and practices.
Years back, when I first started my sustainable wardrobe quest, one of the most startling discoveries for me was the fact that all (and I mean all) of my activewear was made from polyester. From my lightweight running tanks to my favorite yoga leggings, plastic was everywhere.
With our increased awareness of the troubles of polyester, there are numerous brands providing us with more sustainable alternatives. While we have yet to discover or make a plant-based fabric that mimics the functions of polyester, organic cotton and recycled plastic textiles are great available options.
So, whether activewear is about all you wear these days (you are definitely not alone) or you are needing some eco-chic wear to get back into the gym, these nine sustainable activewear brands have you covered.
Sustainable Activewear Brands
1. Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective’s main goal is to be as transparent as possible with its customers. That along with its dedication to size inclusivity and sustainability has launched it into fan-favorite status amongst green shoppers.
Most of its items are made from recycled plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets, along with OEKO-Tex certified dyes. Its ethical manufacturers guarantee at least 125% of the local minimum wage for their workers.
2. Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices designs with longevity and circularity in mind. The company uses fabrics such as recycled PET and bluesign certified CloudKnit. It has also partnered with the Better Cotton Initiative to continue to increase its sustainability commitment. All of the packaging is also recycled and recyclable.
While most athleticwear brands seem to keep their prints to a minimum, Wolven is all about the prints. A recurring theme on this list, Wolven also uses recycled plastic bottles in many of its garments as well as carbon-neutral modal fabrics. It has also partnered with NativeEnergy to carbon offset its operations footprint.
Wolven’s manufacturer is certified for fair labor, wages, work hours, health, safety, and environmental practices. The company also ships in eco-friendly packaging.
INHALA was founded by two Peruvian yogis and uses innovative sustainable materials such as ECONYL and Peruvian fair-trade organic cotton. The company is dedicated to zero-waste and plastic-free materials and design. It also collaborates with independent artists on collections to create unique prints. The beautiful yoga mats are also made from recycled natural rubber.
5. Nature Hommage
Many of Nature’s Hommage items are made from recycled nylon waste, such as fishing nets. For every purchase, one dollar goes to Plastic Bank, which removes 80 plastic bottles from the oceans for every dollar donated. All of Nature Hommage’s items are made ethically in Bali and to help reduce waste, any left-over fabrics are donated to a local charity that upcycles them into saleable goods.
Read: How to Go Braless: Plus the 3 Best Sustainable Bras When You Just Can’t
6. Kaira Active
Kaira Active is built for the adventurers amongst us. Designed to support you through surfing, hiking, and yoga but also comfy enough for lounging. Another brand using recycled plastic, Kaira has partnered with nonprofit Healthy Seas to retrieve old fishing nets and turn them into regenerated fibers. The fabric is spun in Italy and all the garments are then ethically sewn in Los Angeles. The gorgeous clothing is then shipped to you in 100% recycled packaging.
7. Rescue Plastic
If it wasn’t obvious from the brand’s name, Rescue Plastic uses upcycled plastic garments for the athlete in us all. All of its activewear is ethically manufactured in a LEED-certified facility. To increase circularity, the brand is developing a recycling system for consumers to return their previous purchases to be recycled into new apparel.
PACT is one of our favorite one-stop shops for all your sustainable basics and that definitely includes activewear. The brand only uses natural, certified organic cotton without any harmful dyes. All facilities are Fair Trade certified, and the company uses carbon offsetting for shipments and thoughtful packaging. PACT’s Give Back Box also helps customers donate their old clothes to charities.
9. Groceries Apparel
Groceries Apparel crafts comfy activewear from natural materials, including organic cotton, eucalyptus, hemp, and linen, as well as recycled plastic and cotton. The company manufactures in its own factory in Los Angeles to ensure worker well-being. Overseeing all operations also allows the team to cut down on textile waste and increase garment traceability.