While we are focusing on achieving our fitness goal, and being committed to self-care and wellbeing, we can also care for our environment, at the same time. Good workouts while wearing comfortable and sustainable athletic wear can aid us in our fitness routine while preserving our environment.

Gone are the days when sustainable workout gears are difficult to find. Because of the continuous crisis we are facing with our environment, a lot of brands and companies have put an effort to create eco-conscious products, including activewear. These brands commit to creating products that will not add harmful effects to the environment.

The increasing environmental awareness from consumers causes the rise of eco-conscious companies. These companies practice fair trade and ethical labor and create products made from natural and recycled materials.


The Harm in Regular Activewear

woman wearing blue activewear clothing

Typical activewear is made from synthetics such as spandex, nylon, and polyester. These materials make it lightweight, moisture-wicking, stretchy, and comfortable for your workout routine. However, these fibers are not biodegradable and negatively impact our environment.

They consume large amounts of water and energy during production and emit harmful greenhouse gases adding to more carbon footprint. Also, washing these fabrics in our washing machines sheds millions of tiny plastic particles not visible to the naked eye. When the washing machine is drained, these plastic residues will go straight to our water waste and our oceans.

Since it is plastic, it is not biodegradable and can clog our landfills. Marine species are also at risk of swallowing this plastic which can be fatal to them.

Usually, regular active wears are not durable if worn daily and will cost you to buy more. That’s why it is better to make a choice and switch to more sustainable and environmentally friendly activewear.

Benefits of choosing ethical and sustainable athletic wear brands

woman doing yoga on a yoga mat
  • They use eco-friendly materials

Natural products such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo combined with recycled fibers are used to make flexible activewear. They source raw materials from resources that are renewable. Most of them also recycle plastic and create new products.

  • Their products are durable

A lot of sustainable athletic wear brands are durable, which means that you can use your sportswear over and over without being easily worn out. In this way, you also reduce your waste.

  • They have eco-conscious production

Eco-friendly brands gained their popularity and reputation because they produce its product without harming the environment. If possible, they recycle all their waste, and if not recyclable, they dispose of it properly. They also do not use any harmful chemicals.

  • They have fair labor

Eco-friendly brands made a commitment to fair trade practices. They give their workers fair wages and benefits.

  • Most of them have charitable endeavors

Aside from considering our comfort and the environment when they make their products, most of them engage in activities that will uplift society. Some of them plant a tree for each product sold, and some donate a percentage of their earnings to charities and nonprofits.

Read: Sustainable Fashion, Explained: What is It and Why Does It Matter

Which clothing brands are eco-friendly?

woman folding her hands together in yoga position

An increasing number of brands switched to being eco-friendly. They use recyclable and renewable materials in their products and avoid hazardous chemicals in the process. Also, most of them have committed to having fair trade and supports environmental activities

  • Patagonia

Patagonia is a California-based B-Corp company that makes sustainable and high-quality activewear. They offer activewear for adults and kids, such as bodysuits, leggings, yoga apparel, fleeces, and outerwear. They have eco-friendly production, a safe working space, and ethical labor practices.1 % of their sales are donated to the restoration and preservation of the environment.

  • Adidas

Adidas is one of the leading brands when it comes to sneakers and activewear. They create sustainable activewear and have a zero-waste policy. They have reduced their water and energy consumption, and have partnered with Parley for the Ocean to help in water preservation and help keep the trash out.

  • Boody

Boody creates its products from organic bamboo yarn. They produce sports bras, underwear, and some basic tees that are soft and comfortable. They only use water in treating the bamboo and avoid the use of harmful chemicals. They have zero-waste production and donate part of their sales to charities.

Also Read: Fast Fashion: The Good, the Bad, and the Solution

  • Vyayama

Vyayama is an Oeko-Tex Standard Certified brand that uses natural fibers in creating activewear. Their fabric is soft, comfy, renewable, and sweat-wicking. They prefer plants over plastics and sourced their dyes from natural resources. These environmentally friendly dyes are safe to the skin, perfect for those who have allergies to synthetic dyes.

  • Tentree

Tentree is a B Corp company based in Vancouver, Canada, that creates sustainable products made from eco-friendly materials and plants ten trees for every purchase! To date, more than 51 million trees have been planted in different countries, and they aspire to reach 1 billion by 2030.

They make reusable bags for groceries and shopping and have different clothing collections. They have adult tops, bottoms, and accessories available for athletic wear with beautiful graphics.

  • Pact

Pact is a GOTS Certified brand that offers products made from organic cotton and sells them at a very affordable price. They have adult yoga apparel, underwear, tops, bottoms, and underwear with a size range from XS-XXL.

  • Wolven

If you are looking for the best sustainable athletic wear, loungewear, and basics, check out Wolven. Wolven is another B-Corp company that produces clothing from recycled plastic. For every purchase, they remove a pound of plastic waster from the ocean. How cool is that!

  • Girlfriend collective

If you are looking for gym wear of great fashion and highlights the curves of your body. Girlfriend Collective is what you are looking for. It is an all-female organization that creates aesthetic activewear for all shapes and sizes. They recycle plastic bottles to create soft fabrics and provide us with comfortable activewear. They practice fair labor and empowers women.

Read: The Slow Fashion Movement: What It Is, and Why We Should All Get Behind It

Is Gymshark environmentally friendly?

Gymshark is an activewear company based in the United Kingdom that claims to be ethical and environment-friendly. When shipping orders, they recycle packaging and follow the REACH standards in avoiding dangerous chemicals. However, this has brought speculations to some people because, in other areas, they do not follow sustainable practices.

Most of the materials they use are not environment friendly, such as nylon and elastane. Nylon produces nitrous oxide which is more potent and toxic than carbon dioxide. It also consumes a large volume of water during production which can cause pollution and contamination. Elastane, on the other hand, is composed of different fibers making it difficult to recycle.

They have not spoken about waste and greenhouse gas reduction, which should be a top priority considering our environmental problems. And with regards to labor, only little is known in terms of workers’ rights and fair wages.

Despite these issues with Gymshark, a lot of people still support and value them for the reason that they are vegan, and respects animal welfare.

Is Lululemon eco-friendly?

Lululemon is well-known for selling trendy bags and comfy leggings. However, it is rated “not good enough” in their environment rating. The company showcases its sincere devotion to saving mother earth by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the use of chemicals in their factories, but such claims were not true as such does not exist.

They only use few eco-friendly materials but keeps on advertising that they are eco-friendly.

Another issue of Lululemon is their unfair treatment to workers. Imagine yourself in a yoga class wearing apparel that almost costs around $100. Would you become even more relaxed and focused if you find out that the expensive sportswear you flaunt in front of your friends is a product of inhumane labor conditions?

They also claim to adhere to sustainability, but that is not the case. Well, Lululemon is not our typical workout brand. Not because of their exercise machines or controlled chambers used to test their products, but because of issues and false claims beyond their expensive facade.

In terms of animal welfare, they do not use fur, angora, and exotic animal skin. However, they are reported to have used leather, wool, and exotic animal hair in making their products without being transparent with their source. With this, we are not sure how animals are treated.

Read: 8 Best Dress Rental Sites for the Eco-friendly and Frugal Fashionista

What sports brand is most ethical?

There are a lot of ethical brands available in the market. The answer to which one is the best still depends on your idea of what is ethical. Listed above are the brands that ethically produce sportswear. All of them are sustainable, use eco-friendly materials, and follow fair trade. They respect their workers and gives importance to animal welfare.

Read: Sustainably Dress for Less: 5 Online Thrift Stores Worth Checking Out

The Bottom Line

It is possible to go green and be gentle to nature with your activewear. As you get fit while wearing sustainable and eco-friendly athletic wear, you help in the preservation of nature even with that small act. With the rise of brands being conscious of the environment, it is now easier to look for sustainable clothes in the market.

Imagine if all of us thought of switching to more eco-friendly choices, maybe we can beat the environmental crisis and save our nature together.

Also Read:

When Going ‘Green’ is the New Blue: 10 Best Sustainable Denim Brands You’ll Be Proud to Wear

13 Sustainable Sneakers That’ll Let You Walk Your Talk

About The Author

May can usually be found reading an eco magazine absorbed in the latest gripping articles on all things eco! May is passionate about the environment. May believes in looking and feeling good whilst living an eco friendly lifestyle. In her spare time she loves cooking, playing her guitar and going for country walks. May lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with friends, family and her two adorable cats.

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