Becoming more eco-friendly is a hot topic right now. For all of us, there’s a lot of pressure to revamp every area of your life with new sustainable practices. From reducing your energy consumption to embracing sustainable clothing brands, we’re always faced with a new step to take to minimize our impact on the Earth.
Making sustainable changes is essential, and if you’re like me, clothing should be the first step to tackle. In the past year, I’ve tried to re-focus my shopping habits on environmentally friendly clothes instead of pesky fast fashion alternatives. To my delight, the world of eco-clothing offers fashionable options for all scenarios - including sustainable sportswear!
Gone are the days when our workout clothes negatively impact the environment. We can now step onto the treadmill with confidence and a not-so-guilty conscience. Are you ready to make the change? Scroll down to explore what to look for in sustainable activewear and where to buy ethical workout clothes. You can also take a look at our sustainability hub to help you make more informed decisions about the eco-credentials of your purchase. Because knowledge is power.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING SUSTAINABLE ACTIVEWEAR
Starting your eco-friendly activewear journey is exciting but also confusing at the same time. Don’t worry if you wonder, “What makes clothing sustainable?” you’re not alone. Delving into the sustainable marketplace without prior knowledge can be challenging, confusing, and downright frustrating. But, when it comes to making sustainable choices, we’ve got you covered!
Ready to start shopping? Here are some top features to look for when replenishing your workout wardrobe.
Firstly, get to know your fibres. Many standard activewear pieces come from synthetic fibres, such as polyester, which are more damaging to the planet due to their manufacturing processes. These synthetic fibres also take longer to decompose, and many don’t break down at all!
Instead, try looking for recycled fibres. Your best bet is to opt for recycled nylons and polyesters, as these give activewear breathable and durable elements. These fabrics will keep you cool while working out and reduce your impact on the planet.
Brand transparency is another crucial element to look for. When purchasing new clothing, take five minutes to explore the website, or our brand sustainability rating guide here . If a brand is sustainable and proud, it’ll likely offer a dedicated page to show consumers its complete process. This includes their manufacturing process, locations, and more fabric information.
Many brands are also making the switch to sustainable packaging. Kiss plastic wrapping goodbye. It’s time to shop with brands that package garments in recycled paper or bio-degradable bags. Sustainability isn’t just about the clothing; the ethical activewear packaging is just as important.
Always keep these factors in mind before you hit the checkout button.
TOP 5 SUSTAINABLE ACTIVEWEAR BRANDS AT THE SPORTS EDIT
Now you know what to look for, it’s time to browse! Here at The Sports Edit, we can’t get enough of sustainable activewear. Here are our top five brands.
Created in the US, Girlfriend Collective is a brand that puts the environment first. Girlfriend Creative offers minimalist activewear with a luxurious twist, and all pieces are created from sustainable materials and recycled plastic bottles. Not only that, but your order will also arrive in 100% recyclable packaging.
Unlike fast-fashion alternatives, Girlfriend Collective uses fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles, fishing nets, and other used plastics. Consider this brand if you’re looking for sustainable leggings made from a durable material!
Another one of our top sustainable gym brands is YMO, a brand dedicated to activewear with a clean concept. YMO works with factories worldwide, and each meets labour welfare standards, ensuring the health and safety of the workers.
Five primary fabrics makeup the YMO collections, each sustainable and long-lasting. Notable mentions include recycled polyester, organic cotton blends, and regenerated nylon. If you’re looking for a trustworthy activewear set, check out YMO today.
> Read More on YMO Sustainability
While many sustainable brands offer minimalist and basic shapes, Wolven is on a mission to change eco-fashion’s perception. With unique patterns, flattering fits, and comfortable fabrics, Wolven is here to make activewear sustainable and sexy.
The Wolven team uses OEKO-Tex certified recycled PET fabrics, ensuring each piece is carbon-neutral and not harmful to the environment. Forget the boring activewear and browse Wolven for a sustainable sports bra that stands out.
Have you tried Goodmove activewear? This M&S activewear range is designed to clothe all fitness fans with sustainable activewear that withstands the test of time and that won’t break the bank. If you worry about low-quality leggings or unreliable sports bras, Goodmove is here to prove that sports clothing can be sustainable and reliable - and it's now available to shop at The Sports Edit!
M&S is on a mission to transform their brand with 100% renewable electricity, sustainably sourced cotton, and a reduction in manufacturing resources. Goodmove is part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, keeping the designers and factories accountable throughout the design and creation process.
When it comes to ethical workout clothes, Nike is a frontrunner in the competition. For nearly 25 years, Nike has embraced a transparent business model while reducing its overall carbon emissions. Each process can be tracked in the brand’s annual Impact Report, ideal for customers who want to shop without a guilty conscience.
Today, 100% of Nike’s cotton is sourced sustainably, and 59% of their activewear materials come from sustainable sources, so whilst they are not yet perfect, they have made some huge improvements with:
- Renewable energy in owned or operated facilities, up to 78% in FY21 (from 48% in FY20)
- 100% of footwear manufacturing waste now diverted from landfill or incineration without energy recovery
- A 6.7 percentage point reduction in freshwater used in textile dyeing & finishing
Whether you want a high-impact sports bra or yoga leggings, Nike has options that protect the planet and keep you supported simultaneously.
THE BOTTOM LINE
High-quality activewear doesn’t have to come at the cost of sustainability! More and more brands are gravitating to eco-friendly practices, and as we embrace ethical workout clothes, more will appear. Will you be going green for your next session? Shop our sustainable activewear edit here.