There is a lot of talk at the moment, and rightly so, about our excessive plastic use, with big companies cutting down on excess plastic and coffee shops encouraging you to take in your fancy new Chilly’s bottle in return for a discount on your soy latte. It is estimated that anywhere between 57,000 and 135,000 whales are being entangled by plastic marine debris every year, not to mention the health risk to the millions of other creatures living in the seas. However, less discussed and something you may not have thought about is the impact clothing has on the environment. As it happens, a lot of active wear companies are helping to tackle this issue and more and more sustainable brands are becoming available on the market and online.
The following 7 brands are just some of the many different companies striving for sustainability meaner they are kinder to the environment and the people involved in the production process. I should mention that these brands can be pretty expensive (I tried my best to find to most affordable but trust me, it was hard)! Active wear is not cheap at the best of times but you tend to pay a little more for sustainable fashion products. Not all of these brands are within my budget by any means but there are plenty of others if you have a look online – plus, hopefully we will begin to see sustainable clothing become more affordable and accessible as the demand increases. (EDIT: I have since seen that H&M do a very affordable ‘conscious’ line and you can get your hands on some cute gym stuff for under £10 – pretty good!)
Instagram raves about this brand and for good reason! Not only are the leggings super flattering (I like the align pant the best) but Lululemon also work with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which means that the company is striving to ensure their products are as environmentally efficient as possible! Lululemon follows some pretty strict regulations to ensure each product in a culture of transparency and through a responsible supply chain.
If you want to find out more about this brands ethos, you can find it here.
If you enjoy your outdoor workouts, this brand could be for you! Not only does it have a selection of activewear suitable for your yoga class, but Patagonia also have swim wear, hiking bags and climbing equipment. Not exactly what you would see you #fitspo wearing in their latest Instagram photoshoot but this brand is hugely commitment to ethical environmental practises. This company invest millions of dollars each year (that’s right, millions!) into supporting grass root environmental groups. They also work hard to ensure that they keep their consumption of energy and water to a minimum and undergo voluntary checks by the Fair Labour Association – good stuff, right?
Adidas have recent updated their running shoe as part of their campaign ‘Run For The Oceans’. The running shoe is now made with recycled ocean plastic that is intercepted on the beaches before it has a chance to reach the sea. The shoes will set you back on average about £150 (pretty expensive) but you can also get involved by downloading their app and running to raise money and awareness for the cause.
I’ll be honest, after an incident on the ski slopes back in my youth, the ski section of this brand’s website I will be needing to use a lot. However, they do have some really pretty sports bras, shirts and even ombre leggings that I am seriously lusting over. Apart from making my bank account shiver in fear and my Instagram feed rejoice, the ombre, compression leggings are all made from sustainable materials and are manufactured in eco-friendly approved factories in Europe and Nepal.
Mum, if you’re reading this, I’ll have the blue!
These would definitely be at the top end of my budget but, believe it or not, were some of the most affordable I found. Sport Philosophy look to have some functional and high quality active wear, whilst also striving to combat child labour (something that is very prominent on their site – take a look!). They might be a little expensive but 10% of all of their profits go to its Freedom For Children charity so might be worth the investment if you see something that takes your fancy.
Image from @SP_Active on Twitter
Without a doubt some of the brightest active wear companies I have seen, Teeki is a totally eco-friendly brand. They pride themselves on ensuring all of their products are not only fun and functional but sustainable, with their leggings been made from recycled plastic and plastic bottles collected from the beach.
If you are looking to add some colour to your gym wardrobe, I would seriously give these a shot!
The most expensive brand on the list, even the 50% off section of this luxury, London based brand scares me a little bit. The designs are very sleek and minimal and if you are looking to seriously splash the cash then this is for you. Silou London sources non-toxic materials and manufactures them in their production house in Lithuania. Their production house exceeds European standards and ensures fair pay for employees. Might be expensive, but these guys are certainly eco-friendly.
So there you have it, 7 of the many eco-friendly active wear brands. I have to say, I am a little disappointed that I could not find anything more affordable. These are expensive and, let’s be honest, for most of us not without our budgets. However, it is certainly promising that we are seeing more and more eco-friendly brands out there! I will continue my search and fingers crossed find more affordable brands in the future.