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Want to take care of your health while taking care of the earth? Then you need to check out these sustainable activewear brands.
Finding eco-friendly activewear is harder than it should be due to the prominence of polyester in most activewear. But, there are sustainable activewear brands out there innovating.
We’ve collected the best eco-friendly and ethical activewear brands for you that all use sustainable materials and practices within their production process.
What is Sustainable Activewear?
The demand for activewear has skyrocketed in recent years, with the athleisure trend providing additional fuel to the demand. As a result, in 2021, the fitness industry and the athletic market increased to a whopping $300 billion, which is estimated to keep growing.
While innovations and developments in activewear have progressed over the years, the materials most commonly used to create conventional workout clothes include polyester. Unfortunately, polyester is one of the most damaging textiles on the planet as it relies on crude-oil and vast amounts of energy to produce.
In addition, polyester isn’t biodegradable, so it will stick around in landfills for thousands of years.
Take the fact that conventional activewear is made with unsustainable materials and add it to the fact that many of the large fitness brands use unethical labor and sweatshops to create their garments, and it’s easy to see that regular workout clothes can be highly damaging to people and the planet.
In contrast, sustainable activewear is clothing specifically designed for physical activity and made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and recycled plastics.
These materials are either biodegradable or renewable, meaning they will not contribute to environmental degradation or have a large carbon footprint. Sustainable activewear also often uses natural dyes, which rely on plant-based materials to provide color and reduce the number of harmful chemicals typically used in synthetic dyeing processes.
Along with using responsible materials, sustainable activewear brands focus on responsible and ethical production. For example, working with certified factories and factories guaranteeing safe working conditions for workers.
Below you’ll see the brands we’re going to talk about. You can jump to any section by clicking their name in the table of contents.
If you don’t have time to read the full article, check out our top picks in the handy table below.
Let’s get into it!
Sustainable Activewear Top Picks
Best Affordable – Pact
Best for Size-Inclusive Activewear – Girlfriend
Best for Running – Allbirds
Best Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Activewear Brands
1. Girlfriend Collective
Sustainability: Eco- friendly production methods including the use of recycled bottles, fishing nets and culpro fabric. Zero waste yarn production. Social Accountability Standard supply chain.
Girlfriend Collective is the hottest sustainable activewear brand right now. The brand designs eco-friendly yet flattering activewear you want to be seen at the gym in.
Their collection features cohesive colour schemes, which can be mixed and matched to create a workout look you feel confident in. Their lightweight recycled leggings and supportive sports tops get thousands of rave reviews from all over the world.
They have a full transparent supply chain, put eco- friendly production methods at the forefront of their manufacturing process. GF turn thousands of recycled PET bottles into fabric for their sustainable compressive leggings, and use recycled fishing nets in their LITE legging range.
Sustainability: Climate-neutral certified brand creating sustainable workout clothes from recycled plastics. 1% of their annual revenue is donated to environmental and community organizations.
Price: $ – $$
Wolven is a BIPOC, a female-founded, sustainable activewear brand that operates with the most profound appreciation for our earth. The brand creates sustainable leggings and sports bras from recycled marine plastics and eco-friendly modal fabric, which is super soft and breathable.
Wolven collects 1 pound of ocean-bound plastic for every order through partnerships with One Earth — One Ocean. In addition, 1% of their annual revenue is donated to environmental and community organizations working to protect our planet and uplift our communities.
Sustainability: Organic materials, GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, fair trade supply chain
Ecothes Rating: 4.2/5
Price: $ – $$
PACT make sustainable activewear for men, women, and kids. They’re GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) Certified which means their materials are all sourced in an eco-friendly and sustainable way.
They don’t use any toxic dyes or chemicals, or artificial fertilizers when growing their cotton.
PACT’s clothes come in all shapes and sizes, made for men, women, kids, and babies.
Sustainability: Certified B Corp, sustainable materials, carbon-neutral activewear
Allbirds are an activewear brand that start out making sneakers, but have now expanded into apparel. If you’re looking for natural workout clothes, Allbirds is your go to brand.
Their TrinoXO™ tees are perfect for yoga, dance, HIIT classes, or any other mid-high intensity exercise.
We’ve tested their tees, leggings, as well as their running shoes and can confirm that they hold up well during exercise — they’re light, breathable, and comfortable.
Allbirds have just released their highly anticipated, new Natural Run Collection, featuring sustainable leggings, bike shorts and sustainable workout tops. We have reviewed their new leggings here.
Whether you’re looking for your next pair of running shoes, or your perfect gym tee, Allbirds have you covered.
Sustainability: Sustainable leggings and sports tops made in small batches from recycled materials
Price: $ – $$
LNDR is a female-led brand created with the ethos that less is more. So instead of creating thousands of styles of poorly made leggings, LNDR is taking a different approach.
We were thrilled to learn that the London-born brand uses recycled materials to create high-quality activewear built to last workout after workout. LNDR’s sustainable leggings may be pricier than others on the list, but they get fantastic reviews worldwide.
“Ecothes Reviewed: I’ve personally tested LNDR Leggings, running shorts, and their tank top, and can honestly say they’re some of the best quality leggings available. The leggings stay put and are perfect for the gym or running.“
Sustainability: Ethical manufacturing in the USA using sustainable materials and recycled fabric, including recycled polyester
Sizes: US 0 to 32
Look no further than DAY/ WON if you’re looking for supportive, sustainable, and stylish activewear.
DAY/ WON is a size-inclusive sportswear brand creating sustainable activewear for everybody. The brand is the first activewear brand to offer every single piece of clothing in inclusive sizing, something we hope more brands will follow!
The sportswear brand is also sustainable, creating its ethical activewear in New York from recycled materials.
Want to know the secret to finding the perfect sustainable workout clothes? We asked Bridget, Pilates instructor and founder of Kala Pilates to give us her top 3 things to look for when buying activewear – catch the interview at the bottom of this article!
Sustainability: Eco-certified bamboo, Eco-friendly materials made from bamboo, eco-friendly processing system zero-waste manufacturing, compliance to WRAP Gold standard
Boody is an Aussie brand making simple but good looking activewear all made from eco-friendly materials.
They use viscose made from Bamboo (grown in regenerating forests), which is then blended with nylon and elastane to produce a final material that’s ideal for activewear.
Their workout clothes are breathable and thermo-regulating and you can choose from a range of leggings, shorts, sports bras, tanks, tees, and more.
8. Ref Active
Sustainability: Activewear produced from recycled bottles. Climate Neutral company. Transparent supply chain.
Cult sustainable clothing brand Reformation presents their chic activewear line Ref Active. The line, produced from recycled plastic bottles, includes ultra-stylish workout clothes that are work for you and the planet.
They have two fabric choices; the EcoMove range is perfect for medium impact, while their EcoStretch range is a velvety performance fabric ideal for lower impact workouts.
Sustainability: Organic materials, B Corp, give back program, fair trade
Price: $$ – $$$
Patagonia is already one of the most popular ethical activewear brands in the world. You may already know, but sustainability is at the core of Patagonia’s business model.
Patagonia donates (at least) 1% of their sales to help grassroots organizations protect the planet, and their founder Yvon Chouinard is well-known for his support of sustainable practices and anti-consumerism.
The brand is synonymous with the outdoors and is an obvious first stop for eco-friendly activewear. From fleeces to jackets to leggings, they’ve got you covered.
You can be sure that the quality of the clothes will be high and you’ll be able to find everything you need for a day hiking, from clothing to accessories to backpacks.
If you’re interesting in learning more about Patagonia’s mission, we’d also recommend their book, which we talked more about in this post.
We’ve testes Patagonia’s running leggings, they are comfortable, breathable and they have lasted over 3 years will regular use!
Sustainability: Sustainable and responsible materials such as GRS recycled polyester & ethical production practices
Sizes: UK 6-24
If you’re looking for sustainable activewear in the UK, then we recommend you check out Thought.
The UK-based eco-conscious brand has released its new line of size-inclusive activewear, created with GRS recycled materials, including recycled polyester.
The consciously curated line includes sustainable leggings, sports bras, and bike shorts in stylish colors and patterns so that you can rock that athleisure look outside of the gym.
Sustainability: Fair Trade Certified™ clothing, organic cotton, recycled wool, adhere to the Responsible Down Standard, bluesign®-systems to remove harmful chemicals from the production process and responsibly dispose of them
prAna has been around for a while now. Since the brand was founded in 1992 in Carlsbad, California, they’ve been creating Fair Trade Certified clothing from sustainable materials, ideal for wearing in the great outdoors, yoga, or adventure.
They have a wide selection, from ethical leggings, to accessories such as bags, eco-friendly yoga mats, and hats.
We love how they use recycled materials and have fair trade certified factories.
Sustainability: Sustainable materials including hemp, cork & organic cotton, 10 trees planted for every item purchase
Ready to plant some trees? Then you need to check out tentree.
For every item purchased they plant 10 trees (understand the name choice, now?), and they’ve currently planted over 30+ million trees around the world.
As well as their tree planting initiative, they only use sustainable materials such as hemp, cork, and organic cotton.
You can find sustainable workout clothes, running clothes, and outdoor wear for all seasons at tentree, for both men and women, as well as a range of accessories.
13. Kitty and Vibe
Sustainability: Size-inclusive workout dress created from recycled materials
If you’re looking for a sustainable workout dress, look no further than Kitty & Vibe’s new play dress.
The brand’s best-selling style comes in six playful colors and is created from recycled materials. What we love about the play dress is it’s designed to flatter and fit everybody. Plus, the play dress features a built-in supportive bra, adjustable straps, shorts, pockets, and leg grips – to ensure the shorts don’t bunch up during exercise.
Sustainability: Made in USA, limited runs, waste-reduction and recycling processes, tree planting program
Yogavated makes limited runs of uniquely designed yoga wear.
They have a waste reduction and recycling program to reduce the footprint of their manufacturing process, as well as a tree-planting program to give back to the earth.
Another cool thing about Yogavated is how they support artists by collaborating with them and displaying their art on their clothes, which means you’ll stand out from the crowd!
15. Threads 4 Thought
Sustainability: Sustainable and recycled materials, ethically certified factories, profit donations
Threads 4 Thought is a sustainable activewear brand creating high-performance clothes for both men and women in a range of styles based in New York.
Their activewear is made from eco-friendly materials like certified organic cotton (uses trap crops instead of pesticides), recycled polyester (50% less carbon by-product than standard polyester), and Lenzing Modal (carbon-neutral). When you compare these to traditional activewear
They’re also partnered with the International Rescue Committee and donate a portion of their profit to benefit communities in need around the world. Threads 4 Thought are definitely a sustainable sportswear brand worth checking out.
They also make sustainable face masks.
Sustainability: Climate neutral company, using natural renewable fabrics such as TENCEL™ LYOCELL and ROICA® V550 a biodegradable version of elastic. They also use organic materials such as organic cotton and natural rubber.
Tripulse is a sustainable activewear brand on a mission to create sustainable sports clothes that elevate your workout experience.
They use renewable fabrics such as TENCEL™ LYOCELL and ROICA® V550 and organic GOTS certified cotton and natural rubber.
They are Oekotex Standard 100 certified, which means they don’t use any harmful or toxic chemicals or dyes to produce their products.
We chatted to the founder of Tripulse on the inspiration behind the brand, check out the interview here.
17. Groceries Apparel
Sustainability: 100% organic recycled fabrics, made in USA, traceable production, % GMO-free, pesticide & herbicide-free production.
Price: $$ – $$$
Based in Vernon, California, Groceries Apparel is an activewear brand using 100% organic materials. Their materials are traced from their source to their factory in California.
They also use an eco-friendly dying process. They use natural herbs and plants which are cleaned, and then ground up and seized to create a dye powder. Not only are the dyes non-toxic, but they’re also unique and exceptional in color.
18. Inhala Soulwear
Sustainability: Fully transparent supply chain, recycled plastic leggings blended with organic cotton & sustainable sports bras
Inhala Soulwear creates the dreamiest sustainable leggings from recycled materials, perfect for yoga or pilates. Their designs encapsulate the earth and nature, drawing inspiration from Inhala’s Peruvian founders.
Inhala Soulwear is crafted from organic and recycled materials, including organic cotton leggings and leggings made from recycled ocean plastic.
20. Yoga Democracy
Sustainability: Made in USA, recycled materials, living wage to workers, safe production environment
Price: $$ – $$$
Like several other brands here, Yoga Democracy focuses on clothes are going to look good and feel great during your yoga sessions.
All of their clothes are Made in the USA. What makes Yoga Democracy really interesting is their range of prints. You’ll be unlikely to see anyone wearing the same gear as you and will stand out from the crowd, and they regularly release new styles.
They also use a range of recycled materials in their garments, and they pay living wages to their employees. They’re a brand we can definitely get behind!
Sustainability: Made in the USA, member of 1% For The Planet, recycled materials
Price: $ – $$
Cerinic is a sustainable activewear company focused on hiking and climbing apparel.
All of their clothes are made in the USA and they use sustainable materials such as recycled polyester. As well as their clothes being made from recycled materials, all of Cerinic’s packaging is recycled too.
They’re also putting their money where their mouth is. As a member of 1% for the Planet they donate a portion of their profits into the organization that promotes environmental solutions to create a healthier planet.
Sustainability: 1 product purchased from Pangaia = 1 tree planted, protected and restored. Natural and organic materials used in their activewear.
Pangaia is a playful, sustainable clothing brand that has expanded its popular range to include bold, bright, functional workout clothes.
Their eco-friendly range is produced from a mix of natural and biodegradable materials, including castor beans, seaweed, and eucalyptus. These are accompanied by high-performance ultra moisture-wicking technology made from 100% bio-based microalgae so that you can sweat it out all day in their colorful sets.
Sustainability: Recycled and eco-friendly fabrics, such as TENCEL™, Modal, and Cupro.
Summersalt creates bold, playful, eco-friendly activewear designed to wear anywhere.
Their leggings and sports bras are both made with a combination of both sustainable and recycled materials, like recycled polyester made from plastic bottles.
Summersalt’s leggings and sports bras are super soft and safe for your skin, with SPF 50+ UV protection.
This women-led brand has inclusive sizing, perfect for every body shape and size, allowing you to feel cool and confident both in the gym and out.
What To Look For When Buying Sustainable Activewear?
If you’re asking yourself what to look for when buying activewear, we asked Bridget Colhurst, a Pilates instructor and founder of Kala Pilates, to tell us her tips on what to look for when choosing the perfect activewear.
What are the most important things to look for when choosing activewear?
1. The Fit – The fit might be the most crucial part of choosing your new activewear. There is nothing worse than having to stop halfway through an exercise or run to pull your leggings up or adjust your sports bra. When trying on, do a range of movements – for example, squats, twist, jump, raise your arms out to the sides and overhead, and ensure it will feel comfortable and secure as you workout. Note, activewear doesn’t have to be tight and snug to your body. Sometimes loose-fitting outfits are what you need – especially ladies; if it is your time of the month, a tight-fitting outfit might be the thing putting you off working out.
2. Squat and sweat proof – Imagine buying a new set of activewear, taking off the tags, and heading to the gym or your local Pilates class to realise that every time you squat, there is a lot more on show than you hoped for. Make sure whatever fabric you choose feels comfortable on your skin and isn’t see-through in areas you don’t want exposed. The same goes with sweatproof; you wear activewear to work out and get sweaty! So it is also best to opt for fabrics made with breathable, sweat-wicking fabric.
3. How you feel – Choose an outfit that makes you feel good and confident, you want to get dressed and be motivated to workout. Who knows, your next active outfit might just be that extra motivation push you were after. While the fit and style are quite subjective, it’s important to consider how you will feel wearing a particular pair of leggings and if they will help you feel more confident and ready to sweat.
Why is buying eco-friendly activewear is important?
If you can buy an outfit that looks good, feels good, and supports you and the environment, I don’t see why you would look any further. The fitness industry is growing every year so it’s the fitness fashion industry. So now is the perfect time to support small eco-friendly businesses that are giving back to the world whilst helping us look stylish and workout ready.
I have always opted in for eco-friendly activewear, and I will continue to throughout my career as a Pilates Instructor.
Recap – Best Eco Friendly and Sustainable Activewear Brands
These are some of the best sustainable activewear brands out there right now.
Each brand is making big strides when it comes to your clothes are not only sustainable but are going to look and feel great when you’re at the gym, on a hike, or even relaxing on the couch.
If you liked this, you might also be interested in our guide to eco-friendly and sustainable running shoe brands.
We think you’ll love..
For ultra-comfortable, and sustainable workout shoes, check out Allbirds Tree Dashers – we love them and think you will too!