Is Gymshark Ethical? Breakdown & 4 Sustainable Alternatives

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Gymshark is an activewear brand that makes workout clothes for both men and women.

The brand has shot to fame over the last few years as they combined affordable price points with performance, and Gymshark is now many gym-goers go-to brand.

But is Gymshark ethical and sustainable?

In this guide, we’ll analyze whether or not you should be shopping at Gymshark. We’ll also highlight some sustainable alternatives to Gymshark worth considering.

Let’s take a look.

Sustainability Score: Ecothes Opinion

All-in-all, we believe that Gymshark isn’t an ethical brand, and we rate them a low 2/5 sustainability score.

Until they fulfill their promises around sustainability, you’re better off looking to brands that are already creating sustainable activewear using eco-friendly materials and with a proven ethical supply chain.

Read more to learn about why we’ve given this score, and check out Gymshark sustainable alternatives.

Is Gymshark Cruelty-Free?

Although the brand doesn’t push this as a big selling point, Gymshark’s products are entirely vegan.

There are no animal products involved in the production line, and they have no plans to incorporate them.

They also regularly share stories from Vegan athletes, including their routines, diet tips, and more.

If you’re vegan and need to ensure the product you’re buying is cruelty-free, we’d always recommend reaching out to Gymshark at the time of purchase. Unfortunately, the brand doesn’t promise to keep animal-based materials out of its products.

What Materials Does Gymshark Use?

As mentioned already, all of Gymshark’s products are entirely vegan— an excellent start.

The brand also partners with Better Cotton Initiative and has committed to sourcing 100% of its cotton from sustainable sources. However, despite this partnership, there’s no evidence that they have met this goal yet, and for now, it remains just a statement on their website.

Gymshark is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), along with sustainable brands like Patagonia and Allbirds. However, being a member of the SAC doesn’t automatically mean they’re a sustainable brand. Members also include Amazon, Asos, and Primark, which are the opposite of what we consider a sustainable company.

They also say they’re committed to using 100% recyclable packaging by the end of 2021, as well as removing hang tags. However, there’s no evidence or updates on these, and from that, we can assume they haven’t hit this goal. If you’ve seen proof that Gymshark did hit these targets, please let us know in the comments below!

The website also says that they’re going to “Begin to implement processes to use recycled fibers within our products where possible”. But, unfortunately, that’s an empty statement right now as there are no details on their plans.

All we can say is that we hope Gymshark does follow through on their promises, but for now, they’re not a sustainable brand from a materials standpoint.

Is Gymshark Carbon Neutral?

Gymshark is not carbon neutral.

In 2018/19, Gymshark created 19164 tons of CO2e.

But, they provide a breakdown of which parts of their manufacturing and shipping processes create the highest emissions.

One of their promises is to “Switch to zero-carbon energy providers.” However, they haven’t done this yet, and there are no details. So, it’s good PR for now, but there’s little substance. We hope they follow through on this.

Does Gymshark Use Sweatshops?

Gymshark partners with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and use these standards for auditing their supplier workplaces.

While partnering with the FLA is an excellent first step, we can’t say much more than that.

There’s no actual proof of how Gymshark implements these standards, and there’s no complete list of every factory and supplier involved in their production process.

In terms of employee wages, they say that their supplier partners “must acknowledge that all employees have a right to compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the employee’s basic living needs and provide some discretional income.” But, again, this statement is vague and doesn’t suggest that people receive true living wages.

In this PDF report, you can see all of Gymshark’s supplier code of conduct.

Without proof, we can’t say Gymshark has an ethical supply chain.

Where are Gymshark Clothes Made?

The majority of Gymshark’s clothes are made in China.

They also have suppliers located in:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Turkey
  • Mauritius
  • Malaysia
  • Slovenia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Jordan
  • Taiwan

The brand lists the factory names and addresses, which is good; however, they don’t detail what each one does.

They also have different tiers of suppliers based on their relationship with them. Third parties don’t audit suppliers in Tier three and four.

Sustainable Alternatives to Gymshark

Here are some of our picks for your sustainable Gymshark alternatives:

1. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective sustainable activewear leggings and top

What they make: Stylish, sustainable gym coordinating sets in must-have colors.

Sustainability: Sustainable activewear created from recycled plastic bottles.

Girlfriend Collective is an ethical activewear brand entirely focused on high-performance clothes.

They create their clothes from recycled plastic bottles and work with SA8000 certified and fair wage guaranteed factories. They’re not making promises to work with SA8000 factories in the distant future — they’re already doing it.

They make products including leggings, sports tops, sports bras,

The packaging is already 100% recycled, and the brand is transparent about it when they incorporate materials that may not be completely sustainable.

All in all, we like Girlfriend Collective a lot.

2. Organic Basics

Organic Basics Sustainable activewear

What they make: Minimalist, sustainable basics and activewear

Sustainability: Certified B Corporation, full

Organic Basics is a certified B Corp that creates a variety of minimalist clothing, including gym wear.

The brand uses materials including GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, TENCEL, recycled wool, and nylon, among other things.

They even offer a low-impact version of their website that’s designed to use and transfer less data, saving on electricity costs for hosting, which is a good initiative.

We’ve tested products from Organic Basics before and were impressed with the quality.

3. Wolven

Wolven ethical gymshark alternative

What they make: Stylish, sustainable workout clothes in gorgeous prints and colors.

Sustainability: Sustainable activewear made out of OEKO-Tex Certified Recycled P.E.T. plastic bottles. 1% for the planet organizationcarbon neutral certified.

Wolven is an activewear brand for men and women. They have you covered in every department, making a range of active tops and sports bras to joggers, leggings, and bike shorts.

One of the best parts of Wolven’s brand is that they’re not afraid to go all out with their print choices.

As well as being able to get all of your favorite one-color styles, they have tie-die and vibrant colors, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for sportswear that stands out from the crowd.

The fabrics Wolven uses include modal (made from trees) and Recycled PET (from plastic bottles), and for every order, the brand takes 1 pound of ocean-bound plastic out of the waste system. They also make all of their tees and dresses in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA.

4. Outdoor Voices

What they make: Practical, technical apparel, and activewear.

Sustainability: Recycled fabrics, recyclable and recycled packaging.

Outdoor Voices is our final Gymshark alternative recommendation. So whether you’re pushing yourself at the climbing gym or sweating it out at a pilates class, Outdoor Voices has you covered.

Their technical apparel and activewear is high-quality, and they make their practical activewear from sustainable materials, including recycled PET plastic. Although not as sustainable as some other recommendations in this list, Outdoor Voices is improving their environmental impact by improving their fabric selection, ensuring 50% of all fabrics will be bluesign certified. In addition, Outdoor Voices are launching a circular take-back model by introducing recycling and repair schemes.

Wrapping Up: Is Gymshark Ethical?

We hope you enjoyed reading the article, and have all the information to make an informed decision on the questions Is Gymshark ethical?

If you enjoyed reading, please make sure to check out our other posts, including the complete guide to sustainable activewear, and sustainable running shoes.

Thanks for reading.

The Ecothes Team
The Ecothes Team

Hi, we're the team behind Ecothes. We started this platform to help share the sustainable brands we discover, making products from clothing, to homeware, to sneakers.

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