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The Best Eco-Friendly, Ethical & Independent Activewear Brands and Their Best Pieces

Essentials, Lifestyle, Movement, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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Since embarking on my journey of living a more eco-friendly life, I have come across so, so many incredible brands doing amazing and conscientious things. I could go on and on about them all, and I will, but in this instance, let’s talk about activewear.

This was a natural progression for me since initially developing my awareness of health and wellness through fitness. In fact, fitness is where it all started for me, since, as a model, this was something I became growingly aware of and interested in in order to stay fit and in shape. Then, as my interests expanded and spread across different industries, including food, mindfulness, beauty and environmental issues, I began to seriously question the fashion industry and its ethics. And since my daytime wardrobe is predominantly activewear-based these days, I felt super inspired to apply all that I’ve learnt about the fashion industry and sustainable style to my activewear sourcing.

So, or you’re hitting the gym hard in the quest to earn your Thanksgiving and Christmas binges, I think these activewear brands have something for you. Or, if you welcome this time of year as one to hibernate completely, excusing yourself from any extra activity that isn’t absolutely necessary, the pieces these brands create have extra stretch and are super soft and flexible, so are ideal, exercise or not.

Girlfriend collective

Girlfriend activewear is easily one of my favourites, for their simple yet functional designs, and such a vast array of unique block colours. I love their Lite range, made with Econyl - which contains recycled plastics retrieved from the ocean. Their opinion: “Old fishing nets look better on you than they do at the bottom of the ocean”.

Pama

Combining eco friendly fabrics and sustainable practices with fashion to create chic, high-performance activewear, Pama were one of the first environmentally mindful activewear brands I ever came across. I adore that their products are made from natural materials like bamboo and charcoal, and they are so beautiful and wearable. I practically live in their chakra shorts during the summer.

Vyayama

Vyayama is another of my first and favourite discoveries in natural activewear. They use only natural fibers which are OEKOTEX® certified, sourced sustainably and made ethically. Their designs are super unique, and whilst some of their prints are lively, they are incredibly wearable and chic unlike a lot of bright and over the top patterns rife in activewear these days! It’s all so comfortable and I live in this even when I’m not working out!

Peak and Flow

Peak and Flow’s mantra goes something like this: “For us, sustainability isn't just about the selection of better materials and where we create the product, it's also about creating clothing that is built to last, cross-functional and reduces how much you need in your wardrobe. We work tirelessly to make every stage of the product lifecycle better for the planet”. I like supporting companies whose values align with my own, and I also like these, which are made from recycled ocean plastics, recycled industry waste and recycled plastic bottles.

Sports Philosophy

Sports Philosophy’s products are made with carefully sourced materials that are breathable, sweat-wicking, UV-protective and piling-resistant. Everything is ethically done, and they even have their own charity which fights child labour within the fashion industry. Find out more here.

Silou

This independent brand from London offers super chic, body-enhancing designs, all of which are ‘mindfully manufactured’. This new bralette is a fave.

Phat Buddha

Based in NY, Phat Buddha make flattering collections for all body shapes, so you don’t have to be a super slender yogi in order to pull off their designs. Their crops are super cute, and these V-neck leggings are insanely flattering for any body shape. They use organic materials, most of which are completely and safely biodegradable.

Adrenna

Adrenna was born from the desire to pursue a more intelligent and environmentally conscious way of producing and enjoying activewear, without having to sacrifice style, function or quality. Adrenna are passionate about tackling mass-production, so they only produce what and when is needed. Their activewear also minimises impact on the environment, since they produce in small batches, source locally and work as much as possible to zero-waste production. What’s more, Adrenna offer made-to-order services, and, using the finest technical eco-fabrics from Italy, allows you to customise certain features of your activewear.
This sports bra, which comes in several colours, is such a flattering and functional shape.

Allbirds

Allbirds are one of my favourite shoe brands, and they are doing incredible things. Their shoes are made with technical and functional materials, and are 100% natural. You won’t find any cheap or synthetic materials, and these shoes, although slightly pricier than most, are build to last, and also to leave as little an impact on the planet once you’ve done with them. Made from wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, trees and sugarcane made into Sweetfoam soles. I live in these and these.

Milochie

A super sustainable company on many levels, Milochie products are made with 92% Tencel®, Miloflex® - whic is an incredibly sustainable material, made from wood-pulp which comes from sustainably harvested Beech trees that are turned into fabric using a super-efficient closed loop system, that re-uses 99% of its waste. The fibres of their products are also naturally anti-bacterial, sweat-wicking, and biodegradable. I love their patterned shorts.

Vaara

Vaara is by far one of the most beautiful activewear brands, and every pieces is insanely aesthetically pleasing. The designs are simple and chic, not too bright and totally wearable, even when you’re not heading to a workout. They’re the kind of leggings you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught wearing on a late night supermarket run for emergency snacks. Material-wise, they select the finest materials, caring for the detail and working with only the best manufacturers in the world to thoughtfully tailor each piece. I’d say functionality is more suited to yoga and pilates than high intensity workouts, and love this set and these shorts are perfect for the summer.

Varley

Varley’s designs performance driven, timeless, wearable pieces that you will come back to again and again. They differentiate themselves through innovation, product performance and quality, and whilst sustainability is not something they shout about, they use high-quality materials and produce in much smaller batches compared to activewear giants. I love their super elegant Walsh Bra and pretty much any of their leggings; all of which come in a vast array of colours and patterns.

Alternative Apparel

Eco-friendly, organic, recycled, Fair Labor Certified and Green Business Certified, Alternative Apparel have a variety of clothing, not specifically activewear, but you’ll find some loungewear and loose-fitting tees and leggings. Their garments are crafted with sustainable materials & processes, including organic & recycled materials, low-impact dyes & water-conserving washes, and all of their packaging is biodegradable.

Outdoor Voices

I love the ethos at Outdoor Voices of making working out fun. “We believe in going out and Doing Things. Moving our bodies and having fun. Let's let go of our expectations, rules, should’s and should nots. Let's have fun, be free, make discoveries, make friends, and make progress. Let's start #DoingThings together”. They use just four core materials and source textiles sustainably, including their sustainably-sourced merino wool and recycled polyester made from water bottles. They have a relatively small collection, producing in smaller batches than your usual high street stores.

Groceries Apparel

Made from 100% organic recycled materials, Groceries Apparel offer all kinds of items, from daywear to intimates. I love their bras and tees to throw over my core activewear pieces.

Sharehope

Sharehope are doing so, so many great things, and too many for me to list here. Find out about them here and check out their do-good leggings.

Evveervital

A beautiful range of athleisure apparel made with innovative materials that are ethically sourced and responsibly manufactured, without sacrificing style, quality and performance. Take a look at this, this, this and this.

Reformation

I adore everything Reformation, especially this statement: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2”. Everything they create is super ethical and sustainably done, their own-brand made in small batches and their site also supporting other small brands doing things they approve of. Check out their activewear picks here.

Free People

Just about everything.

Riley Studio

I love Riley Studio’s loungey collection, and wear the hoodies everytime I go running, or to get me from a to be; or more specifically from home to class. Through extensive research and development we aim to source fabrics that have been created from waste materials or from natural fabrics that are biodegradable. Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy and we are working towards becoming part of a circular economy by choosing fabrics such as ECONYL®, which is infinitely recyclable. In an attempt to also alleviate the plastic waste crisis across the globe, we use fabrics such as rPET, which is made from PET packaging and industrial waste.

Threads 4 Thought

Threads for Though use sustainable materials and create products that leave an innately smaller impact on our environment, support in-need communities, and assist in changing the narrative of ethical standards within the fashion industry. Their ‘Reactive’ collection uses recycled plastics, and their other collections are all just as virtuous.

Boody

Boody use OEKO-TEX certified bamboo to make their beautiful basics, and buying from them you can rest assured that you’re supporting fair wage production and positive work ethics. Their products are all vegan and they even use eco-friendly packaging. I love their underwear, their leggings and this cami body. Find out more here.

Pact

“We believe in crafting clothing differently: Sustainable materials, kindness towards humans and the softest clothing you’ll want on every layer”. Pact’s products are organic and fair trade and are made without toxic chemicals, and steer well clear of sweatshop/child labor. Sounds like the kind of brand we need more of, right? Browse here.

Shift to Nature

“At Shift to Nature we set about sourcing high quality products that are made carefully from certified organic textiles, responsibly to those who make it, and with consideration to our customers. We source beautiful clothes and bed linen from both Australia, Europe and India”. Shop not just activewear, but a variety of wardrobe basics and essentials like underwear, here.

Carrot Banana Peach

Carrot Banana Peach is an organic plant based clothing brand, created almost twenty years ago and inspired during a trip to the rainforests of Malaysia. The collections they carry include bamboo yoga clothing, banana fitness clothes, soybean retreat wear and Aloe Vera clothing and accessories. So clever!

Live The Process

I love anything Live The Process do, especially this: “Live The Process is ethically made in America by women who are dedicated to creating your high quality product. Our high standards of care for this creative process come from our dream to make the world a better place. From the cutting of our luxurious fabrics to the packaging that your items are shipped in, we make sure every step of our process is helping achieve our goal of reducing environmental impact and embracing American labor.” Every piece they make is so effortlessly beautiful yet functional; just take a look at this, this, these and these and then try not to buy everything else on the site.

Assist Your Workouts

I use these in every single workout I do at home.

These are complete game changers and take your home workout to new levels.

Cardio that’s actually fun.

Intensify your workout with one of these or these.

Not just for pilates, these and these are amazing for all kinds of ab, thigh and glute reps.

To go with you everywhere and to avoid excessive plastic bottle consumption.

One of my favourite post-workout snacks: in this flavour, this flavour, this flavour and this flavour.

Experiment with pre-workout supplements or drinks, for endurance and stamina.

Try adding these and / or these to your daily routines, which are known to assist in fat burning and muscle repair.

'Tis The Season

Essentials, Home + Interiors, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Styledanielle coppermanComment

‘Tis the season for, well, a lot of things. Partying, getting together with loved ones, cooking, eating, gifting, receiving and, most importantly, keeping cosy and hibernating inside. Whilst I am no advocate of buying more and more, and always buying new, I like to curate interesting and unique mood boards to share a selection of items I think you will all love. Obviously I have to say, try the charity shops first; you’ll usually find more unique and special items than shopping brand new. But if all else fails, here is a breakdown of items (some natural / ethical, but others not so much) to see you through each phase of the holidays. From going out and staying in, to drinking and cooking, enjoy getting into the spirit of things with these delights.

Keep it cosy

On the town

For the face

* To enjoy 30% off my favourite products from Showcase Beauty, use code danielle30. Offer runs from Dec 20th until the end of January. You’re welcome! Showcase Beauty have a range of the newest and most unique indie beauty brands, many of which are natural, organic or ethical in some way (but be careful when selecting as not all of them are).

Around the home

In the kitchen

Defence / after the party

Conscious Gift Guide ~ Christmas 2018

Beauty, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment

This year, a lot of my family are planning to buy gifts for others from charity or second hand shops, or from charity websites where you can buy presents to be sent to people in need, sort of on behalf of your own friends or family (like this website here). Our thinking is that none of us actually really need anything new, and instead of accumulating more stuff and potentially creating more waste, we thought that buying from charity shops was a more sustainable way to do things this year. Don’t get me wrong, we will be buying some things from new, but the focus this year is on what we can find that someone might not especially need but might just like. It feels more creative and somehow more thoughtful.

Granted, you can’t find something for everyone in a charity or second-hand shop, and some people might even be offended to receive someone’s hand-me-down’s, so for other ideas (most of which are ethical / sustainable / organic / eco-friendly / natural), read on.

Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Mask; the perfect addition to winter skin routines, made with natural ingredients, of which 86% are organic.

Aquis Quick Dry Hair Towel. Such a staple in my daily routine and an ideal gift for anyone into the latest (and healthiest) beauty hacks.

Totally obsessed with this. Apparently, they’re believed to improve energy levels, clear the air of a space, aid sleep, reduce static and electromagnetic energy and reduce stress. It also looks nice and makes my space look more warm and welcoming, so I’m sold.

A gift that’s not just for Christmas. I’ve recently been enjoying the Barbican membership in a quest to get out more and do and see new things, and with all the perks, i’m hooked.

This exfoliating coconut shell face mask.

Anything from here.

This, these, this, this, this, this, this, these and this. Oh, Missoma just has an answer to everything. And even, now, a tray for your trinkets.

Another tray for your trinkets.

For the ‘him’s out there: essential oil shaving cream and soothing essential oil post-shave balm.

Stocking fillers in the form of functional natural nourishment.

Spread sustainability this Christmas, with a Keep Cup for everyone you know. Makes a lovely gift for anyone trying to make more environmentally conscious choices.

These Himalayan pink salt tea light holders.

Cos no one can ever have too many crystals.

Rituals' Ayurveda Candle for inner calm and aligned doshas.

Someone you know has got to love these.

Give beauty lovers something new and natural (and aesthetically pleasing) to try.

Had to drop it in somewhere, didn’t I?

Always love discovering new sustainable clothing brands, and have been living in this, made from recycled materials, all Autumn.

Incredible skincare alert.

One of my favourite recently-discovered activewear brands (especially their collections made from Econyl (ocean plastics up-cycled into a unique eco-friendly thread technology)).

This Goop travel wrap (100% cashmere) is coming everywhere with me. I wear it as a scarf or use it as a wrap to keep warm around the house and on long-haul journeys. Perfect for pretty much anyone.

Palo santo and / or sage, for end-of-year cleansing and new year intention setting.

Anything for anyone from here. I’ve especially been loving this.

These for all the hot drinks to come. Definitely toddy appropriate.

This, this or this for new home owners.

Explore Catch Rhys for eco jewellery. I’m obsessed with their simple, minimal chains.

Can’t recommend Angelica Retreat’s Zone Face Lift Facial enough.

A biodegradable phone case. Clever right?

This frame was a hit with my mum as part of her birthday gift last month.

These or these would make wonderful stocking fillers for spiritually curious, and / or those looking for a little grounding, guidance and clarity as they leave behind 2018 and enter the new year.

For candle lovers who just can’t get enough.

Frederic De Malle for a unique selection of perfume, and such a variety to cater for each and every recipient on your gift list this year. The Dries Van Noten is my current fave.

Rose quartz coasters, anyone?

Some old and new book recommendations: this one, this one, this one, this one and this one. And most importantly, this one.

* My ethos and approach to natural living is to try your hardest to make conscious, sustainable and natural and nourishing decisions as much as possible, but in the modern world in which we live, it’s not always possible or, even, preferable. Whatever I buy new tends to be natural and / or sustainable, but there are the occasional items I am given or I choose to try which are not so pure of heart. That’s why you’ll sometimes find a combination of natural / sustainable and not-so-natural / sustainable suggestions in my posts.

Well Being & Other Items ~ The Good Store ~ Now Live

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Style, Home + Interiorsdanielle coppermanComment
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Those of you subscribed to my newsletter will have already heard about the newest section of the website - the second hand store! I’m super excited for this as I get so many questions (and offers!) over instagram when I post about my charity or vintage store finds. And now, I want to make as many of the things I find available for you guys. I don’t need anymore stuff, but I always find so many amazing things that I know so many people would find a purpose for.

So many of my friends and some people over Instagram complain that they just never find anything good when trawling through charity shops or navigating the overwhelming and never-ending rails of a vintage store. I, on the other hand, adore it and grew up doing it, so, although I don’t always find things, I often do. You have to have a pretty imaginative approach, at times, as you have to find things that match your style or that you could work into your style. Sometimes, you might have to alter or customise things too, which, quite frankly, no one has time for (I guiltily have so many items that I’ve never gotten around to altering which is such a shame but is also just life). But I think the key is to have an open approach and not to go in there with too much expectation. If you have something in mind that you want to find, the chances are you wont find it. But if you treat the experience as more of an exploratory occasion, you never know what you mind end up discovering. More often than not, you don’t need what you find, but it’s nice to purchase something that is unique and not the same as everything else on the high street, which, by the way, you also don’t need.

The Good Store is something of a side project, in all honesty, and won’t be something that gets updated daily or even weekly. It will be updated depending on authentic sourcing (that is - whenever I or others discover new items) and whenever I or others find the time to photograph and upload the listings. If you have any particular requests for items you would like to find in the store or things you are particularly into or looking for, please leave a comment below.

This store place is an effort to slow down the rate of modern consumption and to provide high quality, pre-loved items that can find new owners / homes and purposes. In this way, by buying from The Good Store, you will be recycling and reusing, instead of buying new and adding to the economical and environmental strains, consequential of our highly demanding, consumerist society.

New Items

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+ If you have high-quality items that you no longer want or need, and you would like to sell them via The Good Store, email us via the form below with full details and we will endeavour to have them listed on the site. We will determine a selling price and you will receive a % of profits if they sell.

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Inside My Apartment & My Sustainable Wardrobe ~ With What's Your Legacy

Beauty, Business Stories, Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Style, Sustainability, Video, Commisionsdanielle copperman1 Comment

Last month, I welcomed What’s Your Legacy into my apartment and let them nose around my room and delve into my wardrobe in search of the most ethical and sustainable pieces and to discover the stories behind them. We talked about my business, my book, my lifestyle and much more, and I showed them my favourite eco-friendly / second hand / vintage items, from jackets and dresses to bags and other accessories.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

March Essentials ~ 2018

Style, Review, Natural Living, Monthly Essentials, Inspiration, Essentialsdanielle coppermanComment
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Goop launched their podcast with Oprah and this episode is everything. Subscribe now if you know whats good for you.

Girl Boss Radio, an long standing favourite podcast of mine, spoke with Miranda Kerr about the fashion industry, wellbeing and making the shift from money making top model to start up entrepreneur, founder, managing director and everything in between. As a model and entrepreneur myself, it really inspired me and I'd recommend this to any model navigating a new path, as well as non-models into wellbeing and the idea of entrepreneurship. It was super inspiring to hear Miranda's journey as until now I'd assumed she'd put her name on the brand and had other organisations running it on her behalf. Not the case at all.

#EndOceanPlastics #LessPlasticWaste by investing in these copper straw. They look cool too.

Also, these bamboo straws.

Just started watching this on Netflix.

Just finished this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone creative entrepreneurs or anyone interested in starting their own business. It discusses the basics of business but in a way more creative bohemian types can understand and engage with, and also puts the business world into a more purposeful perspective, offering that it is possible to create a meaningful business with true purpose and passion amidst a money-hungry and success-driven industry of large, impersonal and inauthentic corporations (blog post on this coming soon).

Finally giving these Thinx panties a go. As far as periods go, I've had a really positive experience so far using their period-proof underwear. Their really flattering shapes are made with high quality technical materials that you can wear on your period in place of tampons/liners/menstrual cups. Don't be disheartened by the dollar sign; they ship worldwide and if you buy online here, apply the code WELLBEING5 to enjoy $5 off your order. Full blog post coming v v v soon (as soon as my cycle is over and I have some energy back).

One of my favourite illustrators.

Last week I took an afternoon (ok, only about 1 hr) off to visit the Tate Modern to see the Picasso exhibition. As a self employed entrepreneur (that's the last time i use that word in this post), I am constantly working and doing and feel guilty every time I rest or take a break, but I recently thought to myself that the whole reason I like to be self employed is that it gives me freedom to do what I want. I fully surrendered to this and gave myself permission to do something I purely wanted to do, and it was so fulfilling. Most of the time, it is just about permission. We live in an age where we are constantly conditioned to strive and succeed, so taking time off to do things we really enjoy and that sweetens the soul is not something many of us feel entitled to (especially not during work hours). Try it.

Making conscious efforts to replace things in my home with versions made from more natural materials. I’ve given all my plastic clothes hangers to charity and replaced them with affordable wooden ones, and this month I got some linen bed covers. Linen is created from the flax plant, a multi–faceted and renewable resource, making it a more eco friendly alternative to bleached or processed fabrics, as it is totally biodegradable. It’s also known to be beneficial in many ways for humans, encouraging deeper sleep and regulating temperature. Read more about the benefits of linen bedding here. Buy some here or here.

Turkish hammam towels are my new thing. 

I keep my daily make up look pretty toned down and minimal - very fresh, warm and natural - which is pretty low maintenance.  I don’t change up my make up products or routines much unless something really revolutionary, or more natural, comes along. Until last week, I'd been buying the same liquid eyeliner since I started using liquid eyeliner. But I recently tried a few products by Bare Minerals, and their liquid eyeliner is both revolutionary and natural, and immediately overthrew my former favourite. If you’re a liquid eyeliner kinda person, you may not think you need this, but you really do.

i rarely buy new clothes these days, but i couldn’t ignore this beaded bag by Mango. 

My Raw Tamari + Avocado Brownies have been updated - and, subsequently, improved. 

I've just released the details and booking page for my next retreat, taking place at The BodyHoliday in St Lucia, May 21-27th. It's coming up soon and spaces are limited. Find out more and book tickets here. If you are unable to make these dates but interested in the retreat, email me (danielle@qnola.co.uk) or leave a comment below with dates that would work for you, as we are planning several more throughout the year. 

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Love is back.

I want everything.

I received a this little gift from Sweaty Betty on #InternationalWomensDay.

Intrigued by the Soma Board but want to try a session locally. Know anywhere in London? Leave me a tip in the comments below. 

My favourite suitcase company have launched a travel blog.

We need to talk about non-attachment (blog post to come).

It’s all about balance.

Intrigued

Just a few hours per month, this could lead your to changing someone’s life, and will definitely change yours too.

Have been incorporating this MOA daily cleansing ritual with natural bamboo face cloth into my evening routine, and my skin is saying thank you.

Gift guide for conscious consumers

Style, Natural Living, Lifestyle, Home + Interiors, Essentialsdanielle coppermanComment

Gifts are always nice, but they're even nicer if they have the ability to do good for more than the person receiving them. Below is a selection of items that I've enjoyed either physically, through windows or during a session of screen scrolling. Some make great gifts, some make the perfect stocking fillers and others wouldn't hurt as a little present / Holiday season outfit for yourself.

Some of these products are ethically and sustainably made (in ingredients, materials and methods) and some share proceeds with charities, whilst others are just nice but not especially impactful. Some come from brands which have regenerative and environmental concerns at heart, and some come from small start-up brands, whilst others come from much larger organisations (boo, but, 21st century living). Whilst I try to shop sustainably most of the time, the selection can sometimes be limited and, therefore, I do find purpose and pleasure in less ethical brands and products from time to time. Hashtag balance.