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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.