From sustainable clothing and jewellery brands to sustainable beauty products and sustainable restaurants, most things have a sustainable iteration these days – even activewear. To that end, here are the sustainable activewear brands that are as beneficial to the planet as exercise is to your body. Now all that’s left to do is ascertain which fitness tribe you belong to.
If you like your sustainable activewear to be accompanied by the thrill of the new, we recommend Megosa: it launched only last week. We don’t just appreciate the natural dyes they use for being environmentally–friendly, though. These are garments in colours – from mint to pink and lavender – that are almost too pretty for sweating in. We therefore suggest sticking to low impact exercise when wearing them, which may well stretch to no exercise at all.
Given the fact that Ernest Leoty work with specialist sportswear manufacturers that have created kits for the British olympic cycling team and costumes for the Opéra national de Paris, it’s safe to describe their activewear as ‘reliable’. But how is it sustainable? “Sustainability is at the centre of Ernest Leoty,” says its founder, Marion Rabate. “We use recycled yarns and fabrics like Econyl® and Q-Nova®, or natural fabrics like Tencel™,” she continues. “Most importantly, because of their quality, our pieces are timeless pieces, designed to last." Well, there you have it.
Sustainability is so important to Stella McCartney that their website features a sustainability timeline dating back to 2001, the year of the brand’s launch. It’s unsurprising, then, that their lasting collaboration with Adidas should also be sustainable. In 2019, Adidas by Stella McCartney launched – the first ever, might we add – garments made from Evrnu's NuCycle™ (a technology that enables discarded clothing to be made into entirely new products) yarn and KOBA® faux fur (an innovative faux fur made from vegetal ingredients). And you can’t fault it aesthetically, either.
Reformation launched their first activewear collection only recently. As with the rest of what they offer, it’s designed for ‘looking cute and being sustainable whatever you’re doing’ and comes in two fabrications: EcoMove and EcoStretch, with the former designed for things like HIIT and the latter for gentler forms of exercise. Both are made from REPREVE which uses post-consumer recycled plastic bottles in its construction (and comes with Global Recycling Standard certification).
Australian activewear brand Horizon Athletic’s love for the ocean even extends to the fabrics they use. Econyl®, for instance, is made from discarded fishing nets and other post-consumer waste. This would be excellent in itself, but the brand improves it further by weaving it with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ to make it five times more durable when exposed to chlorine, salt water, UV radiation and SPF than other comparable fabrics. Ultimately, this is a brand about maximum usage and minimum impact.
We’d be nothing without the kindness and transparency of our girlfriends – or Girlfriend Collective, for that matter. Aside from the many accolades of sustainability the brand boasts, what we really love about it is the activewear itself. Its minimalism means that the pieces can effortlessly blend into many summer outfits, which we suppose is a win for economy as well as exercise.
We celebrated Scultura for being a sustainable activewear brand back in 2020 and little has changed since then. They’re especially appealing if you want brightly coloured clothes to exercise in, though.
While talk of astrology and chakras admittedly isn’t for everyone, there are some people on this earth who embrace it wholeheartedly. So wholeheartedly, in fact, that they’d probably sport sustainable activewear inspired by both topics, which is exactly what PAMA London specialises in. It’s an excellent brand for yoga clothes regardless of this, however.
For completely justified reasons, sustainable activewear isn’t always the most affordable activewear on the market. TALA, however, exists to challenge this by offering sustainable activewear that is accessible both in terms of price point and size inclusivity. And, like Girlfriend Collective, it’s aesthetic is delightfully plain.
‘Nimble’ is exactly what we aspire to be, so we have no shame in donning a sustainable activewear brand named as such in a bid to become it. However, there’s more to Nimble than nimbleness – a lot more, actually. From pieces designed to hold your phone to sports bras that simply zip closed, there’s something for everyone (and each piece saves plastic bottles from ending up in the ocean of landfill).