From plant-based alternatives to stainless steel straws, consumers are increasingly more conscious in making sustainable purchases. More than just using eco-friendly materials, sustainability also includes issues surrounding social welfare, labour, inclusivity, waste, and consumption.
For fitness enthusiasts who are looking to do something good for your body while minimising the impact on animals, people, and the planet, these are some of the qualities you should look out for in the search of sustainable sportswear.
Keep a lookout for organic cotton, hemp or bamboo mixed with a little bit of recycled synthetic fibres for flexibility. Tencel is also a common choice amongst ethical and sustainable sportswear brands.
Recycled ocean plastics are becoming increasingly popular, with fabrics such as Econyl, a branded type of recycled nylon, leading the change. Econyl’s production company recycles fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic, restores the nylon to its original state, and turns it into a fabric that can be repurposed once the customer is done with the garment.
This essentially means manufacturing sportswear with minimal to no impact on the environment. These products should not be made from harmful chemicals and all materials are either being recycled or being disposed of in a responsible manner.
For an eco-friendly brand to stand out, the use of dye is a strict no-no. Almost 20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dying and treatment of textiles. Alternatively, they can be used with synthetic materials like polyester to reduce water and energy usage.
Manufacturing and Working Conditions
In today’s world of fast fashion, garment workers can often suffer from poor working conditions with long hours, low pay, and dangerous environments with unsafe buildings, hazardous processes or a lack of safety equipment.
It’s generally easier to track the production practices and working conditions if the clothing is made in your local area, region or country. Otherwise, you can keep your eye on brands that are certified Fair Trade, a marker of quality working standards among a company’s workforce.
Most eco-friendly brands are passionate about important social causes. They are involved in community work and are committed to various charities and nonprofits. They also encourage their consumers to do their part by making a donation to shared causes that help the betterment of the community at large.
Now that you have understood the qualities to look out for, here is our list of top sustainable and ethical sportswear you can use the next time you work out a sweat!
Top Ethical and Sustainable Sportswear
Pact is a one-stop-shop where consumers can find organic alternatives that fit their lifestyle because they believe that doing good should be easy. Their sportswear serves as a basic gear for indoor gym and yoga activities. It’s also a reminder that style and sustainability can co-exist.
Pact believes that the best ingredients make the best clothes and the people who make the clothes are as important as the people who wear them.
Athleta’s products are designed for every type of sports. Whether you’re in search of tights for yoga or jogger pants for a trail hike, Athleta has got you covered. It also has skirts for tennis and bathing suits for swimming, if those activities are more your speed.
60% of Athleta’s materials are produced with sustainable fibres, and they feature quick-drying, anti-chafing, and water-resistant qualities. What’s more, they are a size-inclusive brand with sizing extends to petite, tall, 1X and 3X which helps to refute the notion that women sportswear are only made for petite and fit girls.
More than just stylish sneakers, Adidas is also a popular choice when it comes to sustainable sportswear. Adidas’ zero waste efforts include using half the amount of water in manufacturing, reducing energy consumption, and stop using virgin plastic by 2020. They also collaborate with Parley for the Ocean to create adidas x parley for oceans which is the brand’s first footwear model made from recycled plastic and illegal fishing nets.
Threads 4 Thought
Founded in 2006, Threads 4 Thought was born out of the idea that for every purchase we made as a consumer, we are casting a vote with our dollars for a better world. With a focus of affordability and sustainability, they use sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Lenzing modal for their range of sportswear.
They also take pride in obtaining the highest certifications in the industry, ensuring the best working conditions, and the highest level of sustainable production processes.
That’s not all. They have also partnered with the International Rescue Committee to help refugees live better lives and for reducing environmental issues.