Say goodbye to recycled bottles shedding microplastics in the oceans! That’s thanks to this truly eco friendly activewear
By Lora O’Brien
Whether you like to pound the pavements with a run or grab your mat and relax with some yoga, exercise plays a pivotal role when it comes to your health. And of course, whilst you’re getting sweaty, you’ll want the clothes that are so close to your skin to be made of natural – not petrol-based – fibres. Here’s why.
Why choose natural fibres for eco friendly activewear
Did you know that aside from being a burden on landfills, most workout gear is pretty toxic, too?
Sure, they might offer some stretch for working out easily. Some even wick sweat away from your skin. But there’s no denying activewear made from petrol-based materials or recycled plastic isn’t good for us, or the planet! These synthetic materials are incredibly slow to biodegrade, and they also leave micro-particles of plastic in our water systems every time you wash them.
What that means is that you, as well as wildlife, including birds and fish – end up consuming those fibres. Yep – you’re literally eating bits of your own clothes!
These tiny plastic pieces can also absorb high concentrations of poisonous substances. Even those that escaped into our oceans years ago, such as DDT and other pesticides. Before the fibres reach the ocean, there’s a also good chance they’ve soaked up toxins from detergents and fire-proofing chemicals. Some of these pose a threat to our liver, kidneys and nervous system. Others are highly toxic to aquatic life. Every time you wash those yoga tights, you’re giving the oceans – and later, your body – another dose of pollution.
And as we all know, your activewear gets washed a lot! Eco friendly activewear is the only solution.
The benefits of natural fibres
Overall, eco friendly activewear made from natural fibres has many great benefits. For example, these materials are biodegradable, and are thus more sustainable. They’re also kinder to your skin, and don’t pollute waterways – especially if they’re dyed naturally.
Be on the lookout for accreditations such as the GOTS and the Fairtrade Textile Standard when purchasing eco friendly activewear. Also try to choose better alternatives, such as innovative fabrics like TENCEL whenever possible.
Types of fibres to look for in eco friendly workout gear
TENCEL fibres are made from sustainably sourced wood pulp and fully revert to nature. Providing the same high-performance qualities as plastic fabrics, TENCEL is both breathable and biodegradable. These soft fibres will help to keep your body pleasantly cool and dry with their natural comfort and versatility. It’s perfect for workouts!
Hemp is a great substitute for cotton and is more ethical than both cotton or bamboo. The sustainable fibre has been used in clothing for thousands of years, and there are loads of reasons why! Not only is hemp a sustainable and durable fabric to wear when it comes to activewear, but it’s also breathable, hypoallergenic, antibacterial and biodegradable.
Organic cotton is one of the most popular fabrics when it comes to activewear. The natural textile is non-GMO and uses natural fertilisers and pesticides, instead of the very hazardous chemicals used for conventional cotton. Though it does require a ton of water to grow, it uses 88% less water and 62% less energy to produce than non-organic cotton. The end result is eco friendly activewear that is light, durable, comfortable, moisture-wicking and fast to dry. Not to mention it’s biodegradable.
Where to shop sustainable workout clothing
Designed for active women by active women, Prana is one of our favourite eco friendly activewear brands. Tested and perfected by a dedicated team of designers who are active enthusiasts, all Prana products have been created to provide the best fit for working out.
From yoga tops and leggings to sports bras, Prana’s collections provide more than just your typical pair of yoga pants. It’s activewear for stylish women who enjoy hiking, climbing and other sports, too.
Items we love: Prana offers perfect layering tanks, tops, tees, or tunics. One of our favourite pieces is their Foundation Shrug, made from buttery-soft TENCEL. It’s ideal not only for your workouts, but for wearing every day, thrown over dresses, jeans or leggings.
Tentree makes sustainable activewear essentials using the most sustainable and comfortable materials in the world. In a pledge to help the planet thrive, they plant 10 trees for each purchase made (hence their name). This helps highlight how making one small change, such as shopping more sustainably, can truly benefit the planet.
Tentree only uses materials that live up to their sustainable standards. These include organic cotton, hemp, and TENCEL. Customers can feel great knowing their clothing is good for them and the planet. .
Items we love: If you’re concerned about toxic dyes leaching into your skin, stop! Tentree now has an Undyed Collection. That’s right: ZERO dyes! So healthy!
Looking for eco friendly activewear that makes you more attractive – even when you’re not wearing it? Kinflyte is for you!
This sustainable label uses recycled fibres and sustainably made Spandex (from a carbon-neutral factory) to cleverly place panels in their sports bras. These panels automatically improve your posture, re-training your muscles into better alignment.
But that’s not all: their pants, shorts and bras are all designed to make your workout as comfy as can be!
Items we love: Their Freedom Top has built-in bust support. It features wide straps, pocketed cups, and removable pad inserts to keep you looking shapely. But it also keeps you fresh and dry, thanks to its antibacterial, sweat-wicking, and odour resistant qualities.
I think I speak for the masses when I say that we want two things from our activewear: comfort and affordability. Luckily, BRIAVIA is a brand catering to both! Respecting both the planet and everyone involved in the process, they’re dedicated to creating the comfiest basics that will last in our wardrobes for years, all at super affordable prices.
Whether you’re looking to invest in some comfy bras, vests or leggings, these staple basics are buttery soft and designed to feel like a second skin. Available in sizes small through to 3XL, they’re super inclusive, too. And if that wasn’t reason enough to love this brand, they also plant a tree for every order made.
Items we love: Their flared leggings are right on trend. With a v-shaped waistband and high-waisted flare bottom, they elongate the legs and are super flattering!
One of the best and most loved eco friendly activewear brands is Girlfriend Collective. No matter what your shape or size, there’s something here for you!
From yoga tights and sports bras to tennis skirts and sweatsuits, GC has it all!
As for sustainability, this brand is circular. Their ReGirlfriend program asks customers to send knackered activewear back to be recycled into new items. You’ll get $15 store credit, avoid creating more waste on the planet, and help close the loop. It’s a total win-win!
Items we love: Their sports bras are so chic, stylish and supportive, they can easily be worn as tops.
With the simple mantra BE BETTER, Tripulse is a brand that is truly motivating the world to get up and be more active! The ethos behind this health-focused brand is to help inspire people to better themselves by living a more active life.
Their sustainable, high-performing eco-friendly activewear sparks a positive change for our people and planet. Whether you prefer HIIT workouts, going for a hike or taking a yoga class, Tripulse caters to all kinds of activities in a stylish and ethical fashion.
Providing wearers with the perfect threads to be fit and healthy, they’re encouraging people to become their best selves with a “can-do” attitude. You gotta love that, right? But there’s more to love, too: Tripulse is Climate Neutral certified, which means they’ve reached net zero carbon emissions for all their products.
Items we love: Once you try their compression TENCEL workout leggings, you will never want to wear anything else! They’re stretchy, soft, AND they come with pockets! Plus, there’s a short version of these out now for summer.
When it comes to eco friendly activewear Patagonia is a true leader. The brand has been around since the 70’s and has donated 1% of its profit to environmental organisations since the ’80s. Plus, the brand encourages consumers to keep their clothing as long as possible. For example, they share repair tutorials on their site to help their customers fix clothes instead of buying more.
Items we love: Their T-shirts and vests provide flexibility to move while being kind to skin. Their tank and twist tops are made from TENCEL and absorb moisture and dry fast. Perfect for sweaty workouts!
When it comes to inclusivity, Athleta has a lot to offer. Whether you’re in search of pants for yoga, skorts for tennis or the perfect swimwear for catching waves, Athleta has you covered! And all items have been tested in action. You can trust that this clothing really works when in motion!
The brand is also inclusive with their sizing. Catering to literally everyone, all Athleta activewear is available in petite and tall ranges and sizes 1X to 3X. All items are quick-drying, anti-chafing and water-resistant. So nothing will prevent you from getting the most out of your workout, be it on land or in the sea!
Items we love: There is so much to love! Think relaxing jackets and cute crop tops. The range is great for layering and made from TENCEL, so it’s lightweight and soft.