Because finding sustainable activewear shouldn’t be harder than your workout—here are 8 places to start


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Photo: Girlfriend Collective

In a world that’s (happily) gaining more socially responsible clothing brands—from fashion labels to sneaker companies to accessories makers—there are eight activewear lines in particular that are totally changing the game when it comes to sustainable workout clothes.

Each has pledged to focus on organic materials, eco-friendly production cycles, and ethical working conditions. For some, that means transforming plastic bottles into nylon. Others have set out to use less water in their manufacturing processes—and others still have opted to open up warehouses in the U.S. to reduce their carbon footprints and shorten the supply chain between themselves and their customers.

Together, they’re proving that you don’t have to sacrifice performance, fit (or a sense of style) in order to be eco-conscious. From bright, color-blocked leggings at Outdoor Voices to cool, cropped sports bras at Girlfriend Collective, here are our top eight sustainable activewear brands.

1. Alternative Apparel

Whether you’re on the hunt for performance wear or loungewear, Alternative Apparel has your back. With a vintage feel, these classics are eco-friendly, organic, and made of recycled materials.

2. Adidas

Huge sportswear brand it might be, but Adidas has set forth an initiative to keep itself on track when it comes to sustainability. It’s a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, as well as the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which helps maintain standards when it comes to both environmental and labor-law standards. Plus, the brand’s vowed to be using only recycled plastic in all its products by 2024.

3. Athleta

A Certified B Corporation, Athleta currently makes 40 percent of its performance apparel from recycled and sustainable materials—and aims to double that number by 2020. NBD.

4. Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective’s “first goal was to be as transparent as possible” and it’s managed to do that without sacrificing style and fit by creating a recycled polyester that uses a combination of repurposed water bottles, fishing nets, and other waste rescued from the ocean to not only up-cycle what was once thought of as garbage, but also to maintain a healthy ecosystem for all. What’s more, some styles are in partnership with Healthy Seas, donating a portion of their sales to help clean up the oceans.

5. Groceries Apparel

Groceries Apparel is designed and constructed in California using ethically sourced and eco-friendly materials. By keeping their manufacturing close to home, they’re able to monitor all aspects of their process closer. That, in turn, also helps to ensure that all of their laborers are not only paid fair wages, but also that they work in safe and lawful conditions.

6. Outdoor Voices

Started out of Austin, Texas just a few years ago, Outdoor Voices has brought sustainable fashion to activewear in a way that hasn’t at all sacrificed performance or style. Take, for example, its performance fabrics are made from recycled polyester and produced in factories that adhere to strict safety and social responsibility standards. They minimize water usage in their manufacturing process and offset air emissions, too. All this is to say that they’re doing (a lot) of things to reduce the environmental impact of their activewear.

7. Pact

This brand’s selection of activewear is almost entirely made from certified organic cotton. The company also focuses on the construction of its garments to ensure that the entire life-cycle of their products is sweatshop-free and child-labor-free.

8. Phat Buddha

Phat Buddha aims to marry fashion and function with a more sustainable process by only using organic materials that they have constructed with their signature seamless technology for better and more flattering workout looks.

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