Sustainable workout clothes? These are eco-conscious athletic wear brands to keep you moving while protecting both people and the planet.
Looking for some new activewear brands that are more eco-friendly?
You’re not alone, athletic wear is becoming so common and wearing your favorite yoga pants to the gym is a must. However, have you found conscious companies that you stand by?
If you haven’t — then we have rounded up a list of companies that have fair trade and ethical labor practices, along with natural and recycled fabrics that are doing their part to provide top quality activewear while helping the planet.
Here are the best sustainable workout clothes brands.
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Best for fitness wear & athletic tees
Based: Vancouver, Canada
Price Range: $–$$
Size Range: XS–XL
Ethics: B Corp, sustainable & eco-friendly materials, ethically made, gives back
Tentree earth-first essentials using the most sustainable (and comfortable) materials in the world. They believe that big change starts small. By planting 10 trees for every purchase, they hope to make big change accessible to everybody. The company aspires to plant 1 billion by 2030—take that, climate change! They do one of the best jobs of blending athletic wear with graphic designs that are still functional for everyday use.
Best for ethical essentials for women
Based: Copenhagen, Denmark & San Francisco, CA
Price Range: $$
Size Range: XS–XXL
Ethics: B Corp, GOTS Certified, sustainable materials & practices, ethically made
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Organic Basics is a Copenhagen-based brand specializing in underwear, everyday basics, and activewear produced with more sustainable methods. Organic Basics’ sustainability is the company’s core mission they don’t mean that sustainability is nice to have, it’s the only way they act. They only use natural, biodegradable, renewable textiles for their cotton bras, tank tops, and yoga shorts. Twice a year, the company donates part of its profits to non-profit organizations that help the world be a better place.
Best for women’s crop tops
Based In: Austin, TX
Price Range: $$–$$$
Size Range: XXS–XXXL
Ethics: Recycled materials and packaging, thoughtful production, gives back
Outdoor Voices has sustainable workout clothes for any season or activity. Their women’s crop tops are highly reviewed for being high-quality and comfortable for workouts. They design their product through the lens of longevity and circularity to reduce our environmental impact. They are reducing the use of conventional fabrics in favor of more sustainable alternatives: RecPoly (recycled PET), Merino (ethically-sourced wool), MegaFleece(recycled wool) and CloudKnit (bluesign certified product). Organic Voices has prioritized solutions for raw materials — specifically, fabrics and packaging — as they account for nearly 70% of our environmental impact.
Best for active swimwear & windbreakers
Based In: St. Louis, MO
Price Range: $$–$$$
Size Range: XS–2X
Ethics: Eco-friendly, recycled packaging & materials, sustainably-made
Summersalt has pieces that are crafted to keep you comfortable and chic while you’re on the go. What’s best is they use earth-friendly practices by using recycled materials to create fabrics and product packaging because they want take care of this world. They also have very affordable price points for it’s swimwear and activewear that has been worn by celebrities known for its flattering fit.
Best for sport-specific activewear
Based In: San Francisco, CA
Price Range: $–$$$
Size Range: XS–3X
Ethics: B Corp, sustainable materials, inclusive sizing
Athleta designs clothing that integrates performance and technical features for active women and girls. From running and yoga to swimming and hiking, they have it all. They empower women through P.A.C.E and fair trade. Also, 71% of its materials are made with sustainable fibers and a portion of products made using water-saving techniques. Finally, 74% of the company’s waste from shipping packaging has been diverted from landfills. They are working towards getting these figures to 100%, so they need your help by supporting their products and mission.
12 Tips to Make Your Exercise Routine More Eco-Friendly
Looking for some new ways to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly and attain sustainable exercise?
With a clear understanding that there’s no such thing as “just try, and you’ll see”, I offer you quick tips on how to start introducing sustainable exercise into your day-to-day routine.
They demand a little time and sweat, but won’t give you beginner’s anxiety and frustration.
Most importantly, they truly are simple to adopt – whatever your lifestyle choices might be. These 12 habits will prove sustainable and highly addictive, and, in time, they will motivate you enough to change your life completely.
1. Wear Clothes That Breathe
One way to have a more eco-friendly workout is by using breathable clothing. Natural breathable fabrics such as 100% organic cotton jersey or natural fleece absorb moisture and draw heat away from your skin.
Other options: Bamboo clothing, which is also soft and dries faster. And it’s a renewable resource. Soy fabric is warm, biodegradable, and resists bacteria.
2. Reuse Water Bottles
Have your fill of water without filling up a landfill.
Shop smart: The potentially harmful chemical bisphenol A (BPA) can leach into the water from some hard plastic bottles. Instead, look for plastics marked BPA-free. Reusable stainless steel or aluminum bottles (with BPA-free linings) are good options, too.
Or find a water fountain. While some bottled water may be safer or cleaner than tap water, much of it is not.
3. Go to a Green Gym
Look for these green practices at a gym or encourage your gym to try them: restricted towel use, recycling bins, reusable water bottles for sale, TVs turned off when not in use, and eco-friendly lighting, cleaning, and locker-room products.
A growing number of green gyms also harness the energy people exert on cardio machines to power equipment.
4. Recycle Old Shoes
Through shoe recycling programs, used athletic and running shoes can live a new life as part of a playground or sports surface.
Some charities take shoe donations and give them to the homeless or people in need overseas. Buying shoes made from recycled materials is another green option.
5. Burn Calories, Not Gasoline
Bike, ride a scooter, or walk to work, the store, or the gym. In fact, you could skip the gym and bike or walk for your workout. Riding at a moderate pace for 30 minutes burns about 220 calories.
A brisk, 20-minute walk knocks off about 90. Cutting car time also reduces pollution so you — and everyone else — can breathe easier.
6. Skip the Energy Food and Drinks
Sugary energy drinks, gels, bars, and sports candies — you don’t need them for your workout, and often they aren’t the healthiest choices.
Instead of filling up on processed foods, fuel your workout with snacks like organic dried fruits, nuts, granola, yogurt, bananas, grapes, and water. Or eat an organic energy bar made with fruit, nuts, fiber, and protein. Or just make a healthy breakfast energy smoothie that’ll get you moving. Consider taking supplements like fish oil or Vitamin B if you’re lacking energy.
7. Swim in Salt Water
Itchy eyes and dull, brittle hair? Saltwater swimming pools, also called saline pools, don’t rely as heavily on the harsh chemicals needed in traditional chlorine pools.
That can make them easier on the planet and on your eyes, skin, hair, swimsuit, and respiratory system.
8. Get a Natural Yoga Mat
Rubber or organic jute, hemp, or cotton mats are made from renewable resources.
They’re also biodegradable and keep you from being nose-to-nose with potentially harmful chemicals found in some plastics, called PVCs.
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) mats are a PVC-free plastic option and are anti-slip, moisture resistant, and durable.
9. Stay Home
Doing yoga, Pilates, or other exercises at home is convenient, inexpensive, and easy on the environment.
Be creative about fitting activity into your routine: Try exercising while watching a favorite TV show, play tag with your children, garden, mow the lawn, or put on some music and dance while you clean house.
10. Use Safer Bug Spray and Sunscreen
Studies have shown lemon eucalyptus repellent to be as effective as low concentrations of DEET in keeping bugs away. Other repellents made from plant-based ingredients, such as soy, appear to be less effective.
For sun protection, avoid peak sun hours and wear a hat and long sleeves if possible. Sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are ideal for kids and adults with sensitive skin.
11. Exercise for a Good Cause
Need motivation? Sign up for a charity run or walk that draws attention to an earth-friendly cause. Or volunteer to clean a park or beach, plant trees, or tend to a community garden. National parks offer great active volunteer opportunities such as leading hikes; serving on a bike, horseback, or ski patrols; and building or maintaining hiking, walking, or biking trails.
12. Soothe Sore Muscles
Treat yourself to a massage: It relaxes muscles, helps your body release natural painkillers, and may boost your immune system. Other natural remedies include heat, stretching, and rest.
These are great ways to have a green workout that’ll not only boost your health but help the environment.