We’ve all seen the headlines about fast fashion. As an industry, it’s the second largest consumer of water and is responsible for eight to 10 percent of global carbon emissions.
Happily, in the activewear category, change is happening, with more and more companies ditching spandex and polyester (neither naturally biodegrades) for sustainable fabrics such as recycled cotton or hemp.
But where do you start when searching for sustainable workout gear? Thankfully, we did the research for you. Read on for 10 of our new favorites.
Reebok Classics: Natural Dye Leggings
Not only are these sustainable cotton leggings ready to go the distance with you—they’re incredibly stretchy—but they’re made with dye that uses colors from natural earth pigments and minerals. reebok.com
Reformation: Gwen EcoMove Bra
Sports bras are a mainstay when you’re working out and Reformation sports bras are super special: They’re made from either EcoStretch, a soft and stretch performance fabric for low-impact workouts, or in the case of the Gwen, EcoMove, a sleek performance fabric with a slight sheen for mid- to high-impact exercise. All are sustainably made with REPREVE, which calculates the number of bottles recycled and the savings in greenhouse gas emissions, water and
energy for each item. thereformation.com
Allbirds: Natural Leggings:
While most leggings are made with plastic, Allbirds are manufactured with Tencel, a sustainably sourced eucalyptus tree fiber, merino wool and recycled nylon to cut back on virgin petroleum-based synthetics. PS: These carbon-neutral leggings are super soft and comfortable, too! allbirds.com
Everlane: The Tread Runner
You’ll flash back to those ’80s track shoes you may have worn to do laps around your high school gym with these recycled sneakers that are earth-friendly and made with sustainably sourced materials, such as a low-plastic sole and a 100 percent recycled polyester lining. everlane.com
Burgeon: Flume 1⁄4 Zip Base Layer
Handmade in Lincoln, New Hampshire, the top manufactured by this two-year-old company has become a favorite due to its sustainable Tencel, which is naturally breathable, odor-resistant, thermo-regulating and, frankly, truly comfortable—and cozy, especially while you’re warming up. And, by manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year-round jobs in the White Mountains and five percent of every sale goes back to supporting the local community and environmental efforts. burgeonoutdoor.com
Daehlie: Compete-Tech Base Layer
Highlighting a collection created by Norwegian cross-country Olympic champion Bjorn Daehlie beginning in 1996, this long-sleeve base layer top is so thin you wouldn’t think it would keep you warm but it does. That’s due to its ultralight Tencel blend which helps with temperature regulation whether it’s cold or warm outside. dahlie.com
Hass: Fleece Roll Cuff Short Sleeve Sweatshirt
Meet Hass, a new venture from Avocado Green Brands, the sustainable mattress firm. This responsibly sourced fashion collection harnesses natural, organic and recycled materials as well as nontoxic dyes making this short-sleeve sweatshirt a favorite for any mild day workout. Best of all: Every item is stitched in Global Organic Textile Standard-certified (GOTS) facilities in Los Angeles. shophass.com
Threads4Thought: Leanna Feather Fleece Tunic
This comfy tunic might just become your regular morning run go-to thanks to its super softness. Responsibly made from sustainable materials, including organic cotton, recycled polyester and Lenzing Modal, which uses beech tree bark that grows back naturally and ensures the tree is never cut down, every T4T factory holds the highest certifications in the industry, ensuring the best working conditions and the highest level of sustainable production processes. threads4thought.com
Forsake: Lucie Chelsea Sneaker Boots
Climate Neutral-Certified for two years in a row, the team at Forsake, a brand born from a love of the outdoors, is sure this fun walk-around-town sneaker boot will be your permanent go-to. The slip-on Lucie Chelsea is waterproof and features a memory foam footbed and a “peak-to- pavement” outsole. Bonus: You can feel good about every purchase since Forsake has maintained net-zero emissions since the company launched in 2019. forsake.com
Adidas: Terrex MyShelter PrimaLoft Parley Padded Jacket
Made of Parley Ocean Plastic, a material created from upcycled plastic waste that’s intercepted from beaches and coastal towns before ever polluting our oceans, and composed of 100 percent recycled fiber insulation, this lightweight jacket is just right for those brisk morning runs. adidas.com