Fashion can be quite a wasteful industry, that’s big news for no one. That’s why I strongly recommend buying your clothes second-hand if you have the chance to have thrift stores near you, or if you have access to websites or apps that connect you with people selling their clothes. Another great option is to rent your clothes but that does not really apply for activewear.
I personally buy all my clothes second-hand, except for underwear (duhh) and activewear. And that’s simply because I can’t seem to find precisely what I need second-hand.
Clothing has the 4th largest environmental impactWrap, Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion after housing, transport and food.
Before you wash them: the drawback of many of these recycled synthetic materials is that, like all man-made fibres, they still release microfibres every time they are washed. So make sure to use a Guppyfriend or a Cora Ball when you wash them!
Nature Hommage’s goal is to combat plastic waste and challenge the fast fashion industry. They do so by creating gorgeous activewear made from industrial plastic waste and fishing nets. On top of that, they collaborated with Plastic Bank, which enables them to recycle 80 plastic bottles and stop them from ending up in the ocean for each garment sold.
Get 10% off your first order with discount code ZEROWASTENEST!
Ethically made in Bali.
Made of 58% recycled nylon, Everlane’s Perform collection is set to well, perform no matter the activity! Runners, dancers, climbers, yogis, serial brunchers — there should be something for you. This is We love that they’re totally transparent about their factories, and have sizes ranging from XXS to XXL.
United States, $
Ethically made in Sri Lanka.
Organic Basics’ activewear collection is made from organic cotton, Tencel and SilverTech—a durable, breathable, stretchy, sweat-wicking Italian recycled nylon. Recycled nylon also takes 90% less water to make and it creates 80% fewer CO2 emissions in compared to virgin nylon which is typically used in activewear.
Get 10% off your order with discount code ZWNOB!
Ethically made in Portugal and Turkey.
Jilla Active has a selection of sustainable pieces made from recycled nylon, organic cotton and recycled polyester.
United Kingdom, $-$$
Ethically made in China.
Do I really need to introduce them? Girlfriend Collective makes beautiful activewear made from recycled fishing nets and other waste.
United States, $-$$
Ethically made in Taiwan and Vietnam.
Organic, Fair Trade cotton at very fair prices. People Tree is a pioneer in ethical and environmentally sustainable fashion, which is just another reason to love and support them!
United Kingdom, $-$$
Ethically made in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Nepal.
Allerton is an independent Australian swimwear and activewear brand with a focus on fit and function. They use regenerated Lycra made from discarded fishing nets and plastic bottles wherever possible.
Ethically made in Australia.
Did you know that it is estimated that 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow conventional cotton? Pact makes the soft, comfortable and beautiful organic cotton basics you were looking for!
United States, $
Ethically made in India.
Do you know what ghost fishing nets are? It’s lost or abandoned fishing gear that continues to capture fish and other marine animals after the gear is no longer under the control of a fisherman. Every year, thousands of these are discarded in the ocean. Abysse’s activewear is made of a material that gives ghost fishing nets and discarded fabrics a new life.
United States, $$-$$$
Ethically made in the United States.
You might be surprised not to find anything made out of bamboo in this list. And that is because bamboo is not as sustainable as we’ve been used to thinking.
For more ethical brands, head over to the directory of allllllll ethical fashion brands (well, many, let’s say it’s still a big work in progress!), the Ethical Fashion Guide.
Morgane is a London-based writer passionate about sustainable living, ethical fashion and social justice.