Sustainable Activewear for the Ethically Conscious

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The demand for eco-conscious practices has shifted the fashion industry irrevocably, making them a necessity for any organization seeking a competitive edge. Sustainability is no longer a mere trend but an essential component, particularly for activewear manufacturers. From repurposing ocean waste to utilizing recycled materials like cotton, nylon, and polyester, leading sustainable activewear brands are adopting innovative approaches to source ethical materials for their products, catering to consumers seeking to make ethical choices.

Top Sustainable Activewear Brands

  1. Outdoor Voices

    Outdoor Voices prioritizes sustainability through their “Protect Our Playground” initiative. They employ exclusively recycled and recyclable packaging and sustainable fabrics like RecPoly and merino for products ranging from their popular CloudKnit line to their iconic leggings.

  2. Girlfriend Collective

    Girlfriend Collective is renowned for using 100% recycled and recyclable packaging and manufacturing their activewear from environmental waste. Their bras, leggings, tees, tanks, and reusable pouches are composed of a blend of recycled polyester, nylon, water bottles, fishing nets, and cupro.

  3. Wolven

    Wolven specializes in squat-proof bike shorts, leggings, and sports bras crafted from recycled BPA-free water bottles and carbon-neutral modal fabrics. They collaborate with Climate Neutral to assess their greenhouse gas emissions, offset their footprint through carbon credits, and implement emission reduction strategies.

  4. Free People

    To facilitate eco-conscious shopping, Free People established Care FP in 2019, a sustainability hub showcasing earth-friendly brands, clean beauty products, and sustainability initiatives. It also offers a curated selection of gently used vintage items, products from artisanal 501(c)3 nonprofits, and clothing made with sustainable materials.

  5. Madewell

    Madewell’s MWL (Make Weekends Longer) collection introduces responsibly made activewear and loungewear. This line includes their first-ever leggings, featuring recycled nylon and spandex, flat seams, and ample stretch, available in sizes XXS through XXL.

  6. Despite its fast-fashion roots, & Other Stories has made significant sustainability advancements. They employ eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and adhere to CanopyStyle’s policy, preventing deforestation. They have recently released a yoga-wear line sourced from sustainable materials such as recycled polyamide and organic cotton, partnering with The Black Women’s Yoga Collective to promote accessibility and representation for women of color in wellness.

  7. Pact

    Pact offers leggings, sports bras, dresses, outerwear, towels, and bedding exclusively made from 100% organic cotton. They collaborate with Fair Trade Certified factories that minimize water usage and uphold safe working conditions for employees. Pact has expanded its offerings to include a line of ultra-comfortable organic maternity wear.

  8. Organic Basics

    Copenhagen-based Organic Basics collaborates with certified factories and utilizes sustainable materials such as organic cotton, recycled wool, nylon, and cashmere for their products.

  9. Summersalt

    Summersalt, known for its swimwear, also produces stylish and sustainable activewear. They create innovative fabrics from recycled materials, cruelty-free wool, and cashmere.

  10. REI

    REI offers a range of sustainable activewear under the name REI Co-Op. They actively track their environmental footprint and sell numerous recycled and fair-trade products. Items labeled Bluesign adhere to approved chemicals and resource-conserving manufacturing practices.

  11. Athleta

    Athleta is a longstanding activewear brand committed to sustainability and transparency. They report that 76% of their materials are sustainable fibers, 4% of products employ water-saving techniques, and 72% of shipping packaging waste is diverted from landfills. Their materials include organic cotton, recycled nylon and polyester, and Econyl, a 100% regenerated nylon fiber made from fishing nets.

  12. Groceries Apparel

    Groceries Apparel produces sports bras, leggings, and joggers in their Los Angeles factory to ensure quality, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. Their pieces are made from organic cotton, eucalyptus, recycled plastic, or hemp, dyed with their Vege-Dye.

  13. Patagonia

    Patagonia is renowned for incorporating recycled materials into 68% of its product line, including nylon, polyester, yarn, cotton, and cashmere. Moreover, 84% of their products are sewn in Fair Trade Certified factories worldwide, ensuring livable wages for workers.

  14. Fabletics

    Kate Hudson’s Fabletics has made strides in sustainability. Their subscription-based service offers an eco-conscious line crafted from recycled and upcycled materials, and they have eliminated plastic bags in favor of 100% recyclable packaging.

  15. Adidas

    Adidas, partnering with Parley since 2015, aims to use 100% recycled polyester in its products by 2024. Their Primeblue and Primegreen collections incorporate ocean plastic and recycled materials. Adidas is also a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, integrating sustainable cotton into their products since 2005.

  16. Pangaia

    For eco-friendly, streetwear-inspired activewear, Pangaia is a leading choice. The brand produces sweatpants, joggers, hoodies, and T-shirts using sustainable materials and environmentally friendly dyes. They utilize recycled cashmere, wool, and cotton, organic linen, seaweed fiber, and vegan grape leather, among other materials.


With the proliferation of sustainable practices in the activewear industry, consumers have ample options to make conscious choices that support ethical and environmentally responsible businesses. Whether you’re seeking workout essentials or stylish loungewear, the brands highlighted in this article demonstrate a commitment to eco-friendly sourcing, responsible manufacturing, and fair labor practices. By embracing sustainable activewear, you can support businesses that prioritize planetary well-being while enhancing your health and well-being through ethical fashion choices.

Author’s Note

This article is an independent effort by John A.

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