OK, so you’ve made sustainable changes in your pantry, in your makeup bag, and in your home, but what’s next? When I think of consumption, I often think of fast fashion and its impact on the environment. So naturally, as I continue my journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle across the board, I knew that I wanted to do some research into the brands that were doing it right in the activewear space.
Sometimes, when you think “sustainable,” you think of uncomfortable, scratchy fabrics. Fortunately, due to the amount of demand for more sustainable fashion choices, innovation has bred discovery of ways to simulate the fabrics we know and love, but through manufacturing practices and materials that are so much kinder to our planet.
One final note before I get into my finds. We’re all doing the best we can here. If you’re even reading this article, you’re making a conscious effort to bring small change to the way you consume goods—and that’s HUGE! If we all made tiny, incremental steps each day to address how we interact with, purchase, and discard of the goods we use each day, we’d be in a pretty good place. So, while some of the below brands may not be “perfect” in the way they’re doing it, at least they’re trying! So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
What they’re saying: Many of our garments are made with recycled or eco-friendly materials like TENCEL™, TENCEL Modal, and Cupro. Products that are made with traditional materials have a path to sustainability through ongoing fabric development, research and development, and trials. We are constantly striving to refine processes and push ourselves to keep operations and products as eco-friendly as possible.
What they’re saying: We design our product through the lens of longevity and circularity to reduce our environmental impact. We have prioritized solutions for raw materials — specifically, fabrics and packaging — as they account for nearly 70% of our environmental impact. To address the other 30% of our impact, we are incorporating environmentally-conscious decision-making across all aspects of our business.
What they’re saying: We’re like the earth’s number one fan, so being eco-friendly is at the top of our priorities, as is giving you as much information as possible. Here’s a breakdown of each of our products and how it stacks up. Packaging: Our packaging is 100% recycled and recyclable, so don’t throw it away! Compressive Leggings + Bras: Made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex, our leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles and our bras are made from 11. LITE Leggings: Made from recycled fishing nets and other waste using ECONYL® yarn, our LITE fabric is made up of 83% recycled nylon and 17% spandex. Cupro: Our tees and tanks are 100% cupro, a delicate fiber made from waste the cotton industry leaves behind. Our yarn is made in a zero-waste, zero-emission facility in Japan, then constructed at our SA8000-certified factory in Hanoi. Reusable Pouch: Our reusable pouch is made with the same RPET as our bras and leggings. So not only is it reusable and adorable, it’s just as good for the earth as the rest of our line.
What they’re saying: PANGAIA is a materials science company on a mission to save our environment. The range uses bio-based, recycled fibres and materials made from recycled plastic bottles. We combine natural botanical dyes made from natural sources such as plants, with innovative antibacterial peppermint to stay fresh for longer.
What they’re saying: Free People’s sustainability shop “Care FP” distinguishes products that are designed with at least 50% of an eco-conscious fiber, including GOTS certified cotton, Euro linen traceable to the farms in France, and econyl.