Eco-Friendly Fitness Apparel Brands That’ll Make You Feel Even Better About Working Out
We know that exercising is good for both our minds and bodies. But have you ever wondered what sort of toll our workout habits have on the environment? We certainly have. Research has found that much of our go-to apparel (including those comfy spandex yoga pants and cute, breathable crop tops) isn’t sustainable in the long run. Many of the fabrics, such as polyester, acrylic, nylon and the aforementioned spandex, require unsustainable fossil fuels and produce greenhouse emissions. As comfortable and stylish as these items are, they simply aren’t the best choices when it comes to protecting our planet. Thankfully, there are plenty of eco-friendly fitness apparel brands to choose from. And none sacrifice style or performance.
So what makes this gear sustainable? These brands have made a commitment to do all they can to lessen their impact on our planet. We’re talking labels that make their products out of post-consumer plastics or sustainable fabrics like alpaca fur. Or companies that donate a chunk of their proceeds to environmental groups.
In celebration of Earth Month, we’re giving some of our favorite eco-friendly fitness apparel brands a shout-out. These labels are going above and beyond to reduce their carbon footprints and put the planet first. Which provides extra motivation to work out. Why? Because you’ll be helping yourself and Earth.
Girlfriend Collective is one of the most size-inclusive apparel brands on the market. (Sizes range from XXS to 6XL.) The label’s garments are made from sustainable materials. That includes post-consumer plastic from water bottles, recycled polyester, fishing nets and other sustainable fibers. We love all the brand’s goodies, but its new spring hues, which include robin's-egg blue (Droplet) and powdery pink (Snapdragon), are super dreamy.
We’re obsessed with the mystical-leaning, showstopping designs from Werkshop, a brand that encourages you to live your best life and embrace your individuality. The fitness apparel brand also utilizes recycled materials and an eco-friendly digital dye-sublimation process that produces minimal waste. In addition, Werkshop gives back whenever possible and has already donated thousands to various wildlife organizations, ocean preservation and more.
Yes, even your shoes can be more eco-friendly. Swap the unsustainable, petroleum-derived plastics and high-carbon emissions for a pair of kicks that don’t hurt our planet. AVRE is one of the few athletic footwear brands actively trying to transform the industry by using recycled materials and minimizing waste. The shoes are super comfortable, flexible and durable and have a cool aesthetic that’ll earn you nods at the gym.
Pact sets a high bar for sustainable activewear by creating clothes that don’t just look and feel good, they make you feel better about wearing them. The brand uses organic cotton and challenges traditional farming and production standards by skipping toxic chemicals. The brand also reduces water usage by 81 percent compared to nonorganic cotton.
Socks are a must during most workouts and Pacas’ high-performance socks will make you and your soul feel good. Not only are the socks ridiculously buttery soft and comfy, they’re made from 100 percent sustainable alpaca fiber. The eco-friendly material is naturally moisture-wicking to help keep your feet cool even in the sweatiest of scenarios.
Reprise Activewear is committed to keeping plastic off your body. To that end, the brand utilizes sustainable materials, such as TENCEL (a plant-based material), organic dyes and fair-trade cotton. It’s also dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral through sustainable manufacturing.
Wolven puts sustainability at the forefront of everything it does. Along with using recycled PET fabrics for its apparel, including cellulose fiber derived from beechwood pulp and recycled plastics, the brand invests in numerous environmental programs that help offset emissions.
Preventing injury and promoting pain relief are important to consider when working out. Nufabrx creates sustainable products that help with both, including pain-relieving compression sleeves for knees, ankles, arms, wrists and beyond. As a bonus, all the brand’s products can be machine washed in cold water, which helps reduce personal energy consumption and emissions.
Nylon is a commonly used material in workout apparel, but it’s not the most eco-friendly choice. Manola utilizes ECONYL, a regeneration process that takes waste (like fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring and industrial plastics) and turns it into a new "regenerated nylon" that’s perfect for athletic apparel.