Sustainable fashion is often hard to find, so looking for sustainable activewear can be even harder. Especially when only 1% of all fashion pays a living wage – it cuts things down somewhat!
Since chatting with Zara Williams, Founder of the Who Made My Activewear? Festival, I’ve wanted to share my discoveries in ethical exercise gear – and give you a few options to try too.
Just as ethical shoes are harder to find than ethical t-shirts, activewear can prove to be tricky. Clothing needs to be light, wick away sweat, and stretch in the right places. And when sustainable materials are few and far between (organic cotton, linen, possibly bamboo…) that makes things quite difficult.
My Ethical Activewear Favourites
When I first wrote this guide, I stated that I could do more when it came to exercise. I’m happy to say that upon writing this update, I have done just that! I run once or twice a week, I swim, and I sometimes practice yoga at home too. That means I have a whole drawer of workout gear now – and all sourced from ethical, sustainable brands.
My best picks when it comes to activewear are Organic Basics’ Active collection*, an eco-friendly brand creating high quality activewear and basics, and BAM Clothing*, a slightly more affordable option that I use to top-up my exercise gear. Both brands focus on performance materials, predominantly recycled nylon and bamboo viscose respectively. Their clothing has been great for running in both the summer and winter, and layers up well. I’ve actually recently shared how I like to style my activewear for everyday wear too – because loved clothes last!
20 Of The Best Sustainable Activewear Brands In The UK
Aside from what’s in my wardrobe, there are a number of small, sustainable brands working hard to provide ethical clothing for many different active lifestyles. From athleisure to hiking, yoga clothes to cycling gear, here are the UK-based brands that I like to look around when investing in new garments:
Asquith: Affordable organic clothing made in sweatshop-free conditions.
BAM*: Bamboo athletic wear that truly does last – and feels great too!
Evamoso: Tops and leggings made in small batches from organic and recycled materials.
Girlfriend Collective*: Size inclusive clothing designed for exercise and relaxing, made from recycled materials.
Go As U R*: Natural, recycled or regenerated fibre activewear donating % to charity empowering girls and women.
Howies: Outdoor sportswear using organic fabrics and designed to last longer.
Jilla Activewear: Bamboo sportswear in natural colour tones.
Lola Starr*: Athleisure and activewear made from ECONYL, handmade in the UK.
Luna & Soul Active: Minimalist designs using environmentally-friendly dyes, fabric and materials.
Organic Basics*: High quality active pieces made in Portugal with recycled fibres and odour control fabrics. Get 10% off with the code: BESMAOBX
Patagonia*: Athleisure and outdoor jackets promoting slow consumption and love for the environment.
People Tree*: Exercise and yoga essentials from the mother of ethical fashion.
Ran By Nature: Inclusive athleisure clothing in neutral colours, supporting likeminded charities.
Samurda*: Tops, leggings, and t-shirts handmade in the UK, designed by a yoga teacher.
Silou London: Form-fitting, pastel-shaded activewear using non-toxic fabrics and made in Europe.
Soma Sportswear: Sports clothing and activewear incorporating silver yarn, made in the UK.
SOS Activewear: Activewear made from recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles, made in the UK.
Sports Philosophy: Socially-focused activewear with bold colours and designs.
Starseeds: A wide range of activewear styles made with slow fashion principles throughout.
Sundried: Sportswear brand promoting positive working environments and eco-friendly materials.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links (denoted '*')
This is a great list of companies! its so great to see that there are brands out there trying to make a difference. Have you thought of doing a performance comparison review on these brands? Xx
Great questions Danielle! I’ve written more in-depth about Organic Basics, and just this morning was out running in my Silou gear, so perhaps that’s something I can do in the future. I do have a sneaker comparison coming out soon too, so stay tuned for that!
This is nice. I like the yoga pant. This is very comfortable. Thank you for the post.
My pleasure, thanks Andrea!
This is a brilliant list of companies I’d never heard of! There is a huge amount of variety out there and it’s great to see so many businesses with high ethical and sustainable standards coming into play.
Thank you for sharing! Have already bought some items from People Tree!
Thanks for the kind words Anna, so glad you found what you were looking for! People Tree are the perfect example of ethical standards and sustainable materials too!
Sports bras: Teeki and RE3 use recycled materials – I buy mine from yogarebel 🙂
Thanks for the additional recommendations Emily! I’ve not heard of either of these, but it’s great to hear they’re using recycled materials.
According to RubyMoon, BesmaCC code doesn’t exist. 🙁
Thanks for raising this Sandra – let me check with RubyMoon and get back to you.
This has now been fixed for your Sandra! x
This was just what I’d been looking for! Bought some lovely new yoga kit from BAM. Thank you x
I’m glad I could help Amy! I bought my boyfriend a pair of yoga pants from them two years ago and they’re still going strong! x
Amazing! Just what I needed – thanks for the list will be checking them out now!
My pleasure Molina!
Great list! I especially will look into Asquith as I prefer organic and natural materials, but those that won’t overstretch from use. Thanks!
Thank you! I love their yoga pants, had my pair for 6+ months now and they’re as good as new! x