Ethical fashion is often hard to find, so looking for ethical activewear can be even harder. Especially when only 1% of all fashion is ethical!
Since chatting with Zara Williams, Founder of the Who Made My Activewear? Festival, I’ve wanted to share my discoveries in ethical activewear – 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 it comes to being active, I’m not going to lie: I could definitely do more. I love to practice yoga at home, and I try to cycle around London as much as possible. Two years ago, I had a brief period where I loved running, and in the near future, I’m going to try out hot yoga and take up swimming again.
That being said, I’ve always had something to wear. My best picks when it comes to activewear are my Starseeds asymmetric top and my Asquith leggings. Both are principally composed of organic cotton: the top has a small amount of Lycra to keep lightweight but skin-tight, and the leggings are blended with bamboo and elastane to really stretch well.
I’m yet to need a new sports bra (having two that I purchased a few years ago) but if you have any personal recommendations, I’d love to keep them in mind!
Ethical Activewear Brands in the UK
Aside from what’s in my wardrobe, there are a good few 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 have caught my eye:
Adrenna: Colour blocking activewear made using zero-waste production methods
Asquith: Affordable organic clothing made in sweatshop-free conditions
BAM: Bamboo athletic wear that truly does last – and feels great too!
Bella Kinesis: Stand out gym wear that supports women’s education in India
Go As U R: Natural, recycled or regenerated fibre activewear donating % to charity empowering girls and women
GRN Sportswear: Cycling gear made from recycled fabrics
Howies: Outdoor sportswear using organic fabrics and designed to last longer
Jilla Activewear: Bamboo sportswear in natural colour tones
Luna & Soul Active: Minimalist designs using environmentally-friendly dyes, fabric and materials
Patagonia: Athleisure and outdoor jackets promoting slow consumption and love for the environment
People Tree: Activewear essentials from the mother of ethical fashion
Ruby Moon: “Gym to swim” fitness-wear with fun designs and a women-first approach
Silou London: Form-fitting, pastel-shaded activewear using non-toxic fabrics + made in Europe
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