A Guide To Ethical Activewear

A Guide to Ethical Activewear | Curiously Conscious

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!

Girlfriend Collective*: Size inclusive activewear 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.

Know The Origin*: Cycling shorts, yoga pants, and gym wear made from recycled materials with ethical practices.

Luna & Soul Active: Minimalist designs using environmentally-friendly dyes, fabric and materials.

Organic Basics*: Affordable activewear made in Portugal with recycled fibres and SilverTech 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*: Activewear essentials from the mother of ethical fashion.

Ran By Nature: Inclusive athleisure clothing in neutral colours, supporting likeminded charities.

Silou London: Form-fitting, pastel-shaded activewear using non-toxic fabrics and made in Europe.

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 '*')



  1. April 5, 2021 / 1:42 pm

    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

    • besma
      April 5, 2021 / 4:15 pm

      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!

      B x

  2. July 28, 2020 / 6:29 am

    This is nice. I like the yoga pant. This is very comfortable. Thank you for the post.

    • besma
      July 28, 2020 / 10:48 am

      My pleasure, thanks Andrea!

      B x

  3. Anna
    June 29, 2020 / 2:05 pm

    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!

    • besma
      June 30, 2020 / 10:27 am

      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!

      B x

  4. Emily Moss
    February 20, 2020 / 10:13 am

    Sports bras: Teeki and RE3 use recycled materials – I buy mine from yogarebel 🙂

    • besma
      February 20, 2020 / 4:31 pm

      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.

      B x

  5. Sandra Blackford
    November 23, 2019 / 3:06 pm

    According to RubyMoon, BesmaCC code doesn’t exist. 🙁

    • November 23, 2019 / 6:37 pm

      Thanks for raising this Sandra – let me check with RubyMoon and get back to you.

      B x

      • November 24, 2019 / 7:32 pm

        This has now been fixed for your Sandra! x

  6. February 17, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    This was just what I’d been looking for! Bought some lovely new yoga kit from BAM. Thank you x

    • February 18, 2019 / 10:01 pm

      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

  7. November 20, 2018 / 9:47 am

    Amazing! Just what I needed – thanks for the list will be checking them out now!

    • November 21, 2018 / 2:36 pm

      My pleasure Molina!

  8. July 21, 2018 / 11:54 am

    Great list! I especially will look into Asquith as I prefer organic and natural materials, but those that won’t overstretch from use. Thanks!

    • July 21, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Thank you! I love their yoga pants, had my pair for 6+ months now and they’re as good as new! x

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