If you are anything like us, you’ll any day prefer breathable natural fabrics over the polyester or other unbreathable gear, especially when it comes to your workout. After all, when you come out from a sweaty session you want to feel good, not itchy, smelly and simply dirty. That’s what all those sexy looking, figure flattering polyester tracks and leggings do.
Besides, your regular polyester or other hi-tech synthetic fabrics are also doing you more harm than good. An article published in the Guardian that talks about presence of toxins in your sportswear highlighted a possible link between sportswear and health issues such as cancer, obesity and developmental disabilities. It’s a common knowledge that harmful toxic dyes are lurking in our everyday clothing, however, it’s impact is even far reaching in activewear because “sweat and friction can prompt more rapid absorption of toxins into the body”, says the report.
Your so-called ethical brands that employ fair production practices and even give back may not be any different from the mainstream brands when it comes to their choice of fabrics. So, before you swipe your card for your workout gear the next time, make sure it’s spent on clothing that’s also good for your health. All that sweating should pay-off in the right way!
Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you. From fair-trade materials to sustainable resourcing, ethical labor practices to conscious limited production, here are 5 brands that make kick-ass activewear using natural fabrics while doing their part to protect the planet and its people. After all, we believe in putting our money where are values are.
The Balinese brand Eleven 44 has a kick-ass collection of yogawear that’s ethically crafted from organic cotton and sustainable bamboo and is the right mix of wearability, style and sustainability. The company vows to banish genetically modified cotton and toxic dyes and only uses ethically sourced organic cotton dyed using low impact reactive dyes that are certified by GOTS.
Don’t expect the lousy cuts or plain jane cotton leggings, their sexy well-cut styles and amazing fabric mold and flatter every body type. Their ethical range includes bottoms, tops, bralets, onesies, outerwear and intimates. They even make ethical jewelry. Be prepared to be put up on the best dressed list in your yoga class.
Brainchild of Hayley Elliott, Purusha People is a small brand that’s high on ethics – fair trade, eco-friendly, sustainable, handcrafted, vegan-friendly, produced in small batches and gives back (2 children and their villages in Africa). The company sources local fabrics and uses non-toxic water based inks and low impact dyes in all its collections and also has an exclusive organic cotton range that’s made using fabrics ranging from organic cotton to hemp to even bamboo. They even have yoga pants for babies crafted from organic cotton and the shiny ones from breathable nylon.
This British brand makes ethical activewear using sustainable fabrics including bamboo, hemp, soy, organic cotton and tencel that are high on performance and style. Each style is handcrafted and produced in small batches by Joanna and her team in Brighton. They also have a range of ethical lingerie and sleepwear.
(Image source: LVR)
Designed and made in California, LVR creates affordable, high-quality and eco-friendly activewear and casual wear. Founded by Eric Clarke and Anastasia, animal-lovers, the company uses organic cotton and low-impact dyes in its collections which are sold at yoga studios and boutiques around the world. We love the fact that they also give back a portion of their revenues to help aid in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wild animals.
(Image credit: Blue Canoe)
Ethically crafted in USA, since 1994, Blue Canoe is a woman run organization that makes GOTS certified organic clothing range that includes bottoms and tees perfect for yoga wear. Perfect for those who like to keep it simple and classy. The best part is that they have a wide range in sizes, including XL that are usually hard to find when it comes to activewear.
Ships international; Bottoms start at $69 and tees from $59
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