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9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Break A Sweat, Not The Planet Image by Sustainable Jungle #sustainableactivewear #sustainableworkoutclothes #sustainableathleticwear #ethicalactivewear #ethicalathleticwear #bestsustainableactivewearbrands #sustainablejungle
Image by Sustainable Jungle

9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Breaking A Sweat, Not The Planet

Amber McDaniel


Not to sound like Richard Simmons, but you are ready to get sweaty and sustainable?

Okay, that last part is all us, because nothing motivates us to go to the gym more than sustainable activewear.

If you’re trying to set a PB in running away from fast fashion, it might concern you to know that most activewear—including sustainable sportswear—is made from some form of plastic (i.e. synthetic materials). 

Which is necessary for that sweat-wicking, stretch power our fitness routines require—but unless it’s recycled plastic, it’s making it tough for Mother Earth to stay fit herself.

So what is the most sustainable sportswear brand? 

Let’s get the (medicine) ball rolling with our top three suggestions. 

Everything we recommend to you on Sustainable Jungle is independently researched and we ask all brands to confirm their claims. To avoid waste, we test products on an as needed basis. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission. Learn more about why we do this here.

The Best Ethical Activewear Brands Setting The Bar High

For the best recycled activewear on the block, Girlfriend Collective offers sizes up to 6XL, which means every kind of body can enjoy an active lifestyle and help protect the planet. 

While Iron Roots activewear that contains no plastics, with some of the range saving more than 60% CO2.

Arms of Andes has created a top-to-toe range out of Peru’s most functional fiber: alpaca wool. This is biodegradable ethical workout clothing at its best.

If your 30 minutes on the elliptical is almost up, you can sprint to the finish line to see how we chose these eco-friendly sportswear brands.

The Best Sustainable Athletic Wear


1. Girlfriend Collective

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Girlfriend Collective

Price range: $28–$165

Looking for sustainable sportswear brands that are as supportive as your gym bestie?

Girlfriend Collective has your spot offering a collection of leggings, sweats, bike shorts, one-pieces, sports bras, crop tops, and tees.

We own a whole range of their recycled workout clothes, but if we had to pick just one we couldn’t live without, it would be the Compressive Pocket Legging.

The quality fabric strikes the perfect balance between thick and tight enough to provide plenty of muscular support when working out, to smooth and stretchy enough to be comfortable when lounging.

While their range of sustainable yoga clothes for women is on point, they do offer select men’s styles.

Girlfriend Collective’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Rather than getting V sweaty in V (for virgin) polyester, Girlfriend Collective’s sustainable materials are mostly recycled with OEKO-TEX certification.

They include PET from recycled plastic bottles and ECONYL® LITE from recycled fishing nets, as well as some organic cotton, bamboo cupro, and a little spandex.

Each one is dyed using sustainable dyes.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Since Taiwan is a hub for plastic ocean waste sourcing and recycling, this is where their fabric is spun before being sewn at an SA8000-certified factory in Vietnam.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Seeing as PET is their primary material, Girlfriend Collective has helped recirculate over 10 million recycled plastic bottles so far.

That’s not all they recycle, since all dying wastewater gets recaptured and reused and the residual dye mud gets turned into pavement.

They also use recycled packaging and work to keep GC clothes in circulation by offering an online means to recycle clothes for money in exchange for store credit, via ReGirlfriend.

Inclusivity:

Brands like Girlfriend Collective empower us all with XXS–6XL sizes for both tops and bottoms—easily one of the best plus-size eco-friendly activewear brands around.

Community & charitable giving:

While they regularly donate to an impressive list of organizations, they also run special campaigns to donate a percentage of sales to charities of their customers’ choosing.


2. tentree

9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Break A Sweat, Not The Planet Images by tentree #sustainableactivewear #sustainableworkoutclothes #sustainableathleticwear #ethicalactivewear #ethicalathleticwear #bestsustainableactivewearbrands #sustainablejungle
Images by tentree

About tentree

Price range: $58–$98

Ready for a butt burner workout in garb from the best ethical activewear Canada has to offer?

Tentree’s has a small but sustainable range of InMotion ethical workout clothes.

You’ll find essentials for men, women, and kids that include leggings, t-shirts, hoodies, sweatpants, sports bras, and shorts—like the essential InMotion Shorts with a loose leg cut to accommodate all kinds of activities.

tentree’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

The InMotion range predominantly features activewear made from recycled plastic: 79% recycled polyester blended with 21% elastane.

If you prefer your activewear to be more athleisurewear, you may find organic workout clothes made of materials like organic cotton and TENCEL™ lyocell are used. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Transparency and tentree are workout buddies. 

This Certified B Corp states exactly in which country every garment is made (Philippines, China, or India in this case), and their factory ledger includes audit and certification information. 

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

tentree sells Climate+ carbon offsets alongside their affordable, sustainable workout clothes. For a guilt-free post-workout shower, consider purchasing their Long Showers offset.

Inclusivity:

Women’s ethical gym wear runs XS–XL, and men’s S–XXL.

Community & charitable giving:

Ten trees are planted for every purchase (totaling 50 million and counting) supporting areas to increase biodiversity.


3. Iron Roots

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Iron Roots

Price range: $42–$94

Do you like to work up a sweat in an ethical hoodie, or hemp jogger, or strip down to your sustainable bike shorts?

Iron Roots‘ sustainable organic activewear ticks both.

Kicking microplastics off the team, they only use natural fabrics in their range of tees, shorts, hoodies, and sweatpants for men and women.

We had the opportunity to try out their long sleeve base top, zip-up hoodie, and (our personal favorite) Hemp Jogger.

Across the line, the fabric quality was exceptional, and we highly recommend Iron Fist’s clothing line for anyone looking for stylish and comfortable organic athletic wear.

Iron Roots’ Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

They flat-out refuse synthetic fabrics (even recycled), so you’ll only find hemp fabric, GOTS-certified organic cotton, or FSC-certified TENCEL™ lyocell.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Iron Roots designs its clothes in the Netherlands and produces them in ISO-certified factories in Portugal or Greece. 

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Minimalist plastic-free packaging, sustainable shipping, and discounts for sending worn-out Iron Roots apparel back to be recycled further reduce the carbon footprint of this sustainable fitness clothing brand.

Inclusivity:

Men’s ethical athletic wear comes in sizes S–XXL, and women’s in XS–L.

Community & charitable giving:

Iron Roots speaks at events and universities on slow fashion and awareness of greenwashing.


4. Pact

9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Break A Sweat, Not The Planet Images by Sustainable Jungle and Pact #sustainableactivewear #sustainableworkoutclothes #sustainableathleticwear #ethicalactivewear #ethicalathleticwear #bestsustainableactivewearbrands #sustainablejungle
Images by Sustainable Jungle and Pact

About Pact

Price range: $28–$83

Pact has an impressive line of some of the most sustainable activewear for the whole family.

The range includes eco-friendly t-shirts, leggings, tops, supportive organic bras, hoodies, and socks.

We want to tell you we live in our Pact Stretch Rib Bra Top because we’re just such fitness fanatics, but if we’re being honest, it’s so comfortable AND supportive that we mostly end up wearing it when we’re not working out, too.

Pact’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Most of their affordable ethical activewear is made from GOTS-certified organic cotton (sometimes with a touch of elastane, in the case of their Purefit Collection) and non-toxic dyes. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

As 74% of organic cotton is sourced in India, that’s where their Fair Trade workout clothes USA-certified factories are, too.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Pact’s factories use conservative water and energy production methods. 

All shipping emissions are offset and they use compostable/recyclable packaging. 

Inclusivity:

Women’s sizes XS–XL; Men’s S–XXL.

Community & charitable giving:

The Give Back, Wear Forward program accepts gently used clothes (of any brand) and donates them to non-profits.

They encourage using the box your new sustainable exercise clothes came in to send back unwanted ones.


5. Patagonia

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Patagonia

Price range: $45–$650

Founded by a professional rock climber, Patagonia was always going to make this list of the most sustainable eco-friendly activewear brands.

Their huge range of sustainable outdoor clothing including tees, hoodies, leggings, outerwear, hiking pants, sweatpants, and more—for the whole family.

From sand sledding in the desert to snow sledding, their activewear is also built for all weather and activities.

As long-time fans of this ethical activewear manufacturer, we own more of their stuff than we should probably admit, but one absolute essential for our workout routine is the Houdini Wind Jacket.

This ultralight 100% recycled nylon windbreak is a favorite for an early morning run or hike in the mountains. Especially, if we’re going out on a longer run where we’re likely to get too hot, we love that this packs down into its own pocket, so you won’t even have to break stride to shed layers.

Patagonia’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their eco-friendly materials are extensive: hemp, lyocell, recycled cotton, organic cotton, recycled nylon, recycled polyester, RDS-certified down, ethical wool, recycled wool, and even recycled spandex.

They’re also supporting the organic regenerative agriculture movement by test piloting its first-ever certification, the Regenerative Organic Certified™ program.

Many of their products utilize bluesign® approved non-toxic materials 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Year after year, the brand scores high on Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index for efforts like the Footprint Chronicles. Located on each product page, it tells buyers exactly what factory each item is made in, with links to learn more about it.

While not every garment qualifies as fair trade athletic apparel, they’re overall Fair Trade certified and a Certified B Corp.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Among countless other sustainable practices, Patagonia uses 100% organic or regenerative cotton and is on its way to using 100% renewable and recycled raw materials.

Plus, the majority of their garments now contain recycled materials to some extent.

Their Worn Wear program accepts unwanted Patagonia pieces, repairs them, and either re-sells or recycles them. 

Inclusivity:

Women’s sizes run XXS–3XL, and men’s XS–XL.

In addition to inclusive imaging, they state, “We are a white-led outdoor company reliant on recreation on stolen Native lands that are not yet safe for all.”

They’re working to become an anti-racism organization by employing more POC and raising awareness.

Community & charitable giving:

Patagonia is the sustainable men’s activewear brand behind 1% for the Planet (or at least one of two). 

They’re a force when it comes to advocating for our planet (including divesting their own earnings directly into it). 

Patagonia Action Works helps customers get involved, too.


6. Arms of Andes

9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Break A Sweat, Not The Planet Images by Arms of Andes #sustainableactivewear #sustainableworkoutclothes #sustainableathleticwear #ethicalactivewear #ethicalathleticwear #bestsustainableactivewearbrands #sustainablejungle
Images by Arms of Andes

About Arms of Andes

Price range: $20–$475

Arms of Andes makes some of the most sustainable workout clothes out of Peru’s most functional fiber: alpaca wool. 

Nature’s ultimate (and compostable) fitness fabric is turned into leggings, hoodies, socks, underwear, sports bras and shirts like a simple and oh-so-light merino weight 160 Alpaca Wool Shirt.

Arms of Andes’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Everything is made from moisture-wicking, fast-drying, temperature-regulating, and antimicrobial 100% alpaca wool. 

It’s ideal for sustainable gym clothes because it’s antimicrobial (hello BO-resistant!) and regulates temperature, keeping you warm in winter and cool and dry in summer.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Alpaca yarn is sourced from local suppliers that purchase directly from herding families in the Peruvian Andes (sans middlemen). 

These herders use traditional farming techniques and form caring relationships with the animals. They receive veterinary care and regular checkups from Arms of Andes.

Carbon commitments & green practices: 

Unlike other wooly animals, alpacas don’t destroy the soil but instead support healthy ecosystems by treading (and eating) lightly. 

While ethical cashmere is rare, ethical alpaca wool is achievable.

Inclusivity:

Women’s sizes run XS-L; Men’s S-XL.


7. MATE The Label

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About MATE The Label

Price range: $58–$232

MATE The Label is a clothing line that’s made sustainably in Los Angeles with non-toxic, natural, and organic materials.

Sweats, tees, tanks, undies, bras, and its very own ethical activewear line called MOVE.

Hit the ground running in a set of Organic Stretch Midi Leggings, topped off with your choice of color sports bra bundle.

MATE is also one of our favorite sustainable loungewear brands for a well-deserved post-workout chill or Savasana-turned-nap on your eco-friendly yoga mat.

Mate The Label’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

The materials used in the range of non-toxic workout clothes contain no restricted substances, use organic yarns and low-impact dyes, and only 8% spandex. 

Their sustainable activewear fabrics include organic cotton jersey, linen, and TENCEL™ Lyocell.

Supply chain & labor practices:

MATE prefers to keep its supply chain close at hand. The entire range is made within a 17-mile radius of the company headquarters in Los Angeles.

The strict protocols the company puts in place ensure the factories they work with are safe, comfortable, fair, and compliant with California labor laws.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Online orders are shipped with recycled paper mailers and boxes that are recyclable and made in Los Angeles. 

MATE also takes back old garments, recycles them, and gives them new life as another MATE product. 

Inclusivity:

Their women’s only range of sustainable clothing runs XS-XXL.

Community & charitable giving:

Purchasers of MATE products have the option to donate 1% of the purchase price to a nonprofit of their choice. 


8. Tree Tribe

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Tree Tribe

Price range: $44–$113

Tree Tribe is an outdoor lifestyle brand that gives back to the Earth by planting trees. To date, this sustainable gym clothing brand has helped plant over 450,000 trees.

The range of ethical items includes eco bottles, leaf leather wallets, swim trunks, leggings, his and hers tees, and sports bras. 

Our favorite item must be the comfy yoga shorts, in particular the Exotic Escape design—because you know us, we can’t resist anything jungle-themed!

PS: They also have plastic-free water bottles to help you stay hydrated during your workout.

Tree Tribe’s Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

Tree Tribe uses recycled polyester blended with spandex to provide compression but at the same time durability and a flexible stretch.

Water-based inks are fused to the fabric using sublimation dye printing which ensures the designs won’t fade or crack over time. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Items are hand-crafted in the USA which means a minimal carbon footprint and that all US labor laws are complied with.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Tree Tribe partners with several tree planting companies including Trees for the Future, Eden Reforestation Projects, and American Forests.

A tree is planted every time the company makes a sale.

Inclusivity:

Their range primarily consists of ethical athletic wear for women in sizes XS–XL, but they also offer men’s tee’s in S–2XL.


9. Definite Articles

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Images by Sustainable Jungle

About Definite Articles

Price range: $14–$98 

What is the best sustainable fabric for activewear? 

If there’s one thing Definite Articles thinks it definitely isn’t, is plastic—even recycled forms.

That’s why their whole line of sustainable gym wear—leggings, tanks, joggers, and hoodies—is made of a revolutionary performance fabric that will biodegrade when you’re ready to say goodbye.

We took time out to test the Riverline Racerback and were more than happy with the four-way stretch movement and sculptured fit that’s supportive but not chest-crushing (ladies, you know what we mean!).

Definite Articles Ethical & Sustainability Practices

Materials:

DA’s range of sustainable workout clothes for men, women, and kids is made using 23% CiCLO recycled polyester, 51% CiCLO nylon, 23% better cotton initiative, and 3% spandex.

CiCLO is a natural additive used when spinning the yarns. It makes the plastic particles in the sustainable clothing act like natural fibers. The additive creates tiny holes within the plastic fibers, enabling the fabric to break down and biodegrade like natural fibers would.

And rest (but not too long!) easy knowing you’re wearing sustainable leggings that are free of forever chemicals like BPA and PFAs.

Supply chain & labor practices:

Definite Articles is a Certified B Corp and strives to ensure workers are treated fairly across the supply chain. 

The company has a Supplier Code of Conduct which represents its beliefs and ensures they are embedded in every decision it makes.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

The Definite collection of the best sustainable athletic wear is all made within a geographic footprint that spans just 2,500 miles in the Americas.

Locally sourced yarns are spun in North California. These are then stitched into the performance gear in Colombia. In Texas, orders are packaged into biodegradable bags before being delivered to their new home.

Inclusivity:

Women’s sustainable activewear runs XS–XL, and men’s sizes run XS–XXL.

Community & charitable giving:

2% of the company’s annual revenue is donated to support nonprofits dedicated to preserving our planet and making it a healthier, happier place to be. 


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How We Found The Best Eco-Friendly Workout Clothes

So what is sustainable activewear? And why is sustainable activewear important?

Between high levels of BPA found in sports bras and PFAS in leggings, even our health routines aren’t safe from unhealthy toxins and carcinogenic chemicals.

Just like you learn to walk before you run (and stretch before you do either!), we started by creating a guide to sustainable fashion to judge these ethical activewear brands.

Materials:

Some of the best sustainable fabrics for activewear are natural and recycled fabrics as opposed to virgin synthetic fabrics.

Recycled materials include recycled nylon and recycled polyester (often from recycled plastic bottles). These should always be washed in a Guppy Friend bag to avoid microplastic pollution. 

Organic materials (organic cotton, hemp, wool, and linen) and semi-synthetic fibers (lyocell, modal fabric, and bamboo) are better but used less frequently when sweating and stretching are involved.

Speaking of which, you’ll often find small percentages of elastane or spandex in sustainable workout clothes, which don’t have options made of fully recycled materials yet, but are still needed for leg day.

Supply chain & labor practices:

We want to know if ethically made workout clothes really pump all the iron they claim. 

Published impact reports, codes of conduct, and third-party certifications are the best defense against greenwashing.

Carbon commitments & green practices:

Our hearts race when we see things like carbon offset programs, eco-friendly packaging, and renewable energy use.

Inclusivity:

​​Companies should offer a wide range of sizes, promote diversity, and cultivate a positive body image. 

Just because it’s activewear doesn’t mean it’s reserved for people who look like they run every.single.day (but if you do, KUDOS).

Community & charitable giving:

It’s better to cross the finish line with the best sustainable activewear brands that use profits and privileges to give back.

This can be through donating money to social or environmental causes, organizing community events, or promoting awareness about pressing issues.


Final Thoughts On The Best Sustainable Activewear Brands

There’s nothing like a good workout—but we should give our planet a breather by choosing activewear made of recycled fabrics and other sustainable materials.

Before you jump the gun, remember that while the eco-friendly activewear brands are worth giving the business, buying no new products is even better.

The most sustainable workout sets are already in your closet.

If that secret thigh hole in your leggings is no longer secret though, start with second hand stores before your next Peloton ride.

Then share this article with running partners or yoga classmates, so we can all enjoy a more sustainable sweat sesh.

 

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3 thoughts on “9 Sustainable Activewear Brands For Breaking A Sweat, Not The Planet”

  1. this is a great list! also check out new sustainable activewear brand called The Short Spine. They just launched their first bamboo activewear collection.

    Reply
  2. really great to see these brands doing so well! The products look beautiful! I would love to read a review comparing them to each other? See which is best in a functional way. Cheers xx

    Reply
  3. Thanks for a very comprehensive list! I’m the co-founder of Weekendbee, an online store focusing only on sustainable sportswear and our aim is to make it easier to find different sustainable sportswear brands. We offer brands like Patagonia, Girlfriend Collective, Népra, prAna, OGNX, People Tree. Let me know if you would be interested in collaborating with us. Cheers!

    Reply

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