21 Jul

Lululemon Leggings: 7 More Sustainable Alternatives We Love

Lululemon leggings have been all the rage in recent years. They’re all over Instagram, and Seventeen Magazine has even called them “necessary life investments”—say what?!

While we can’t deny the technical qualities or comfort of the leggings in question, we’re not huge fans of Lululemon and its practices—more on that below.

So, we went on the hunt for the best more sustainable alternatives to Lululemon leggings and yoga pants. If you’re on the lookout for a pair of leggings, have a look at our list below and discover some of our favourite responsible activewear brands.

What’s wrong with Lululemon leggings?

Lululemon is a high-end activewear chain that offers yoga-inspired athletic apparel for most sweaty pursuits. The brand claims to be dedicated to sustainable practice. But we found it was a bit of a stretch to call it ethical—based on information from our own research, we’ve given Lululemon an overall rating of “Not Good Enough”.

When it comes to labour, we’re glad to see some level of transparency in the supply chain, but Lululemon still falls short. If the brand’s employees aren’t being paid a living wage, it’s simply not good enough to be considered truly ethical conduct.

On the environment front, we’d like to see less talk and more action. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials including recycled options, but we found no evidence it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals, nor does it have adequate policies or initiatives on water reduction. Lululemon’s leggings, in particular, are mostly made of polyester, nylon, and lycra, all synthetic materials derived from crude oil that shed microfibres.

As you might already know, synthetic fabrics have a huge carbon footprint, requiring enormous amounts of energy, water, and toxic dyes to create. Plus, they take years to decompose, if ever. So if you happen to have Lululemon leggings in your wardrobe, use them for as long as you can and clean them in a wash bag, then find ways to upcycle them.

When it comes to animals, while Lululemon does not use fur, angora, leather, or exotic animal skin, there is no evidence it has an animal welfare policy. It uses down feathers accredited by the Responsible Down Standard, which is a plus, but it also uses wool and exotic animal hair without stating sources, so we can’t be sure how the animals are treated.

Lululemon is not doing enough to reduce its impact on the planet, people, and animals, which is why we wouldn’t recommend buying its leggings. Luckily, there are tons of more ethical and sustainable brands that create eco-friendly, conscious, comfortable, and stylish leggings.

These seven sustainable alternatives to Lululemon leggings are eco-friendly, size-inclusive, and in the same price range as Lululemon’s—what more could you ask for?

More sustainable alternatives to Lululemon leggings and yoga pants

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good
women wearing black activewear by girlfriend collective

Black FLOAT Ultralight Legging – Ships internationally from the US

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury women’s activewear made with certified fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses recycled polyester as well as low-impact non-toxic dyes and is fully Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified. We love these basic black leggings that can even be worn outside the yoga studio. Inclusively sized Girlfriend Collective offers products from 2XS-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Nube

Rated: Great
woman wearing nube leggins

Artifact Leggings – Ships internationally from the US

Nube turns recycled plastic into responsible and fashionable activewear, designed and made in the US. The brand partners with artists and designers around the world to create prints motivated by the environmental crisis that inspire connection and action, like the refreshing Artifact legging. Find most of the range in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Nube.

dk active

Rated: Good

Ruby Tight – Ships internationally from Australia

dk active is an Australian high-performance brand supporting everybody seeking an authentic edge in life. It uses renewable energy in its supply chain to reduce its climate impact and reuses its offcuts to minimise textile waste. It is also a PETA approved 100% vegan brand. It can be hard to find bright colours in ethical activewear, but dk active provides the goods with these colourful ruby sustainable leggings. Find the stunning Ruby Tights in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop dk active.

CasaGIN

Rated: Good

Leggings Be.Performance – Ships internationally from Italy

CasaGIN is a positive place, designed for those looking for a sustainable and conscious lifestyle where you can find products capable of conveying wellbeing and harmony. The breathable Be.Performance Leggings are created with innovative regenerated fabric comprised mainly of recycled polyester. Find them in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop CasaGIN.

Happy Earth

Rated: Good

O Ka Honua Plant-Based Performance Leggings – Ships internationally from the US

Happy Earth Apparel is a US organic clothing brand that works to give back, inspired by nature and dedicated to preserving it. While traditional activewear is made from virgin plastic, this legging not only out-competes in performance it’s also built from plant-based materials. Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Happy Earth.

PACT

Rated: Great
Green leopard print organic cotton bike shorts by PACT.

Pureactive Pocket Bike Short – Ships internationally from the US

PACT is a brand passionate about being part of a movement transforming the way apparel is made. All of its clothing is sweatshop-free and child-labour-free, and its activewear range is almost entirely made from certified organic cotton, with more than 50% also certified as Fair Trade. These GOTS organic cotton bike shorts are made to last. Plus, we love the fun leopard print. Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop PACT.

Tripulse

Rated: Great

TENCEL Workout Leggings with Side Pockets – Ships internationally from Sweden

Tripulse is a Swedish activewear brand on a mission to create high-performing activewear that protects our planet and its people. The brand believes that fitness, both physical and mental, is the foundation for a good and healthy life and gives people the courage to live the life they dreamed of, to become their best selves, to make bold moves, and to change the world for the better. These workout leggings are made with eco-fabric TENCEL™. Find most items in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Tripulse.

Find more ethical and sustainable leggings

Editor's note

Feature image via Girlfriend Collective, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet, and animals. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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