plus size woman of colour happy in light green recycled plastic yoga wear
20 Mar
plus size woman of colour happy in light green recycled plastic yoga wear

The Ultimate Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Yoga Clothing

Wear your heart on your sleeve with these ethically-conscious yoga clothing brands.

If yoga is, above all, a practice of mindfulness, of ahimsa (non-violence), and compassion, then are we really staying true to this with what we wear on (and off) the yoga mat? As the popularity of yoga continues to soar exponentially, so too does the market for activewear, athleisure and yoga brands targeting yogis both new and veteran. But what about sustainable and ethical yoga clothing?

In light of the worldwide pandemic that sees COVID-19 breathing down all our necks, a lot of us are self-isolating. While it is a stressful time for many, it is also allowing us—even forcing us—to pause, take a collective deep breath, and rethink our values. If you’ve either always been meaning to take up yoga, or have let your practice fall by the wayside in your busy day-to-day life, why not use this opportunity to fall (back) in love with an at-home yoga practice? And if you can, support small or ethical businesses along the way as you invest in some ethical yogawear. Talk about good karma!

We know that with higher demand and production for products often comes lower awareness and care around quality. And not just the quality of the stitching or fabric. What about the quality of the message? The care for workers all along the supply chain? The awareness of the environmental impact of producing and distributing these goods? Now more than ever, we need to make sure the brands we invest our hard-earned money into are in turn investing in the protection of people, the planet, and animals.

Of course, the recipe for a great yoga outfit requires a number of key ingredients. We’re talking comfort, durability, breathability (that sweat ain’t gonna wick itself!), coverage, fit, and cuteness (okay, maybe that last one’s not quite essential).

So, with all that said, here are the brands serving up some of the best (and most ethical) yoga clothing on the market—with values and practices to match! Please note that these brands primarily offer womenswear, and their designs, fit, and sizing reflect this.

But yoga is for everyone, so we’ve also got you covered if you’re after ethical activewear for men!

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Great
plus size woman with vitiligo wearing recycled plastic black unitard by ethical fashion brand Girlfriend Collective

For the minimalist yogi or yogini, Seattle-based Girlfriend Collective is your go-to. If you aren’t the biggest fan of loud prints and flashy colours, the sleek, simple shades and silhouettes will surely please. Better still, all of the pieces are produced using certified fair labour AND recycled plastic bottles—who would’ve thought it!!!

Another highlight is the brand’s clear focus on inclusivity and body positivity, with models who represent all shapes, sizes, and skin tones! Yoga is for people of all bodies, ages, colours, and cultures—just as it should be. Girlfriend’s range is available in sizes 2XS-6XL.

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Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Threads 4 Thought

Rated: Good

Threads 4 Thought’s sustainable yogawear and activewear is made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled nylon fishing nets so you can help keep the sea pristine. The brand’s manufacturers are a combination of Fair Trade USA certified and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certified. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop Threads 4 Thought.

Purusha People

Rated: Good
woman in field of grass wearing ethical blue Purusha People unitard

Purusha People offers some gorgeous, dainty details on beautifully understated, earthy tones in its range of activewear. The organic plant-based pieces mean you can breathe (and buy) easy, wicking away sweat and keeping your practice that perfect amount of ‘chill’. Purusha pieces are stocked in sizes XS-3XL.

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Shop Purusha People.

Boody

Rated: Good
woman wearing black activewear from boody doing yoga

Made from organically grown bamboo, Boody is a clothing brand that supports the trend for all things green and ethical. Boody Active offers the premium quality and innovative style you want, paired with the durability you need. What more do you need from your yoga clothes? Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Boody.

Sage Larock

Rated: Good
woman wearing ethical leggings by sage larock

Made in-house by a small team in LA, sustainable luxury brand Sage Larock produces timeless swimwear and activewear that is sure to turn heads. Its stunning pieces are made from an Italian recycled plastic fabric that is high-quality and long-lasting—and a percentage of profits from each sale goes to support marine conservation non-profits! Sage Larock stocks sizes XS-L.

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Shop Sage Larock.

Elle Evans

Rated: Great
woman wearing reversible sustainable elle evans yoga bra

Founded in 2013, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, sustainable, swimwear and activewear for people who care about fashion and the future. The brand uses post-consumer waste fabrics and traces all of its supply chain. The range is stocked in sizes XS-3XL.

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Shop Elle Evans.

Team Timbuktu

Rated: Good

Team Timbuktu creates high-performance waterproof raincoats and sweat-wicking activewear, made from recycled plastic bottles. Sizes available are 2XS-XL.

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Shop Team Timbuktu.

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 yogawear 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 to XXL.

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Shop Happy Earth.

Concerned about your carbon footprint when buying from overseas? Your questions are answered in our guide to international shipping

dk active

Rated: Good

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 all of its offcuts to minimise textile waste. It is also a PETA approved 100% vegan brand! Find the products in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop dk active.

Miakoda

Rated: Great
two women wearing Miakoda sustainable yoga clothes

If you’re all about that organic plant-based lifestyle, then you’ll most certainly vibe with Miakoda and its organic, ultra-cosy active and loungewear. Supportive of different shapes and sizes from XS-4XL, these ethical and sustainable pieces include stripped-back colours and designs that are all about comfort. Everything is manufactured in an ethical factory in NYC, and all packing materials are eco-friendly. Neat!

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Shop Miakoda.

PACT

Rated: Great
woman smiling in comfortable PACT ethical activewear

PACT is a brand that is 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. Find PACT pieces in sizes XS-2XL.

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Shop PACT.

WE-AR

Rated: Good
woman doing headstand wearing ethical yoga outfit by we-ar brand

WE-AR clothing is designed for existential living, specialising in men’s and women’s yoga and casual wear. It uses a range of eco-friendly materials, including 100% certified organic cotton in its sustainable yoga clothing range—made by Yogis, for Yogis. WE-AR clothing is available in sizes XS-L.

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Shop We’ar.

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
woman sitting in burgundy yoga outfit by organic basics

Organic Basics offers high-quality sustainable fashion basics for men and women in organic materials. The Denmark-based brand puts sustainable thinking at the centre of everything—it only chooses fabrics that care for our environment, and only ever partners with factories that care about their impact. The gorgeous ethical yogawear range is not one to miss, made from recycled materials! Find the range in sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Organic Basics @ Rêve en Vert.

Shop Organic Basics @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Organic Basics.

Nube

Rated: Great
woman in green patterned recycled yoga leggings by Nube

Nube turns recycled plastic into fashionable and responsible yogawear, 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. This fully woman-owned business uses a closed-loop manufacturing process by recycling all off-cuts created during the manufacturing process. Nube stocks sizes XS-XL.

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Shop Nube.

Silou

Rated: Good

Created for fitness, designed for life, SILOU is a luxury activewear brand specialising in clothes that feel good on the body, perform in the gym, shape and support, and are kind to the planet. This UK brand rates 'Great' for its environmental impact: it uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled materials, and has a limited production run to minimise textile waste.

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Shop Silou.

Whether you’re a #yogaeverydamnday ambassador or simply looking to bring more mindfulness into your life, the principle is the same.

Whenever I talk about balance with my students, I invite them to open their minds and really take a big-picture look at their lifestyles and beliefs. It’s easier said than done to confront our own habits and contradictions. Alignment is not only a key factor in a pose—it’s a key element in finding true harmony between what we say and what we do. If we hold certain values in our hearts, do we reflect these on our shirts? Better still, do we demonstrate these same values outside of our 60-minute classes?

Whatever your sadhana, or practice, looking at what you’re sporting on your body is a great start. As for what’s going on inside our bodies—well, that’s what yoga and meditation are for, right?

 

Read the Ultimate Guide to Ethical Activewear.

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 more than 2,500 brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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