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01 Jul

How Ethical Is Gymshark?

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This article is based on the Gymshark rating published in May 2020.

There’s no denying activewear is in the spotlight in a time when so many of us are asking ourselves two big questions: “How can I stay active in the current situation?” and “Which brands are doing the right thing and deserve my support?”. There is one trendy athletic apparel brand that you might be sussing out in your hunt for new at-home-gym or jogging gear, and with a value statement that mentions “the things we do today to prepare for tomorrow”, you’d think it might be on the right track. So, is Gymshark a sustainable and ethical company? Read on to find out.

Environmental Impact

On the plus side, Gymshark uses recycled packaging and complies with the REACH restricted substance list to minimise some hazardous chemicals… but that’s where the good news ends. The majority of its materials are not eco-friendly, and there is no evidence it minimises textile waste. There is also no sign of a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, something that should be a top priority given the climate emergency we find ourselves in. For the planet, Gymshark is simply ‘Not Good Enough’.

Labour Conditions

What’s that, another rating that’s ‘Not Good Enough’? Unfortunately so! While the brand has a Code of Conduct, there is no evidence it has crucial worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint. Yikes! There is also no sign of payment of a living wage in its supply chain, so while it does provide a full list of suppliers (though only from the final stage of production, mind you), the fact that it isn’t audited renders such a list, well, not good enough.

Animal Welfare

This is one area we have to give Gymshark kudos for. In fact, they get the top score of ‘Great’ for our animal friends, with an entirely vegan product range. If only the effort shown here trickled over into the other categories!

Overall Rating: Not Good Enough

Based on information from our own research, we’ve answered the question “how ethical is Gymshark?” with a resounding overall rating of ‘Not Good Enough’. While the brand is thankfully leaving animal materials out of the picture, the effort for the planet and the people who make our clothes is minimal, and we know they can do better! With a promise “to make sustainability and environmental protection a part of everything we do, every single day”, it might come as a bit of a shock to learn just how far Gymshark has to go before they deserve your support.

Note that Good On You ratings consider 100s of issues, and it is not possible to list every relevant issue in a summary of the brand’s performance. For more information, see our How We Rate page and our FAQs.

See the rating.

Thankfully there are plenty of ethical and sustainable activewear brands with a similar aesthetic that should be top of your shopping list!

Good Swaps

Ethical alternatives to Gymshark

Organic Basics

Rated: Great
people wearing organic basics basics

Organic Basics offers high-quality more 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.

Organic Basics' clothes are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Organic Basics.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good
Two women wearing sports leggings and crop tops in burgundy and green

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury clothes made with fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses lower-impact materials like recycled polyester as well as lower-impact, non-toxic dyes and is fully OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certified.

Inclusively sized Girlfriend Collective offers products from 2XS-6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.


Rated: Good

PACT is a US-based 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 in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop PACT.

Amble Outdoors (Team Timbuktu)

Rated: Good

Amble Outdoors (formerly Team Timbuktu) creates high-performance waterproof raincoats and sweat-wicking activewear, made from recycled plastic bottles in Australia.

Sizes offered in 2XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Amble Outdoors.

Discover more ethical activewear brands.

Editor's note

Feature image via Gymshark, 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.

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