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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.
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’.
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.
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.
Thankfully there are plenty of ethical and sustainable activewear brands with a similar aesthetic that should be top of your shopping list!
Ethical alternatives to Gymshark