20 Apr

How Ethical Is Peloton Apparel?

From stationary exercise bikes and treadmills to technical activewear, Peloton has made its mark on the fitness industry. We decided to investigate the brand’s apparel collection to see how its practices stack up in our ratings methodology, and the results are in.

Peloton Apparel is not keeping pace on sustainability

You might know Peloton as the stationary exercise bike and treadmill brand that caused the shocking demise of a certain character in the “Sex And the City” reboot “And Just Like That…”, but did you know it also has its own line of active apparel?

Despite existing to improve fitness and wellbeing, Peloton’s clothing line may not be as good for our health and the planet’s health as one might think. With a range boasting technical blended fabrics with fancy names like “Cadent”, “Agility”, and “Striving”, made almost exclusively from harmful plastic-based materials like virgin polyester, nylon, elastane, and spandex, we’re not sure Peloton Apparel got the memo.

Let’s take a closer look at Peloton Apparel’s rating and answer the question: how ethical is Peloton?

Environmental impact

Unsurprisingly for a brand that pumps out polyester blends on the reg, Peloton Apparel scores rock bottom with “Very Poor” for the planet. It doesn’t use eco-friendly materials or minimise textile waste, nor does it seem to be taking any action to reduce its carbon and GHG emissions or eliminate hazardous chemicals in its supply chain. Hazardous, indeed.

Labour conditions

Peloton Apparel’s DEI and anti-racism campaign slogan insists “‘Together we go far’ means all of us can’t win if some of us are being held back”. But is the brand ensuring the workers in its supply chain can “go far” by, say, being paid a living wage?

Sadly not. There is no evidence Peloton Apparel has a Code of Conduct; worker empowerment initiatives such as collective bargaining or rights to make a complaint; or any safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19. While it does trace some of its supply chain, its lack of living wage information is a massive red flag.

While we commend its starting efforts on diversity and inclusion—a crucial step towards a more ethical workforce—we can’t help but question the brand’s integrity here. It isn’t clear in the “Peloton Pledge” whether these efforts extend throughout the supply chain, which is part of the problem. In order to comprehensively address inequality in the industry and foster resilient and adaptable supply chains, companies must work to ensure their policies extend further than mid- or high-level employees.  “Very Poor” for people, too.

Animal welfare

Peloton gets a bit of a boost for animals with a rating of “It’s a Start”, mainly owing to the lack of animal-based fabrics in its range. It still uses wool and exotic animal hair, though, and there is no evidence that it has a policy to minimise animal suffering in that particular part of its supply chain.

Overall rating: We Avoid

So, how sustainable and ethical is Peloton? Overall, we had to give Peloton our lowest score of “We Avoid” due to its lack of substantial action for people, the planet, and animals. Peloton could improve its score if it considered the health and wellbeing of the environment and the workers in its supply chain by incorporating more sustainable fabrics and ensuring payment of a living wage.

See the rating.

Note that Good On You ratings consider hundreds 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.

Disappointed by Peloton’s rating? Don’t fret: there are a whole host of more ethical and sustainable “Good” and “Great” activewear brands at comparable price points (but incomparable ratings).

Good swaps

“Good” and “Great” rated alternatives to Peloton

Boody

Rated: Good

Made from organically grown bamboo, Boody is an Australian clothing brand that supports the trend for all things green and ethical. Find the range in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Boody.

Etiko

Rated: Great
person wearing blue and white ethical sneakers by Etiko

Etiko is an Australian designer of organic, eco-friendly, and fair trade clothing and shoes. The brand constantly sets the bar for upholding and campaigning the human rights of people working in traditionally exploitative industry supply chains. Find the clothes in AU sizes 8-20, and the shoes in UK sizes 3-13.

See the rating.

Shop Etiko.

The Common Good Company

Rated: Great

The Common Good Company produces clothing using recycled materials, proving that there is not only a better way to produce but a better way to consume. Find the clothes in AU sizes 6-14.

See the rating.

Shop The Common Good Company.

Citizen Wolf

Rated: Great

Citizen Wolf uses revolutionary technology to give you high-quality custom fit t-shirts. It's so confident in its t-shirts that it guarantees they’ll be the best you’ve ever worn! After capturing your customisations, the brand hand makes each tee in Sydney from certified sustainable fabrics like cotton, hemp, and Merino wool milled in Melbourne.

See the rating.

Shop Citizen Wolf.

Threads 4 Thought

Rated: Good

Threads 4 Thought uses a range of sustainable materials including Lenzing Modal harvested from the limbs of beech trees. This process means that the trees are never cut down and 95% of the production materials to make the yarn are recovered and reused. The brand's manufacturers are a combination of Fair Trade USA certified and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certified. Find the range in sizes XS-XL, with an extended sizing range up to 3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Threads 4 Thought @ Veneka.

dk active

Rated: Good

Offers

A pregnant person reclining on the sand wearing a black maternity activewear set by dk active.

dk active – Maternity

Maternity activewear for those that struggle to find suitable exercise clothing to accommodate their growing bump. Buy one maternity item, get one 30% off with code GOODIES. (Ends: 31 MAY)

Checkout code: GOODIES
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Someone in the middle of a step up workout in front of plants wearing black and white striped activewear designed by dk active.

dk active – Extended Sizes

A diverse selection of plus size activewear designed to keep up with you, no matter what activity you’re doing. Buy one from curve collection, get one 30% off with code GOODIES. (Ends: 31 MAY)

Checkout code: GOODIES
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A low angle shot of four people against a white sky wearing various baby pink activewear by dk active.

dk active – Bottoms

Whether you need leggings for a sweaty Pilates session or pants for a chilled Sunday coffee, you can find your perfect fit here. Buy one bottom, get one 30% off with code GOODIES. (Ends: 31 MAY)

Checkout code: GOODIES
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Someone posing against a rock wall wearing white and grey snake print activewear by dk active.

dk active – Tops

Refresh your activewear wardrobe with dk active's range of ethical, Australian made gym tops. Buy one top, get one 30% off with code GOODIES. (Ends: 31 MAY)

Checkout code: GOODIES
Shop now

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.

See the rating.

Shop dk active.

Girlfriend Collective

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

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury clothes made with certified fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses eco-friendly materials like recycled polyester as well as low-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 @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Editor's note

Feature image via Peloton, 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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