For consumers For business
28 Apr

How Ethical Is Under Armour?

Our editors curate highly rated brands that are first assessed by our rigorous ratings system. Buying through our links may earn us a commission—supporting the work we do. Learn more.


This popular American activewear brand sits up there with the likes of Nike and Adidas, but does it consider ethics and sustainability in production? This article is based on the Under Armour rating from January 2022.

Uncovering Under Armour’s impact

Founded in 1996, Under Armour is an American activewear brand that has slowly grown to be one of the biggest sportswear manufacturers in the world alongside Nike and Adidas. The brand, which sponsors athletes such as Michael Phelps, Steph Curry, and Lindsey Vonn, aims to inspire people with performance solutions they never knew they needed and can’t imagine living without. But what about its impact on the planet, people, and animals? How are Under Armour’s activities impacting the Earth and its inhabitants? We ask, how ethical is Under Armour?

Environmental impact

Under Armour uses few eco-friendly materials. We found no evidence it minimises textile waste, that it has taken meaningful action to reduce or eliminate hazardous chemicals, or that it implements water reduction initiatives. Most of Under Armour’s activewear is made from polyester, a material derived from petroleum that usually takes hundreds of years to decompose. For all these reasons, Under Armour’s environment rating is ‘Not Good Enough’.

Labour conditions

On the labour front, Under Armour is rated ‘Not Good Enough’. While some of its supply chain is certified by FLA Workplace Code of Conduct (including all of the final stage of production), the brand lacks transparency and received a score of 21-30% in the Fashion Transparency Index. In fact, Under Armour likely publishes information about its supplier policies, audits, and remediation processes, but it does not publish a comprehensive list of suppliers or information about forced labour, gender equality, or freedom of association. We also found no evidence it ensures payment of a living wage in its supply chain, or any policies or safeguards to protect suppliers and workers in its supply chain from the impacts of COVID-19!

Animal welfare

There is no evidence Under Armour has a policy to minimise the suffering of animals, and while it does not use fur, angora, exotic animal skin or hair, it still uses leather, wool, and down. ‘Not Good Enough’!

Overall rating: Not Good Enough

So how ethical is Under Armour, you ask? Under Armour is ‘Not Good Enough’. Based on our research, we found that the American brand is doing very little to minimise its impact on the planet or ensure workers in its supply chain are safe and treated fairly. To get a better rating, Under Armour should start by disclosing more information about its practices and their impact, and ensuring the payment of a living wage.

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.

If you’re on the lookout for activewear and sports gear but don’t fancy Under Armour’s negative impacts, we found some cool and sustainable alternatives just for you.

Good swaps

Sustainable alternatives to Under Armour


Rated: Good

Founded in Australia by two best friends, Boody is a clothing brand with comfort, style, and health at its core. It creates comfortable, thoughtfully-made everyday essentials made from organically grown bamboo. It reduces waste through lower-waste cutting techniques and using a closed-loop system in its supply chain, supporting the green and ethical movement.

Find the range in sizes XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Boody.

Elle Evans

Rated: Good
woman wearing elle evans sport bra

Founded in 2013 in Australia, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, lower-impact 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 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Elle Evans.


Rated: Good
woman stretching in pink sustainable activewear by tentree

Canadian brand tentree believes big change starts small. Small as in bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, making fewer, more thoughtful purchases, and choosing to purchase more sustainably when you do. The brand plants ten trees for every item purchased to help regenerate ecosystems and provide planting jobs in communities around the world, and has already planted over 65 million trees.

All tentree’s products are created with an Earth-First approach, meaning they're made in fair, safe working conditions, and constructed using lower-impact and recycled materials.

tentree’s super comfy fabrics and easy wardrobe staples are typically available from XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop tentree.

Iron Roots

Rated: Great
Someone in top and shorts by Iron Roots.

Iron Roots is a Dutch sportswear brand that makes all its apparel from plant-based fabrics. Its pieces effortlessly combine more responsible design and functionality.

Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Iron Roots.

MATE the Label

Rated: Good

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and lower-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women everywhere a clean product that is just as beautiful as it is responsible. It is proudly female-founded and is predominately operated by women. This US brand also manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint.

Find the range in inclusive sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop MATE the Label.


Rated: Great

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, become their best selves, make bold moves, and change the world for the better.

Find most items in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Tripulse.

Nike (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Nike is an American sportswear and activewear manufacturer. The brand has good policies to audit suppliers in its supply chain, but it is not taking adequate steps to ensure payment of a living wage for its workers. By buying Nike second hand you're helping keep clothes out of landfills and helping protect workers by slowing down the fast fashion cycle and the relentless demands on low-paid workers in the supply chain.

See the rating.

Shop Nike Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Reebok (Pre-Owned)

Rated: We Avoid

Reebok has set some good environmental and labour standards over the years. It is a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and is partially certified by Bluesign.

See the rating.

Shop Reebok Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Editor's note

Feature image via Unsplash, 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. We love to recommend some of the best more sustainable brands, rated "Good" or "Great". We also encourage shopping pre-owned as another great way to reduce the impact of our fashion choices. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands.

Ethical brand ratings. There’s an app for that.

Wear the change you want to see. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up.