18 Aug

13 More Sustainable Alternatives to Adidas We Know You’ll Love

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Adidas is one of the largest sportswear brands in the world, right after arch-rival Nike. Despite some good initiatives, the brand rates “It’s a Start”. It has a long way to go before being considered more ethical and sustainable than other sports apparel companies. But if you’re looking for durable activewear, what conscious alternatives are there? Here are 13 more sustainable alternatives to Adidas we know you’ll love.

In terms of sustainability, Adidas is not quite there yet

Founded in 1949 in Bavaria, Germany, by Adolf Dassler, sportswear giant Adidas has grown to be the second largest activewear brand in the world. In February 2022, Adidas’ rating dropped from “Good” to “It’s a Start” after we updated our comprehensive ratings methodology to accommodate crucial movement in issues across ethics and sustainability in the industry.

On the environmental front, Adidas’ rating decreased from “Good” to “It’s a Start”. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials and does research with industry bodies on the impact of microplastics. But these initiatives are not enough to compensate for Adidas’ low score on the Carbon Disclosure Project climate and water questionnaires, lack of policies to protect biodiversity in its supply chain, and information as to whether it’s on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations and supply chain. In France, Adidas was also penalised for misleading consumers over environmental claims. ​​A clear case of greenwashing.

When it comes to people, Adidas’s labour rating remained unchanged overall and is “It’s a Start”. What’s worrying us is the lack of evidence that Adidas ensures payment of a living wage in most of its supply chain.

Since 2020, we have also taken allegations of brands’ involvement in the human rights abuses taking place against Uighur people in China’s Xinjiang Province into account in our ratings and have penalised brands named in reports by various human rights and news organisations. While Adidas has made moves away from production in the region and pledged to boycott cotton from Xinjiang, there’s a lot more to the issue.

Adidas’ animal rating also went down from “It’s a Start” to “Not Good Enough” in our last rating update. While the brand has a formal animal welfare policy aligned with Five Freedoms, it has no clear mechanisms to implement it. It does not use fur, exotic animal skin, exotic animal hair, or angora, but it still uses down, leather, and wool from non-mulesed sheep.

Adidas’ overall rating is now “It’s a Start”. The sportswear giant remains one of the highest scoring large brands and is in the top 10%—particularly on environmental and labour issues—but it still has some way to go. Adidas isn’t making good on its existing promises and not keeping pace with industry-wide actions for people, the planet, and animals.

So if you have Adidas gear in your wardrobe, by all means, cherish it: as we know, keeping our clothes for longer is one of the most sustainable things we can do. But if you want to shop more in line with your values, we recommend you buy Adidas second hand or support brands that embrace a slower fashion model. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite, more sustainable alternatives to Adidas below.

More sustainable alternatives to Adidas

Adidas (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start

Adidas is one of the largest sportswear makers in the world. The company has set some good environmental and labour standards, including an absolute target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from its own operations.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

 

Ambiletics

Rated: Good
Someone wearing dark blue animal print activewear by Ambiletics.

Ambiletics is a sustainable sports and yoga label from Munich. The brand is convinced that every (purchase) decision makes a difference. In the fashion sector in particular, far too little attention is paid to origin and production. Ambiletics wants to change this, so its motto is: MAKE IT MATTER.

See the rating.

Shop Ambiletics.

caur

Rated: Good
man wearing khaki leggings by caur

One of sustainable French brand caur’s six core values is gender neutrality. It says “The goal is not to erase gender, but to reduce the impact of gender stereotypes that accompany gender labels.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Find the range in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop caur.

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.

See the rating.

Shop dk active.

Ecoalf

Rated: Good
A man with a tan-coloured hooded coat looks at the camera.

Thanks to recycled materials like rescued ocean plastic, Ecoalf creates sustainable fashion with the same quality, design, and technical properties as the best non-recycled ones. Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Ecoalf @ Farfetch.

Shop Ecoalf.

ID.EIGHT

Rated: Good

ID.EIGHT is an Italian brand that was born from the meeting between Dong Seon Lee and Giuliana Borzillo, both come from the world of footwear, where they worked and met. Together they have created a more ethical and sustainable collection of sneakers with a refined design. The shoes are made in Italy with low environmental impact materials from food industry waste such as apple peels, grape stalks and seeds, and pineapple leaves, as well as recycled cotton and polyester. Find the shoes in EU sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop ID.EIGHT.

MATE the Label

Rated: Great

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women everywhere a clean product that is just as beautiful as it is sustainable. 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.

Nube

Rated: Great

Nube turns recycled plastic into responsible and fashionable activewear, 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. Find Nube products in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Nube.

Shop Nube @ Cerqular.

Presca

Rated: Good

Presca is an activewear label that designs and manufactures high performance sportswear with sustainability in mind. This UK-based brand is on a mission to take back materials which were polluting the planet and redesign them into performance sportswear that is built to last. Find the range in inclusive sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Presca.

Pressio

Rated: Good

Pressio is a UK brand that seeks to provide truly world-leading, revolutionary performance sportswear built upon an uncompromised ethical and sustainable approach.

See the rating.

Shop Pressio.

Sage Larock

Rated: Good

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.

See the rating.

Shop Sage Larock.

Veja

Rated: Good

Veja is a French brand designing ecological and fair trade footwear, and is also a sustainable fashion pioneer. The brand uses eco-friendly materials, like GOTS certified cotton and vegetable-tanned leather! Veja pays its co-operative cotton growers and rubber tappers between 30% and 100% above the world market price. By not advertising, Veja is able to invest more money into strengthening its ethical practices. You can find Veja shoes in women's EU sizes 35-46, and men's 35-47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Veja @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja Kids second hand @ Retykle.

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. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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