18 Mar

The Best Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Running Clothes

Running is one of the most popular sports in the world, practised by millions. And for good reason—running is a great way to get out, breathe some fresh air, be active, and relieve stress. Plus, you don’t really need any fancy equipment or tools. You simply need to tie your running shoes, get out the door, and that’s it, you’re running!

But if we’re not careful, a simple run can be pretty damaging for the environment. From what you do, to what you wear, you should always be mindful when working out or participating in a race.  A pair of synthetic running shoes, for example, is said to generate 30lbs of emissions, equivalent to leaving a 100-watt bulb burning for a week!

As a sustainability enthusiast and avid runner myself, I like my running kit to respect the planet and be sustainable without compromising on performance. So I went on the hunt for sustainable and ethical running clothes.

When going on a run it’s best to adopt a ‘layering system’ on top, starting with a moisture-wicking base layer from Patagonia (Good), followed by a mid-layer jacket from Stella McCartney for Adidas (Good), or Girlfriend Collective‘s (Good) windbreaker jacket. For the bottoms, you can wear supporting leggings or running shorts, depending on the weather.

So read on and keep moving with these sustainable running clothes from the best-rated brands on Good On You!

Silou

Rated: Good
woman of colour wearing pink supportive ethical running bra by Silou

Suki Bra – Ships internationally from the UK

Created for fitness, designed for life, SILOU is a luxury activewear brand specialising in clothes that feel good on the body, perform in the gym, shape and support, and are kind to the planet. This UK brand rates ‘Great’ for its environmental impact: it uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials, including recycled materials, and has a limited production run to minimise textile waste. Breathable and supportive, the Suki Bra is the staple in sustainable running clothes you’ll find yourself reaching for every time you’re getting ready to go for a run. Find this great running bra in sizes XS to L.

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Shop Silou.

Patagonia

Rated: Good
man wearing sustainable running clothes shirt by Patagonia

Men’s Long Sleeve Cap Cool Trail Shirt – Ships internationally from the US

Patagonia is a brand which truly lives and breathes the great outdoors. It makes clothing for trail running, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, and snowboarding. Patagonia has strong labour rights and uses recycled, rather than virgin, polyester. It has also committed to reducing its energy use and emissions, and stocks sizes XS-XXL. Available in black or blue, from Patagonia’s softest performance knit this trail running shirt keeps you comfortable when you’re working hard no matter the weather.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Patagonia @ Labell-D.

Shop Patagonia.

Shop Patagonia Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Patagonia Kids Pre-Owned @ Retykle.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Rated: Good
woman wearing black midlayer ethical running clothes by Stella McCartney

Truepurpose Midlayer Jacket – Ships internationally from Germany

In an eco power collaboration we didn’t know we needed but definitely deserve, footwear company Adidas paired with sustainable luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney to create stunning sneakers and activewear that look and feel great. Made from a percentage of recycled Parley Ocean Plastic®, you can walk the walk knowing you helped prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean. Made with 64% recycled content, this mid-layer was crafted to fit like a glove without ever feeling too tight or restrictive. Bonus point for the thumbholes that keep your hands warm on long-distance runs. Find most items in sizes 2XS to XL.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Labell-D.

Shop Adidas by Stella McCartney @ Farfetch.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Great
woman of colour wearing beige sustainable windbreaker for running by Girlfriend Collective

Shade Hummingbird Half Zip Windbreaker – Ships internationally from the US

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury women’s activewear made with certified fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses 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. The Hummingbird Half Zip Windbreaker is a boxy cropped windbreaker designed for running marathons, running errands, and running late. Love!

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Presca

Rated: Good
Presca made sustainable triathlon outfit in black and blue

Geometric Endurance Triathlon Suit – Ships internationally form the UK

Calling all triathletes! Made from recycled materials, the Geometric Endurance Suit has been developed to hit the sweet spot between high-performance and genuine sustainability and has been trialled and tested by triathletes at the top of their sport. Talk about sustainable running clothes! 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 to redesign them into performance sportswear that was built to last. Find this suit in 2XS-2XL.

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Shop Presca.

TALA

Rated: Good
sustainable black leggings on plus size model by TALA brand

Zinnia Legging – Ships internationally from the UK

TALA is a UK-based brand that creates fresh and funky active and athleisure wear. It uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including upcycled materials, and promotes body positivity with gorgeous diverse models in sizes XS-XL. The Zinnia legging is the ultimate flattering, performance-based gym legging. Its high rise waistband is perfectly shaped and supported, designed to support you when you’re out running,

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Shop TALA.

tentree

Rated: Good
woman stretching in pink eco-friendly running shorts by tentree

inMotion Bike Shorts – Ships internationally from Canada

tentree is a Canadian sustainable lifestyle brand that plants 10 trees for every item purchased. The certified B-Corp brand has already helped to remove tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere and reforested over 5,000 hectares of land (that’s equal to 12,000 football fields). But its commitment to sustainability extends way beyond trees. Using recycled, organic, and circular fabrics, tentree cuts down on huge amounts of waste and water usage with every piece. We love it for its super comfy fabrics and easy running and gym staples that are available from XS to XL. Designed in Canada and ethically made in the Philippines in a closed-loop process we love these cycling and running shorts.

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Shop tentree.

éclipse

Rated: Good
woman wearing ethical neck garters by Eclipse

Adjustable Neck Gaiter – Ships internationally from the US

US-based éclipse creates climate control UPF 50+ clothing essentials and accessories to help keep the whole family sunsafe. It manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint, and its entire product range is vegan-friendly! Products are stocked in sizes S-XL. éclipse’s best selling gaiter is perfect to keep your neck warm during those windy runs. While it may not be your first thought when it comes to sustainable running clothes, you’ll be glad to have it available when the weather goes south!

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Shop éclipse.

Adidas

Rated: Good
eco-friendly running shoes in black and white by Adidas

Supernova Shoes – Ships internationally from Germany

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. Made from recycled materials, the Supernova running shoes are designed to help you reach your goal without hurting the planet. Find them in UK sizes 3.5-9.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Adidas @ Labell-D.

Shop Adidas Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Adidas.

Veja

Rated: Good
colourful blue and pink gradient running shoes sustainably made by Veja brand

Condor 2 Jolie Foulée – Ships internationally from France

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. Designed to be highly versatile, the Condor 2 is the go-to shoe for long runs, easy runs, and recovery sessions. Combining maximum comfort and a very secured feel, it is the most reliable partner to enjoy the run! VEJA teamed up with Jolie Foulée, a French running community, to create this colourful pair.  You can find this running pair in EU sizes 36 to 47.

See the rating.

Shop Veja.

Shop Veja @ LVR Sustainable.

Shop Veja @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Veja @ Outerknown.

Shop Veja @ Threads 4 Thought.

Shop Veja @ Labell-D.

Nike (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
man of colour wearing black Nike sportswear and images of second hand Nike sweater and sneakers

Pre-Owned Nike Running Gear – Ships internationally

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: It's A Start

Pre-Owned Reebok Running Gear – Ships internationally

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.

Don’t forget to add some eco-friendly socks!

For more ethical running gear options, check out our guide to sustainable activewear.

Editor's note

Feature image via Girlfriend Collective, 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 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 more than 3,000 brands. We may earn a commission on sales with top-rated partners made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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