12 Nov

The 2018 Ultimate Guide to Ethical Activewear

Whether you’re looking to start a new training regime or you’re deep in the grind of your routine, sometimes it takes a little pop of colour to pep you up for your next spin class. The desire to do something good for your body and mind is nothing new, but what if you could be minimising your environmental footprint at the same time?

Endorphins aside, these 11 ethical activewear brands keep the good vibes flowing with fashion-forward vibes that don’t cost the earth. Sweat it out in style and move effortlessly from barre to a museum, the highest hike to coffee with friends. The best part? Each brand is rated ‘Great’ or ‘Good’ in the Good On You app, so you can exercise easy knowing they’re committed to reducing their impact on animals, people, and the planet.


Rated: Great

PACT Leggings – Shipping within the US and Canada

PACT’s activewear range is almost entirely made from certified organic cotton, with more than 50% also certified as Fair Trade. All of their clothing is sweatshop-free and child-labor-free. PACT is a brand that is passionate about being part of a movement transforming the way apparel is made.

See the rating.

Shop PACT.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good

Midnight LITE High-Rise Leggins – Shipping internationally

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.

See the rating.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.


Rated: Good

Phoenix Rising Hot Pants – Shipping internationally

Eco-conscious and fun activewear brand Teeki designs high-quality and long-lasting products using recycled plastic bottles. It is also Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and produces in the USA!

See the rating.

Shop Teeki.

From Clothing

Rated: Good

Organic Cotton Yoga Bra – Shipping internationally

From Clothing designs sustainable organic activewear and lifestyle clothing for the eco savyy, modern woman. The brand rates ‘Good’ on all fronts and is certified under the GOTS for the majority of its items!

See the rating.

Shop From Clothing.

Dharma Bums

Rated: Good

Mesh Sports Bra – Shipping internationally

Dharma Bums is a yoga and activewear label, designed and manufactured in Australia. Its all-Australian-made items are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and it does not use any animal products. What’s more it does not use harsh chemicals in the dyeing of its garments and it strives to be eco-friendly where it can be.

See the rating.

Shop Dharma Bums.


Rated: Good

Base Tank – Shipping internationally

We’ar clothing is designed for existential living, specialising in men and women’s yoga and casual wear. It uses organic cotton, linen and lyocell and sets a yearly target to increase its use of environmentally friendly materials, which is encouraging!

See the rating.

Shop We'ar.


Rated: Great

Thumbhole Wrap Top – Shipping internationally


Bhumi – Towels

Be gentle to your body and wrap yourself in the softest organic cotton towels. 25% off Bhumi towels with the code GOY-BHUMI. (Ends: 23 FEB)

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Bhumi makes 100% Fairtrade, organic, and vegan casual wear and basics for men, women, and children.

See the rating.

Shop Bhumi.


Rated: Good

Nine Trails Tank Top – Shipping internationally

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.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia.

Picture Organic Clothing

Rated: Good

Miki Midlayers – Shipping internationally

France-based Picture designs eco-friendly, organic and recycled apparel and products for snowboarding, skiing, outdoor and surfing. The brand reuses all its offcuts to minimise textile waste and is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, working to ensure good working conditions for its workers.

See the rating.

Shop Picture.

Threads 4 Thought

Rated: Good

Maggie Tee – Shipping internationally

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. Their manufacturers are a combination of Fair Trade USA certified and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certified.

See the rating.

Shop Threads 4 Thought.


Rated: Good

Alphabounce Trainers – Shipping internationally


Over the years Adidas has set some good environmental and labor standards and is a more ethical alternative to Nike or other popular activewear brands. Adidas is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative and Sustainable Apparel Coalition. It is also partially Bluesign-certified and has a robust Code of Conduct.

See the rating.

Shop Adidas.


Rated: Good

Ellie Leggins – Shipping internationally

Howies believes in making higher quality, lower impact products for our sports and day-to-day lives. The label uses a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including GOTS certified organic cotton. It also addresses the risks of labour abuse by adopting the GOTS Code of Conduct.

See the rating.

Shop Howies.


Rated: Good

Mackenzie Wind Shell Jacket – Shipping internationally

Shop Kathmandu

Kathmandu has committed to reducing its carbon emissions and traces most of its supply chain. It is a certified member of the Better Cotton Initiative and uses the Higg Index. It also collaborates with the Responsible Wool Standard and the first RWS products are expected to be sold in 2019! How exciting!

See the rating.

Shop Kathmandu.


Rated: Good

Kalablak Bralette – Shipping internationally

Taken from the Sanskrit word meaning ‘to tame the inner breath’, Vyayama (pronounced ‘vai-ah-mah’) is a luxury addition to even the most minimal workout wardrobe. The label uses innovative TENCEL® fabric - which is crafted in Europe from sustainably farmed eucalyptus - in much of its range.  This state of the art fibre keeps you cool, healthy and comfortable even in the most demanding asana. Vyayama's products are also certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100 - an independent certification that tests for harmful substances in textiles through the supply chain.

See the rating.

Shop Vyayama.


Rated: Good

Custom Core Crop Top || International Shipping

For sleek, stylish and ethical womens’ workout clothes, look no further than Adrenna.  This UK company manufactures locally using fabric that’s Bluesign and Oeko-Tex-certified, meaning its free from toxic dyes.  This custom crop top can be made to order from a range of colours, ensuring minimum waste, and maximum personal style.

See the rating.

Shop Adrenna.

Editor's note

Editor’s note: this article was updated in 2018. Feature image from Adidas. All other images via brands mentioned.

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