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09 Jun

The Ultimate Guide to More Ethical and Sustainable Activewear

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Launch into your fitness routine while looking and feeling good with our ultimate roundup of more ethical and sustainable activewear.

Sweat it out in more sustainable style

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 or perfect fit to pep you up for your next spin class. And while the desire to do something good for your body and mind is nothing new, what if you could be minimising your environmental footprint at the same time? Lucky for you, we found the best brands making more sustainable activewear currently on the market.

Activewear is traditionally made with harmful materials like virgin polyester and nylon, which require hefty chemicals to produce and continue polluting by shedding microplastics during use and packing landfills at end of life. Lower-impact activewear might be made from materials like recycled polyester, organic cotton, or hemp, which are better alternatives to the new, plastic-based fabrics that still flood so much of the market in fast fashion listings around the globe.

The following activewear options keep the good vibes flowing with fashion-forward vibes that don’t cost the earth. Sweat it out in style in your gorpcore-inspired threads and move effortlessly from yoga to a museum, the highest hike to coffee with friends.

The best part? Each of these responsible activewear brands is rated “Good” or “Great” for new purchases, with a couple of second hand options for big brands making a start in sustainability, so you can exercise easy knowing they’re committed to reducing their impact on people, the planet, and animals. Let’s jump in.

1 People

Rated: Good
close up of shorts and person in navy blue tank and shorts by 1 people

Navy Blue Sculpt Athletic Shorts – Ships internationally from Denmark

1 People is a Danish-designed lifestyle and luxury brand. It blends Scandinavian colour palettes and minimalist design to create effortlessly elegant collections for the conscious-minded. Its pieces are thoughtfully crafted by small family-run manufacturers using lower-impact and certified materials.

Find the collection in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop 1 People.

Shop 1 People @ Cerqular.

CasaGIN

Rated: Good
woman wearing black light compression sports bra by CasaGIN

Be.GiN | Light Compression Sport Bra – Ships internationally from Italy

Italian brand CasaGIN designs apparel for those looking to foster a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle in their closet and beyond.

Find most items in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop CasaGIN.

LANIUS

Rated: Good
image of person in yoga pose and image of sneakers by LANIUS

Active Athleisure Collection – Ships internationally from Germany

“Love fashion, think organic, be responsible” are the maxims of LANIUS. The German brand uses lower-impact materials, like GOTS certified cotton. All LANIUS facilities are SA8000 certified and it is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation.

LANIUS' clothes are available in EU sizes 34-44.

See the rating.

Shop LANIUS.

Girlfriend Collective

Rated: Good
Someone in hooded puffer by Girlfriend Collective.

Dusty Olive Hooded Packable Puffer – Ships internationally from the US

Girlfriend Collective creates minimal, luxury clothes made with fair labour, certified by the Social Accountability Standard International SA8000. The brand uses lower-impact materials like recycled polyester as well as lower-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 @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Girlfriend Collective.

Patagonia

Rated: Good
Running pullover from Patagonia.

Men’s Airshed Pro Pullover – Ships internationally from the US

Patagonia is a brand that truly lives and breathes the great outdoors. It makes clothing for trail running, climbing, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, and snowboarding. Patagonia has "Good" labour practices, and uses recycled, rather than virgin, polyester. It has also committed to reducing its energy use and emissions.

The brand stocks sizes 2XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Patagonia @ LVRSustainable.

Shop Patagonia Pre-Owned @ Vestiaire Collective.

Shop Patagonia.

Iron Roots

Rated: Great
woman wearing emerald green sustainable performance tshirt by Iron Roots

Beechwood Performance T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the Netherlands

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.

tentree

Rated: Good
Someone stretching in more sustainable activewear by tentree.

InMotion Pocket Bike Short – Ships internationally from Canada

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.

Outerknown

Rated: Good
Someone wearing blue Outerknown surf trunks.

Apex Trunks in Pacific Surfature – Ships internationally from the US

Founded by surf champion Kelly Slater, Outerknown is a more responsible brand that aims to blend style and function with the protection of natural resources. The brand is Bluesign certified and has partnered with the Fair Labour Association.

Find the range in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Outerknown.

Shop Outerknown @ Wearwell.

Shop Outerknown @ Good.

Tripulse

Rated: Great

TENCEL™ Made to Move Shorts – Ships internationally from Sweden

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

Find most items in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Tripulse.

dk active

Rated: Great
Someone stretching in bike pants by dk active.

Daze Bike Pants – Ships internationally from Australia

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.

Organique

Rated: Good
person posing in nude tank and cream active shorts by Organique.

Cycling Shorts – Ships internationally from Portugal

Organique is a Portuguese athleisure brand made for the contemporary woman. It is entirely produced in a high-end local atelier and promotes slow fashion by designing with longevity in mind. It uses high-quality, organic materials and lower-impact fabrics such as organic cotton and TENCEL Lyocell and is completely vegan.

Find the range in sizes S-L.

See the rating.

Shop Organique.

Happy Earth

Rated: Good
Someone in activewear top and leggings by Happy Earth.

PLANTTEC™ Leggings – Ships internationally from the US

Happy Earth Apparel is a US organic clothing brand that works to give back, inspired by nature and dedicated to preserving it. This B Corp certified brand makes the planet a better place with every purchase. Through its partnerships with non-profits and Happy Earth ambassadors, it's planting trees, fighting climate change, and cleaning up trash.

Find most items in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop Happy Earth.

Beaumont Organic

Rated: Good
Someone stretched in a yoga pose wearing yoga clothes by Beaumont Organic.

Tiva Organic Cotton T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the UK

Beaumont Organic is a UK-based slow fashion brand that blends simple style with responsible production practices. Founded by Hannah Beaumont-Laurencia, the brand also has its own charitable foundation which supports people in Fiji.

Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Beaumont Organic.

Elle Evans

Rated: Good
Someone posing wearing Elle Evans surf shorts.

Oh Eleven Surf Shorts – Ships internationally from Australia

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.

Threads 4 Thought

Rated: Good
Someone posing wearing ReActive Sportswear by Threads 4 Thought.

ReActive Sportswear – Ships internationally from the US

Threads 4 Thought uses a range of lower-impact materials including TENCEL™ 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.

Boody

Rated: Good
Someone stretching their arms, and posing in sports bra by boody.

Racerback Sports Bra – Ships internationally from Australia

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.

Dharma Bums

Rated: Great
Someone wearing black Dharma Bums sports bra.

Sports Bras – Ships internationally from Australia

Dharma Bums is a yoga and activewear brand providing beautiful, high performance sportswear. Its all-Australian-made items are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and it doesn't use any animal-derived materials.

Find the range in sizes 2XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dharma Bums.

Silou

Rated: Good
Someone wearing Suki Sports bra by Silou.

Suki Sports 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 highly for its environmental impact: it uses a high proportion of lower-impact materials, including recycled materials, and has a limited production run to minimise textile waste.

Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Silou.

PACT

Rated: Good
Someone posing wearing leggings by PACT.

Grateful Dead X Pact Basic Legging – Ships internationally from the US

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

Find PACT in sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop PACT.

éclipse

Rated: Great

Sun Sleeves – Ships internationally from the US

Offers

People in long-sleeved, sun protective tops by eclipse.

éclipse – Site-wide

Feel the difference in sun-protective clothing made from recycled fabrics and designed to keep you cool. Buy two and get one free with code GOY3FOR2. (Ends: 11 MAR)

Checkout code: GOY3FOR2
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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.

See the rating.

Shop éclipse.

Nike (Pre-Owned)

Rated: It's A Start
A young man and woman in Nike gear

Pre-Owned Nike Activewear – 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.

Concerned about emissions when buying from overseas? Your questions are answered in our guide to international shipping

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 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.

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