The whole point of squeezing a workout into your day is how that workout will make you feel once you’ve clocked it; namely, good. Tired, maybe. Sore, sure. But above all, you feel really, really good. But one way to take that feel-good effect of your fitness to the next level is to sweat it out in athletic wear and gear that makes sustainability a nothing-to-sweat affair. Each of these brands is committed to ethical practices, whether that means sustainable materials (workout leggings made from recycled water bottles? Yes, please.) or a mission to alleviate global poverty. Here are the ethical activewear brands that are sure to make your next sweat session feel as socially mindful as it does brutal, in the best possible way.
Aside from the fact that Outdoor Voices creates athleticwear that we’re just as happy to sport to a boxing class as we are to the dog park or supermarket, this is a brand that we can feel as good about wearing as they feel good to wear. The brand is all about sustainability, and works with responsibly-sourced materials, like recycled polyester made from water bottles, to create thoughtful pieces to power you through your workout.
This brand knows that one of the most effective ways to make sure that your production process is responsible from start to finish is to stay on top of that process the entire way through. By producing each piece of clothing in their LA-based factory through a vertically-integrated production process, Groceries Apparel is able to make sure that their production remains rooted in great quality while guaranteeing adherence to values like fair employee pay, minimal redundancy, and a reduced carbon footprint.
The fact that Shift to Nature’s products are all about sustainable and organic textiles – think organic cotton, bamboo, and merino wool – is great news for the environment, sure, but it’s also fantastic news for the quality of your fitness gear. The Australian-based brand’s commitment to top-notch materials, and to the avoidance of harmful chemicals on those materials, means that you end up with some of the softest, most durable workout clothes around to go along with those guilt-free purchases.
The fact that plastic is one of the bains of the environment’s fragile existence is hardly a secret, which is exactly why Teeki decided to flip the switch a bit by repurposing plastic waste into fibers for their activewear. Teeki, which has a free-spirited feel that is best embodied in its fun prints and its gear meant for all forms of adventure, from surf to dance to yoga, works exclusively with US production and makes sure every piece is cut, printed, and hand-sewn according to only the most environmentally-conscious practices. What’s more, a single pound of Teeki clothing actually manages to conserve about half a gallon of gasoline. Now we’re talking.
Adventure-focused athleticwear company Cotopaxi is like all of the above in that the brand places a strong emphasis on sustainability and recycled materials, but it goes even one step further by bringing a strong commitment to poverty relief into the mix. Specifically, the Salt Lake City-based brand’s fun-but-functional colorful gear is created with the ultimate mission of making a substantial contribution to humanitarian causes around the world. This includes partnerships with nonprofits around the world that seek to improve education and empower young girls in developing countries.