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Molly Geoghegan

August 1, 2020

Sustainable activewear for the gym, yoga studio or couch (!)

Sustainable activewear for the gym, yoga studio or couch (!)

Molly Geoghegan

August 1, 2020

One of the #1 questions we get in searching for sustainable clothing is what kind of workout and gymwear is responsibly made. It’s a tough one because the spandex STRETCH feel that workout gear requires is often made with different types of rayon and polyester—petroleum-based products. 🙁 

While charity shops can still be great options for general outerwear (jackets, hats, etc), it IS difficult to find a workout top with juuust the right fit. No one likes doing yoga with a loose sports bra or leggings falling off their bum. Thankfully, there is an abundance of organisations that have taken it upon themselves to find a solution. Click here to read on.

We’ve highlighted some pretty stellar brands below but first, a few general rules for checking the ‘About’ section of athletic wear:

  • Content – Elastane (Spandex), Rayon and Polyester should be kept to a minimum and made from recycled materials 
  • Materials – Organic cotton, hemp and linen mean that those items are devoid of pesticides 
  • Process – Responsible production practices include safe and fair working conditions for workers. It also means minimal water used throughout the process and controlled carbon emissions.

Chances are, if a company isn’t mentioning any of the above as something important to their mission, they probably aren’t doing it. 

Organic Basics

This Danish brand has declared fashion ‘a dirty bastard’ and centered sustainability at the core of their entire process. 

The price point may be a bit higher than your TK Maxx average, but you’ll sweat better knowing that its Polygiene material was made responsibly and won’t have a harmful effect on the environment when washing. 

GOOD KARMA BONUS: Twice a year, they donate a portion of profits to a grassroots organisation addressing climate change via their Organic Basics Fund

BAM Bamboo Clothing

Dave from Devon, England is passionate about bamboo. 

Bamboo absorbs five more times the amount of carbon than hardwood trees, and needs only half the land that cotton requires to grow. For our gymwear needs, it suits perfectly as a performance fabric.

From casual comfy loungewear to serious layering for mountain adventures, BAM has a varied selection of sustainable clothes for men and women. Free shipping to Ireland for orders over 75.

From and Co

Sustainability in an affordable sports bra!

From and Co is committed to questioning where our clothes are FROM.

They are extremely transparent about their entire process. 90% of the materials used are sustainable, including organic cotton and water-saving fiber from sustainable tree farms and don’t use any more than 8% elastane for that stretchy ‘give’.

Flip the Dog

Bold patterned sports bras, leggings and more—all from recycled nylon such as fishing nets that would otherwise end up in landfills. 

This UK brand is honest and upfront about its sustainability journey, acknowledging ‘The fabric we use is not the ultimate solution, no one thing can be. It is of course part of a positive step to being more conscious about what we buy and wear.’

At a great price point and minimal shipping, we’re happy to support founders Rebecca and Helen’s mission to ‘flip the dog’ in athletic wear.

Girlfriend Collective

Workout leggings. With legitimate pockets. Made from recycled bottles. At an affordable price point. Need. We. Say. More.

While we wait patiently for the Washington state-based company to ship to Ireland, you can find these fun and colorful leggings at Nordstrom online. 

Starseeds

Providing conscious women’s, men’s and unisex apparel and yogawear, all of Starseed’s clothing is ethically made and uses sustainable materials such as recycled coffee fabric and bamboo. This is a company that lives and breathes their values, and believe in the power of wasting less and recycling more in order to find eco-friendly solutions to fashion. 

Irish Brands

Gym + Coffee

This cosy Irish brand that prides itself on ‘athleisure’ has announced the release of their first sustainable collection made from reclaimed ocean plastic later this year. 

In the meantime, they’re partnering with One Tree Planted. For every purchase, they’ll invite you to plant a tree for a euro and at the end of the year, match that total to assist in reforestation efforts. Also these guys get a special mention for aligning their business goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Upcycle Movement

If sea swimming is your buzz, The Upcycle Movement has you covered (literally) with their upcycled wetsuit collection—of which 10% of profits goes to Seal Rescue Ireland! 

That’s not all they make though. Founder Lynn Haughton takes ‘upcycle’ a step further into beach/gym bags, yoga carriers, water bottle sleeves—even earringsYou’ll be amazed to see how far upcycled wetsuit material can go. 

Grown

Loungewear is just as important as gymwear. Made in Ireland with organic cotton and recycled Hemp, Grown prioritizes protecting and giving back to its native natural environment.

You can also purchase a native Irish tree to support restoring woodlands and they’ll gift a handmade card to the person of your choice. 

Jump the Hedges

Síofra Caherty couldn’t find a sustainably made bag for her yoga mat so, like any good self-starting woman, she made one her damn self. Materials are washed with rainwater and every bag is sewn near Cave Hill Mountain, Northern Ireland. Woah.

Having spent several years in the fashion industry, she shares her entire research journey on sourcing to create a zero waste product on her blog.

You’ll be amazed to see how far upcycled wetsuit material can go. 

**Gymwear Clothing Care**

Get yourself a GUPPY BAG. These clever inventions capture microplastics as they get washed out of your clothes. Similarly, a Cora Ball can be tossed right along with your wash tablet to capture micro fibers released in the water. PLUS they double as a laundry bag to tote your load of wash up and down the stairs.