10+ Eco & Ethical Exercise Brands

posted in brand roundups

The most common questions I get are about brand recommendations, so during this year I’ll be posting some round-ups of conscious brands in different categories. I asked my Patrons where to start and they voted activewear, so let’s get those muscles moving!

With all these round-ups I’ll try my best to have a mix of European and North American brands and at least one from Australia.

Please note: this post contains some affiliate links
Ethical exercise clothing

The two items I always reach for when heading to the gym are my Miakoda leggings and Mandala top.


Miakoda

A NYC based and locally made loungewear brand, Miakoda has a selection of pieces great for yoga, working out, or just as comfy day-wear. I especially love my leggings from them, the fabric is super soft and the cut is really comfortable. All their pieces are made with plant-based fabrics using blends of bamboo, organic cotton, lyocell and soy.

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s casual lounge & yoga wear
Great for: comfy & soft essentials
Conscious Highlights: eco fabrics, reuse scrap fabric, vegan brand, made in NYC
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in USA, ships international

Eco activewear - Miakoda and Mandala
My go-to workout clothes

Mandala

A yoga and exercise brand from Germany with a wide range of unique styles and cuts. I especially like their tops with built-in bras and they always have a great selection of colours and prints. Mandala uses a variety of eco fabrics from certified organic cotton, to Tencel Lyocell, to recycled polyester, made by people paid fair wages, under fair working conditions in their factories in Turkey and Shanghai.

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s yoga & workout wear
Great for: creative details/prints & functional design
Conscious Highlights: eco fabrics, certified/branded fabrics (GOTS, Lenzing, Repreve), fair manufacturing standards (non-certified)
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in Germany, ships international


PACT

PACT has affordable prices and solid credentials – many (although not all) of their basics are made with GOTS certified organic cotton in Fair Trade USA certified factories. It does look like their yoga line might have been discontinued however they are still great for leggings, hoodies, tanks and other basics for working out.

Eco activewear - PACT
PACT

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s lounge & yoga wear
Great for: affordable basics
Conscious Highlights: GOTS certified organic cotton, made in Fair Trade certified factories
Size range: XS-XXL
Ordering: based in USA, also ships to Canada


Organic Basics

They have both an EU site and US site.

While not solely an active brand Organic Basics has a great selection of yoga and workout basics. Their active line is made from recycled materials and features a silver treatment to reduce odor.

Organic Basics

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s & men’s basics, underwear, lounge & yoga/activewear
Great for: basic leggings, bras & layers
Conscious Highlights: sustainable materials, certified factories (various certifications)
Size range: XS โ€“ XL
Ordering: based in Denmark, ships international


People Tree

Ethical fashion pioneer People Tree also has an active line! The have a pretty basic collection of leggings, tanks and tees, but everything is organic and fair trade certified.

Eco activewear - People Tree
People Tree

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s yoga wear (they also have a large women’s clothing collection)
Great for: simple, organic yoga basics
Conscious Highlights: Soil Association & Fair Trade certified organic cotton, fair trade factories, transparent production
Size range: 8-16 (UK)
Ordering: based in the UK, ships internationally


Girlfriend Collective

Known for their solid colour sets, Girlfriend Collective has a collections of bras, leggings, and shorts made from recycled PET (plastic bottles). Their fabrics are made in Taiwan and they manufacture in Vietnam in an SA8000 certified factory.

Eco activewear - Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective

They’re also have the most inclusive size range I’ve found from XXS-6X!

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s yoga & workout wear
Great for: matching sets in trendy colours
Conscious Highlights: recycled plastic bottles, Oeko-Tex certified Standard 100 fabrics, SA8000 certified factory
Size range: XXS-6X
Ordering: based in USA, also ships to UK, Australia, and Canada


Nice to Meet Me

Austrian brand Nice to Meet Me was co-founded by a yoga teacher and offers a collection of yoga and exercise wear made from organic cotton, Tencel, and recycled fibres. They manufacture nearby in a workshop in Czechia.

Eco activewear - Nice to Meet Me
Nice to Meet Me

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s & men’s yoga & workout wear
Great for: colourful designs tested by yoga professionals
Conscious Highlights: eco fabrics, GOTS and OEKO-Tex certified cotton, Made in the EU, vegan brand
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in Austria, ships within Europe


Nube

Small collection of leggings and crop tops featuring prints from artist collaborations. Nube’s pieces are made in Los Angeles from recycled PET.

Nube

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s yoga & workout wear
Great for: artistic & unique prints
Conscious Highlights: recycled materials, low impact dyeing, plastic-free packaging, made in USA
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in USA, only ship within USA


Elle Evans

Mainly know for their swimwear, Elle Evans also has a line of athletic leggings and tops. Everything is made to order from ECONYLยฎ which is regenerated nylon often made from things like recycled fishing nets.

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s & children’s swim & yoga wear
Great for: colourful prints & sexy cuts
Conscious Highlights: recycled materials, made to order to reduce waste, reduce & reuse scrap fabric,
made in Australia in their workshop
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in Australia, ships internationally


Groceries Apparel

While not specifically an active brand, Groceries Apparel does have a nice selection of clothing which could also be great for yoga and exercise. They manufacture in California using a variety of sustainable materials, and even some natural dyes!

Eco activewear - Groceries Apparel
Groceries Apparel

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s & men’s casual wear
Great for: basics & naturally dyed pieces
Conscious Highlights: eco fabrics, made in USA in their own factory
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in USA, ships internationally


Asquith

London based, Asquith has a range of lounge and yoga wear made from bamboo, organic cotton, and Bamborยฎ which is their own bamboo and organic cotton blend. They manufacture in a GOTS certified, family-run factory in Turkey.

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s activewear
Great for: solid colour basics
Conscious Highlights: eco fabrics, made in GOTS certified factory in Turkey
Size range: XS-XXL
Ordering: based in UK, ships internationally


Wolven

A swim and yoga/active brand with bright prints and colours. Their collection is made in China (read more about their manufacturing) from OEKO-TEX certified recycled PET and modal.

Wolven

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s & men’s swim & yoga wear
Great for: colourful kaleidoscope & mandala printed leggings & tops
Conscious Highlights: recycled materials, gives back
Size range: XS-XL
Ordering: based in USA, ships internationally


What’s missing?

Something I really struggled with is finding an eco brand that makes high-impact sports bras. These brands are great for yoga, the gym, and low to medium impact workouts but as someone with a larger cup size, it’s often not enough support for running and high-impact activities. If you’ve found a conscious brand that makes high-impact sports bras, please let me know!

Also as with most conscious brands there unfortunately seems to be only a limited size range available, except for Girlfriend Collective which it’s great to see someone offering larger sizes. ๐Ÿ‘ If you know any other conscious activewear brands with a larger size range please share them.


PS. Remember to also never use fabric softener with your athletic clothing!

๐Ÿ’š

13 Responses

  1. Faith
    | Reply

    I know this is 18 months old but just in case you are still searching for a sports bra that actually functions for sport, then Adidas do some out of recycled materials. I’m not convinced about all the designs tbh, I don’t think the sizing chart is accurate and I would say check whether the design you are looking for has adjustable shoulder straps but there is support to be had…

  2. Emmy
    | Reply

    You are so right on the eco sports bra front lacking! I need Bravissamo kind of bras as I am a FF, Organic Basics sent me a “sports bra” last year and honestly I’d struggle to do more than low impact yoga in it.

  3. Annie
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing the size ranges on this article, it’s so important and makes it really easy to quickly scan which ones are relevant for what I’m looking for. Another eco activewear brand that has a larger size range is Day/Won which I just discovered.

  4. Grace
    | Reply

    My mom and I tried Girlfriend Collective, and we really wanted them to be good, obviously. However, the first day my mom wore them, they already started pilling on the outside of her thigh, which is such a random place, so not super sure about the durability of this brand.

    Also, Asquith’s XXL is a US 14, which is not really an XXL, in my opinion, so just something to note.

  5. Victoria
    | Reply

    TALA makes great sport bras! They’re also highly sustainable with fair wages and eco-friendly materials!!

  6. Maureen
    | Reply

    Do you have an opinion on the brand prAna? I don’t see them listed in your directory. I really like the style of their clothes, and a lot of people recommend them as a green brand, but for some reason I get a greenwashing vibe from them

    • Verena Erin
      | Reply

      I haven’t looked into them recently but I remember a while ago I wasn’t very impressed by what they’re doing and also heard mixed things about them. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

  7. Kristyn Laird
    | Reply

    Iโ€™m not sure if youโ€™ve heard of them or how they would rank for you but Inner Fire (myinnerfire.com) is a legging brand based in BC that uses material that is recycled polyester mixed with spandex. The leggings are sewn in BC but Iโ€™m not sure where the material is from. They have a wide variety of prints and although Iโ€™ve never bought a pair (I can usually find suitable activewear in thrift stores) Iโ€™ve seen people wearing them at the gym/yoga studio and they all speak positively of them. Iโ€™m not affiliated with the company in any way, just sharing a sustainable Canadian company. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Mona
    | Reply

    I’ve found good high-impact sports bras at Patagonia. I’m a relatively small bust size, though.

  9. Jacqueline
    | Reply

    I purchased two pairs of leggings from Pact a while ago and have been very unimpressed with the quality. They are 92% organic cotton and 8% spandex and rip very easily. I’m not sure if it’s because of the cotton-to-spandex ratio, the quality of the fabric, or something else? I have other leggings from a conventional/non-conscious brand that are 88% cotton and 12% spandex and they have held up very well over time, so Pact’s leggings were a disappointment to me.

    • Verena Erin
      | Reply

      Thanks for sharing, disappointing to hear that about Pact.

  10. Anna
    | Reply

    Hey there are a lot more from europe and germany: vaude, patagonia, ognx, hey honey, vegan savage, trigema, openwear, ocean apart, essencials for zula, rhonisch, bleed and avocadostore.de has a bunch of different options as well!
    Unfortunately I have the same sports-bra problem and no solution yet…

  11. Gitte
    | Reply

    Thank you! Some of these brands are also interesting for basic casual wear, and it is amazing you included brands from a wider range of countries and continents, probably because you lived in Germany. A lot of North American sustainability influencers tend to forget Europe exists.

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