10 Eco & Ethical Exercise Brands

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. The round-ups will include some brands I wear and love, but with a capsule wardrobe I don’t own very many clothes so can’t personally try all the different brands and products out. Also with any recommendations it’s important to do your own research and make sure that the brand meets your own ethical/sustainable priorities.

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

My Favourites

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

Eco activewear - Teeki

Teeki

Teeki specialises in unique and creative prints. Their line of yoga bottoms and tops are all made in the US from recycled PET (plastic bottles). I’ve owned a pair of their cropped leggings for a few years now and they’re great for running and the gym, although in general I do prefer natural fibres over wearing synthetics. Their fabric has a lot of spandex which could be an environmental con but it also means they hold their shape very well and after years of use (and proper care to preserve spandex) mine are still holding up great which I also see as a big pro.

-The Breakdown-
Products
: women’s yoga wear
Great for: fun, colourful & unique prints
Conscious Highlights: recycled plastic bottles, made in the USA
Size range: XS-L
Ordering: based in USA, ships international


More brands

Some other brands which I haven’t personally tried but look like good conscious options.

Eco activewear - People Tree
People Tree

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.

-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

Eco activewear - Girlfriend Collective
Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend Collective

Known for their beautiful 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.

They’re also have the most inclusive size range I’ve found from XXS-XXXL in tops and up to 6X in some leggings!

-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-XXXL (some leggings to 6X)
Ordering: based in USA, also ships to UK, Australia, and Canada

Eco activewear - Nice to Meet Me
Nice to Meet Me

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.

-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

Elle Evans

Mainly know for their swimwear, Elle Evans also has a line of athletic leggings and tops. Everything is made to order from ECONYL® 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

Eco activewear - Groceries Apparel
Groceries Apparel

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!

-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 Bambor® 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

Eco activewear - PACT
PACT

Pact

To be honest, I’ve always been hesitant to recommend Pact because their prices are so low, which often is a red flag (I’ve also heard mixed reviews about their quality). However they have solid credentials – many (although not all) of their basics are made with GOTS certified organic cotton in Fair Trade USA certified factories.

-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


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. 👏 If you know any other conscious activewear brands with a larger size range please share them.


Finally I’ve also had pretty decent luck finding good quality activewear secondhand (except for the fabric softener incident 😬), so that can be a great way to shop as well!

💚

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8 Responses

  1. 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. 🤷‍♀️

  2. Kristyn Laird
    | Reply

    I’m not sure if you’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 I’m not sure where the material is from. They have a wide variety of prints and although I’ve never bought a pair (I can usually find suitable activewear in thrift stores) I’ve seen people wearing them at the gym/yoga studio and they all speak positively of them. I’m not affiliated with the company in any way, just sharing a sustainable Canadian company. 🙂

  3. Mona
    | Reply

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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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