If you’re looking to avoid the big activewear brands often criticised for their unethical offshore production, you’ve come to the right place. These independent Australian brands have got what you need to look good and feel even better during your workout, and they’re all ethically produced (mostly right here in Australia!). This is our list of sweat shop-free activewear for you to wear while you get your sweat on.
Photo: By James Edward for Sweat Social Brisbane
Brisbane’s d+k makes high quality, high performance workout clothing for all activities. With a focus on sustainability, brand director Danielle Kay says she wanted to create a label that promoted inner wellbeing, self love and body positivity, without compromising on ethical manufacturing. For this reason, d+k sources sustainable textiles that have minimal impact on the environment for their products which include mens and womens pants, tops, shorts, tanks, crops, and more. It’s all ethically manufactured in Brisbane, Australia.
These Gold Coast babes make high-quality tights, tanks and shorts for every occasion – from pilates to yoga, barre to gym, and coffee to brunch. The defining feature is the bold and often floral prints in styles made to order. Just pick your print and choose from shorts or 3/4 or full length tights. Loz n Poz is ethically made in Australia with locally sourced fabrics. #GoingToBrunchInMyActivewear
This Sydney-based label makes bright, bold and super comfortable tights – for yoga, barre, and other active activities. The brand started out producing 100% of its attire in Australia, but has since taken some manufacturing off shore to China. Dharma Bums says that it is committed to ethical production and to ensure transparency its on shore production is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia and its off shore production is certified by Business Social Compliance Initiative.
Maker of future fabrics, Kusaga has developed a fabric that uses less than 1% of the water than it takes to make your average cotton T-shirt. Needless to say, they’re kicking butt in the sustainability sector, and all their clothing (T-shirts and tanks only at this stage), are ethically produced. Kusaga Activewear is certified vegan by PETA and is also a part of B Corporation, a group of companies focused on using the power of business as a force for social, environmental and economic good.
This Sydney brand brings to us a range of ethically produced womens swimwear and activewear, and mens briefs, trunks, jammers and compression leggings. Sunrise at Bondi’s fabrics are manufactured (here in Australia) from a new “cutting edge sustainable techno-fabric that is 100% regenerated from post-consumer materials”, including fishing nets and old carpets that have been recovered from all over the globe. Behind the brand is Maxi from Bondi Rescue and one of Australia’s leading swimwear technicians Leigh Mason.
Byron Bay’s BAY Active makes lifestyle basics, activewear and yogawear using GOTS certified organic cotton, Australian Merino, bamboo and highest quality regenerated fabrics in a fully transparent, certified, and ethical supply chain. Its super comfortable range comes in a variety of cuts and sizes, in staple colours you’ll love. #YourNewBae
Another great Queensland brand ethically producing activewear in Australia is Pink Punk. The brand makes tights, shorts and tanks in funky patterns for women and kids. Its garments are printed, cut and sewn locally or in house at its Gold Coast location.
When it’s time to pull out winter woolies for your workout, check out Woolerina. The Australian owned and made brand uses ethically sourced Merino wool for its clothing, which includes track pants, singlets, and short and long sleeve shirts including turtlenecks. The collection is super soft, super warm, and super comfortable for working out.
Spruiking ‘technical streetwear’, TBAB makes alt-bike wear in Victoria’s capital. All of their epic attire is antimicrobial, extremely durable, hi-vis, insulative, moisture-winking, quick dry, and made with stretchy, recycled and locally milled fabrics to be water repellent and provide sun protection. I fell in love when I found the flying fox playsuit. #Swoon. TBAB is certified by Ethical Clothing Australia.
Brisbane cult fashion brand Blackmilk has always been leading the tights game, but its dedicated activewear range takes that a step further, adding racerback tops, muscle tops, sweaters and shorts too. All of Blackmilk’s activewear and tights are ethically produced in Brisbane, and it makes efforts to reduce and recycle the paper and plastics used in the design and manufacturing process. Kick ass!
Read next: If you’re looking for gym, run or sports shoes, check out my sustainable shoes list here. The ones to look for are Veja and All Birds.