Sustainable options in the activewear market are not exactly easy to come by. The majority of the market is saturated by big brands that produce their garments cheaply offshore. And because activewear needs stretch, synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon are rife. Fortunately, there’s some home grown Aussie brands tackling these issues by producing their garments on shore and using sustainable, recycled materials to reduce their impact (and in turn, your impact). Importantly, they’re making sure they’re still affordable. This is our list of sweat shop-free ethical activewear for you to wear while you get your sweat on.
Brisbane’s dk active 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, dk active sources sustainable textiles like its Luxury Italian Lycra (made from a blend of new and recycled materials) that have minimal impact on the environment. The activewear range includes men’s and women’s pants, tops, shorts, tanks, crops, and more. It’s all ethically manufactured in Brisbane, Australia.
Britt’s List readers can get 20% off full price purchases over $50 from dk active with code BRITTS20. Shop here.
Brisbane-based brand Active Truth started with the mission to make quality tights for 14+ and pregnant women. They’ve since extended the range to cater for all shapes, sizes and stages of life. Active Truth’s range of black tights, colourful printed tights, tops and maternity leggings are created in the size inclusive range of 8 to 26 to give all women a high performance activewear choice. All of the brand’s leggings are high-waisted to provide core support and are made from premium compression fabric. The vast majority of Active Truth garments are ethically made in Australia (in Brisbane!)
Faebella is a luxury activewear brand that incorporates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artwork into the designs of its products. Founder Alisha Jayne Geary, who is both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, works with artists all over Australia to share different art styles and stories with consumers in the form of contemporary physical apparel. With Faebella, she hopes to raise appreciation and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art, culture and history. The Faebella activewear is all ethically made in Australia.
This Sydney brand brings to us a range of ethically produced women’s swimwear and activewear, and men’s 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. The brand’s super comfortable ethical activewear range comes in a variety of cuts and sizes, in staple colours you’ll love. Bay Active’s Australian made garments are made in an Ethical Clothing Australia certified manufacturer.
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. Natural fibres for the win!
Sporting ‘technical streetwear’, TBAB makes alt-bike wear in Victoria’s capital. All of its 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.
The sister brand of Melbourne-based brand Vege Threads, Organic Yoga Company is an independent brand of yoga wear that promotes inclusivity, good values and natural clothing. The brand produces its ethical activewear staples onshore with manufacturing certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and looks to minimise waste in production. The workout wear includes bralettes, tights, shorts and unitards made from soft organic and eco friendly materials locally knitted in Melbourne.
Melbourne-based basics brand Organic Crew produces luxurious designs, without compromising the planet. The brand’s commitment to sustainable garment manufacturing is its number one priority throughout every development process – from the cotton fields to construction. As such, its garments are made using 100% organic cotton in Melbourne, Australia and Kolkata, with onshore manufacturing certified by Ethical Clothing Australia. Shop for active staples such as sweat pants, yoga pants and various tops and tees.
The designers behind Merino Country are former sheep farmers, so it’s no surprise that their go-to fabric is high quality Australian merino wool. The brand makes basic pieces including exercise tights and sports bras and other wardrobe staples too. Merino Country’s garments are ethically made in their factory in Queensland.
For more than 25 years, The Ark Clothing Co. has been designed and made in Melbourne by a community of like-minded people who believe design should always be imbued with integrity. Proudly Australian owned with an incredibly passionate and talented team of over 70 staff, The Ark has 8 stores and makes small runs of its beautiful basics designs locally and ethically in Australia, certified by Ethical Clothing Australia. Shop for activewear staples such as track pants, sweat shirts and various tops and tees.
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. The majority of Blackmilk’s activewear and tights are ethically produced in Brisbane, and the brand makes efforts to reduce and recycle the paper and plastics used in the design and manufacturing process. Kick ass!