Thursday, November 14

Looking for activewear that’ll leave little impact on the planet? You’re not alone. The activewear industry is ripe for disruption and brands are taking note by removing virgin, synthetic materials from their garments. Popular activewear materials including polyester and nylon are man-made, oil-based materials which involve intensive chemical processes to create. And these fabrics end up living longer in landfill than they do in our wardrobes (between 40-200 years!) Thanks to innovative new processes for recycling and collecting waste, brands now have access to high quality recycled fabrics that allow them to avoid creating and using virgin plastics. This helps us all to reduce our environmental footprint dramatically. These are my favourite Australian brands investing in recycled and sustainable materials for their activewear.

1. d+k

D plus K activewear models
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 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 D+K with code “BRITTS20”. Shop here. 

2. Team Timbuktu

Team Timbuktu Activewear

Team Timbuktu is turning old water bottle waste into activewear – saving plastics from oceans and landfill, and using less energy and water in the process (compared to virgin synthetic fabrics). Team Timbuktu’s activewear is made in Taiwan, Indonesia and China by suppliers that the brand says they know personally and are accredited by third parties to ensure they comply with local laws and have a safe working environment. The brand avoids excess plastics by opting for packaging made from corn starch and use home compostable garment and mailing bags.

3. Dharma Bums

This Sydney-based label makes bright, bold and super comfortable tights – for yoga, barre, and other 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 offshore production is certified by Business Social Compliance Initiative. The brand uses recycled nylon in its garments as well as organic cotton and bamboo.

4. Kusaga Activewear

Kusaga Group Pic

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, the brand is kicking butt in the sustainability sector, and all its clothing (T-shirts and tanks only at this stage), is 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. I highly recommend adding the “World’s Greenest T-Shirt” to your collection.

PS. That’s me in my World’s Greenest T-Shirt with my back to you in the header photo. 🙂  

5. Sunrise at Bondi

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.

6. Nimble Activewear 

This Aussie brand opts for post-consumer plastic waste for its activewear with every bra containing approximately two plastic water bottles and every pair of leggings a whopping six. Nimble Activewear’s fabrics are knitted in Taiwan, with manufacturing then happening less than 80km away, helping to reduce wastage, packaging and transport emissions. The brands says its people are passionate about the sustainability journey and are always looking for new ways to reduce their environment impact. “Plastic bottles have never looked so good.”

Read next: 10 Brands for Ethically Made Activewear in Australia 

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About Author

Brittanie is the founder and editor of Britt's List, and an advocate for sustainable and Australian fashion. She loves indoor plants, hot chips, blue cheese, boutique gin and patting puppers on the street.

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