Looking for activewear that’ll leave little impact on the planet? You’ve come to the right place. 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.
Brisbane-based 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 such as organic cotton and 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.
Melbourne-based ethical fashion label Vege Threads has developed a line of yoga wear that promotes inclusivity, good values and natural clothing. The brand produces its sustainable activewear staples on shore with manufacturing certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, and looks to minimise waste in production. The activewear includes bralettes, tights, shorts and unitards made from soft organic and eco friendly materials locally knitted in Melbourne.
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.
Sydney-based sustainable basics brand Boody brings super soft bamboo activewear to the mix. The brand’s bamboo is grown sustainably with no pesticides, no insecticides, no fertilisers, and without any artificial irrigation. Boody says it’s committed to maintaining a responsible and transparent process every step of its process – from the bamboo crops that yield the viscose yarn to the delivery of Boody into your hands. The brand is certified by a number of industry groups for ethical and sustainable production.
Pinky & Kamal makes comfortable and sustainable threads for women who enjoy moving freely, living simply and staying comfortable. The brand specialises in yogawear made from GOTS certified organic cotton – providing all-day-long comfort and support without feeling restricted in any way. The Pinky & Kamal garments are ethically made in Indonesia by a team of three people who the brand works with directly – saying the team sets their own pricing and payment terms. For every sale, Pinky & Kamal plants a tree through One Tree Planted.
Britt’s List readers can get 15% off Pinky & Kamal with code BRITTSLIST at checkout. Shop here.
Byron Bay’s BAY Active makes lifestyle basics, activewear and yoga wear 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 sustainable 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.
ZONE by Lydia, a brand by Olympic champion Lydia Lassila, takes a holistic approach to all things wellness and sustainability. Having spent what she describes as her whole life in activewear, it adds up that the ZONE by Lydia hemp apparel range is made to be active in. The collection features hoodies, tees, tanks, track pants and bike shorts.
Luna & Soul makes organic cotton pieces for your workout. Initially launching in Bali, the brand works with a number of independent dyes and tailors to produce its small range of organic, plant-dyed pieces. The yoga and activewear staples range includes bras, pants, tanks, tops and a super cool vinyasa jumpsuit all made from GOTS certified organic cotton.
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 production is certified by Business Social Compliance Initiative. The brand uses recycled nylon in its garments as well as organic cotton and bamboo.
Amble Outdoors is turning old water bottle waste into activewear and rain jackets – saving plastics from oceans and landfill, and using less energy and water in the process (compared to virgin synthetic fabrics). The brand’s sustainable activewear is made in Taiwan, Indonesia and China by third-party accredited suppliers that ensure they provide a safe working environment. Amble avoids excess plastics by opting for packaging made from corn starch and use home compostable garment and mailing bags.
This Sydney-brand brings to us a range of ethically produced women’s swimwear and activewear as well as men’s briefs, trunks, jammers and compression leggings. Sunrise at Bondi’s fabrics are manufactured in Australia from a cutting edge sustainable techno-fabric that is 100% regenerated from post-consumer materials, including fishing nets and old carpets that have been recovered oceans around the globe. Behind the brand is Maxi from Bondi Rescue and one of Australia’s leading swimwear technicians Leigh Mason.
New Zealand-based underwear and basics label Nisa is helping women from the bottom up. The sustainable, social enterprise label provides employment opportunities to empower women from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Launching with a core organic cotton underwear line, the brand has since expanded into luxury intimates, activewear, swimwear and other basics too. Shop for quality, inclusive sized and shaped activewear, made with love.