Top 10 Sustainable Activewear Brands to Sweat for the Environment

eco-friendly and ethical sportswear

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In recent years we have witnessed the boom of the wellness industry. People who spend long working hours at the office or working from home seem more preoccupied about their health and have eagerly incorporated regular physical activities into their routines. The activewear industry has benefited from this fact and its numbers have seen a significant increase.

But not everything is fun and games. With the rise in the demand for sportswear, the production of clothes made with harmful materials like virgin polyester, elastane, nylon, and other petroleum-based fabrics, will cause irreparable damage to the environment. The production process of this kind of clothing requires a huge amount of chemicals and their non-biodegradable nature means that they will end up packing landfills when being disposed of. 

Fortunately, more and more ethical and sustainable clothing brands are coming to our rescue.

What is sustainable activewear?

sustainable activewear brands

Sustainable activewear refers to clothing designed for physical activity that is produced with a focus on environmental and social responsibility. The aim is to minimize the negative impact on the environment and promote sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.

Ethical brands have incorporated eco-friendly fabrics such as recycled polyester, bamboo viscose, certified organic cotton and tencel, in the making of sustainable athletic wear, as well as other recycled materials like PET and recycled nylon. These materials have been proven to have as good performance as the conventional fabrics, but with a reduced environmental impact.

Eco-friendly dyeing and printing methods are also used to minimize water usage, energy consumption, and chemical use, and some brands have even opted for organic dyes like food waste. Sustainable activewear is designed to be durable, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Fair working conditions, transparency in their chain supply, and several certifications are some must-have features that ethical and sustainable activewear brands include as essential. Considering these factors, sustainable athleisure wear aims to provide consumers with fitness and sportswear options that align with environmentally friendly and socially responsible values.

What to look for when shopping sustainable activewear

sustainable fabrics bamboo viscose

We know that you might be a little bit hesitant about the quality and performance of sportswear, but we can assure you that ethically made apparel will not let you down in your most intense workouts.

So, if you are seeking to match the benefits that virgin polyester and nylon offer you, look for their recycled twin. Recycled polyester has the same properties as the original one and is made from recycled plastic bottles, while recycled nylon is sourced from pre- and post-consumer waste, like carpeting and fishing nets.

Bamboo fabric is another trending organic material in activewear. Thanks to its organic properties, bamboo fabric offers great breathability and moisture-wicking, essential features to consider when purchasing sportswear. Hemp is also a very durable and absorbent fiber, as well as organic cotton and linen, making them very popular materials in the making of activewear. All these fabrics are excellent options of sustainable performance when looking for the perfect gym outfit to include in your workout routine.

When it comes to fabric dyes, many ethical brands are using innovative techniques to give that colorful touch to your sportswear. It is important to look for brands that prioritize natural, non-toxic, or low impact dyeing products. Some of them have used plant-based dyes and even food waste to minimize their impact on the environment. 

Another factor that you might consider when shopping for your sports clothing is transparency in the supply chain. If you can’t find clear details about their sourcing, manufacturing processes, and labor conditions, take it as a red flag. Sustainable brands will be open to share all this information with their customers and will disclose it on their websites.

By considering these factors, you can make more informed choices when shopping for sustainable activewear and support brands that align with your values and contribute to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.

10 sustainable activewear brands to bear in mind

We want to make your life easier and help you in your journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle. We have curated this list of the 10 best ethical activewear brands that are sustainable and will be your best gym buddy or endure with you during your busy and active days. 


8000Kicks sustainable sneakers eco-friendly hemp

There can’t be a good workout without the right pair of shoes. And what better option than a sustainable pair of sneakers to hit the gym, go for a run, or a relaxing walk. 8000Kicks specializes in eco-friendly hemp sneakers for men and women who have an active daily routine. They also use other sustainable materials to make accessories including hats, wallets, and backpacks.

8000Kicks is a company committed to minimizing their footprint by reducing their carbon emissions and encouraging their partners to increase their dependency on renewable energy sources. They have shared that their Portuguese factory uses approximately 50% clean energy sources, while their factory in China uses around 35%.

They also support fair work conditions, pay living wages to the shoemakers of their factories, both in China and Portugal, and provide several benefits to their employees. In addition, the brand currently has 60% traceability on their supply chain and is working to increase this percentage.

BAM Bamboo Clothing

BAM ethical sportswear bamboo fabric yoga clothes

With a strong commitment to the environment and sustainable fashion, BAM is an athleisure wear business established with the clear goal of changing the negative impact that the conventional fashion industry has on the planet.

BAM offers a variety of men’s and women’s activewear, including sustainable yoga clothes and pieces for running and hiking. And the best part? They are all made from Bamboo fabric, which is made from natural, renewable raw materials and is biodegradable.

They have also managed to use 100% recycled polyester in the making of specific clothing pieces. BAM is also working on the creation of a new generation of nature-based fabrics that use modern techniques to offer all the performance with minimal elastane. As of 2022, 95% of the fibers they use are bio-based, organic or recycled and they are aiming to reach 100% by 2030.

BAM pays living wages to their workers and offers fair treatment to every person involved in the making of the clothes, right back to the grower. They are also committed to bringing full traceability and transparency to their customers.

Colorful Standard

colorful standard ethical activewear and loungewear

If your thing is wearing bright and comfortable outfits while working out, Colorful Standard will be your unconditional partner. Having met multiple certifications in sustainability, this brand prides itself on creating high-quality, sustainable basics that are colorful and ethically produced in Portugal.

You can find a wide range of activewear and loungewear, in more than 40 shades. All the dyes used to create their multicolored collection are all Oeko-Tex Certified, a global organic textile standard. This means that they have been thoroughly tested for harmful chemicals. They also use 100% organic cotton in all their garments, which helps to minimize the use of pesticides and greenhouse emissions by up to 94%.

Colorful Standard has a policy of 0% waste which focuses on minimizing waste as much as possible with their techniques of garment dying, precise laser cutting, and recycling materials. They also ensure that all the employees at their manufacturing center in Portugal work fair hours for fair wages.

Girlfriend Collective

girlfriend collective body positive sustainable activewear

Girlfriend Collective not only creates inclusive and ethically made activewear, but also helps to promote body positive vibes by offering a wide range of sizes and colors, for all the different shapes and styles out there.  

They use recycled materials like old plastic water bottles and fishing nets retrieved from the seas to produce a certified fabric with the Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex. This certification assures you that the fabric used to make your clothes is free of harmful substances. With their takeback program ReGirlfriend, they have found a way to engineer their essential fabrics to have the optimal content to be easily broken down, recycled, and re-woven into brand new fibers.

Girlfriend Collective offers an extensive selection of leggings, sports bras, tops, sweatsuits, and dresses that will be ideal for your everyday life. You can be sure that all their products are produced ethically with their SA8000 certification, which promises they adhere to strict production regulations. Furthermore, they dye their fabric with eco-friendly dyes and make sure the wastewater is carefully cleaned and cooled before releasing it.

They are a company that keeps factory employees well-paid, safe, and living healthy lives thanks to the implementation of well-being programs across their factories.

Groceries Apparel

groceries apparel eco-friendly sports wear organic dyes

Groceries Apparel is a brand rooted in Los Angeles and deeply committed to go hardcore with sustainability. They are dedicated to making athletic and casual wear from 100% organic recycled fabrics and plant-based dyestuff, including food-waste.

Looking to innovate in the textile industry, they have completely eliminated all heavy metals and toxic chemicals from their supply chain. They have created their own ‘Seed to Skin’ program to create a sustainable life cycle for their materials and operate their own dye house using 100% non-toxic ingredients.

In addition to that, Groceries Apparel believes in supporting the local economy. They have invested in the L.A. community by creating multiple local full-time jobs and purchased over 98% of their materials from local vendors.

They also manufacture in a vertically integrated factory to ensure their activewear is made to the standards they set and, according to their policy of full transparency, they have disclosed that their employees earn well above the California minimum wage.


icebreaker sustainable outdoor clothing

Icebreaker is a sustainable outdoor clothing brand established in New Zealand that focuses on modern and simplistic designs for all ages. You will find incredibly versatile and long-lasting pieces for activities like running, hiking and even snow sports to match your style during your winter adventures.

Even though they have not achieved their goal to go 100% plastic-free in 2023, they have reached 96%, not bad at all! They have managed to trace the origin of 100% of the merino wool used to make their activewear, which offers great performance, comfort, and sustainability. They have also substituted synthetic materials with bio-based alternatives.

Icebreaker believes in direct relationships with their partners and has provided a complete list with descriptions of the factories and suppliers, the location of the growers, and details regarding their animal friendly farming.

In addition, they have the goal to transition to regenerative farming practices and renewable resources by 2028. They are also shifting their focus to biodegradable packaging to minimize their waste management.

Iron Roots

iron roots ethical sports clothing

Iron Roots is a Dutch activewear manufacturer that has found its purpose in combining design and functionality to create the best sustainable workout clothes. With their multiple certifications, Iron Roots can ensure sustainability and worker wellness within the production of their garments.

Seeking to replace all plastic in the making of their garments, Iron Roots works with fabric of natural origin like hemp, eucalyptus and beechwood. Their efforts go above and beyond when it comes to recycling as they improve their way to recycle stuff and decrease the use of virgin resources. Iron Roots also participates in projects like The Ocean Cleanup, which turn plastic waste into new products and works on maximizing cutting efficiency to reduce textile waste.

By working with factories who are dedicated to fair production standards, this ethical brand makes sure that the garment workers are treated well. They regularly visit their factories in Greece, North Macedonia, and Portugal where the employees have normal working hours, breaks, vacations and earn living wages.


outerknown surf-inspired sustainable activewear

This brand is known for its surf-inspired and eco-friendly apparel. They have developed a swimwear and activewear line made from organic, recycled and/or regenerated materials. In fact, 100% of their swim trunks are made with recycled or renewable fibers. Outerknown’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in tangible actions to protect the environment and support fair labor practices.

Outerknown has also kept more than 1800 pieces out of landfills with their resale platform and repurposed materials, like 300 lbs. of denim reused to make bags. Outerknown offers a full supplier list; they disclose the name, address, number of employees, and certifications of suppliers, and it was the first brand to pursue the Fair Labor Association accreditation before selling a single product.

You can buy from a vast selection of swimwear, activewear, and other high-quality items with the certainty that you will support a brand aiming to make 100% of their product circular by 2030 and keep protecting more workers in their supply chain.


tentree workout clothes recycled materials

For Tentree every small effort builds up to big changes. With every pair of joggers, leggings, tees, or any item purchased, they plant trees all over the world. More than 100M trees have been planted by now (2024). By putting people and the planet first, they manufacture their products in fair, safe working conditions, and using only sustainably sourced and recycled materials.

They only source eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, Tencell lyocell and recycled polyester, hence, they have been able to cut back on wastewater and emissions. This ethical fashion brand offers customers the option to send used Tentree or non-tentree items in any condition for free for recycling or reuse, or you can register to sell your gently used Tentree clothes yourself.

Tentree has partnered with programs such as Eden Reforestation Projects to reduce extreme poverty and restore healthy forests by employing local villagers to plant millions of trees every year. They also make sure that workers are properly compensated with fair wages, ensuring proper rest days and access to equal employment opportunities for both men and women.


wolven sustainable activewear and swimwear

If you are looking for a sexy and eco-friendly alternative to complement your gym attire, look no further. Wolven offers a large line of sustainable sportswear not only in stunning solid colors but also with striking prints that will make you stand out wherever you go.

With a deep belief that every decision they make is intended to protect the planet, Wolven has committed to transparency and honesty by reporting how they impact the environment. They have received multiple certifications including GRS, OEKO-TEX Standard 100, and Climate Neutral.

All of Wolven’s activewear and swimwear is made from 84% recycled PET. They are currently sampling reclaimed and organic fabrics to create future products, considering durability, resource extraction, recyclability, and fair labor conditions in their fabric sourcing.

Wolven promotes circular fashion by selling Wolven Pre-Loved clothes on their website and uses sustainable packaging by wrapping garments in a minimal piece of hemp twine and shipping in a reusable, 100% recycled plastic mailer from Eco-Enclose.

Find more eco-friendly workout clothing brands

Check out our full brand guide with more than 100 ethical and sustainable brands that are doing better for the planet and its people. You can also check out our ratings for any of the brands on this list and discover more of our favorite sustainable options. 

How we rate the best sustainable activewear brands

sustainable and ethical brands transparency fair labor

At Eco-Stylist we are fully committed to protecting the environment and supporting those that are working hard to make a difference for the planet. We have researched thousands of fashion brands to create a guide to sustainable alternatives that are not only good for your body, but kind to the environment. 

We have only selected the top performing athleisure brands for people and the planet by rating them according to our rigorous standards. Transparency, fair labor, and sustainably made are the three pillars that we use to research every brand


We want to know who made our clothes and their journey from raw materials to the finished product in your hands. Transparency is the first step to beat unethical practices. We are looking for activewear fashion brands willing to share detailed information about their entire supply chain, where and how their clothes are made. 

Fair labor

Another essential standard is fair labor. We want to know if sportswear fashion brands are committed to fair trade and ethical labor conditions. Providing dignified employment, treating makers fairly and investing in their communities are the fundamental practices we are looking for. We also make sure that our top brands offer living wages and increased access to essential services like healthcare and childcare for their workers. 

Sustainably made

Finally, but just as important, we rate the making of activewear, seeking out brands that make clothes in ways that are sustainable and kinder to the planet. Brands that use organic or recycled materials in their manufacturing can achieve this standard. We look for brands that prioritize renewable energy, work to reduce their carbon footprint, and invest in circularity. 

After extensive research and rating, we have found the best sustainable and ethical fashion brands, including activewear manufacturers. Brands like the ones listed above have met or exceeded the standards and have made the top 10% of all the brands that we have rated so far. 

Fashion brands may earn our certification by starting with a strong commitment to protecting our planet and the belief that small, but conscious actions can make a big difference in our journey towards a better future. 


1 thought on “Top 10 Sustainable Activewear Brands to Sweat for the Environment”

  1. Not so sure about Recycled plastic or polyester in clothing, because it breaks down eventually into our environment, putting more micro plastics into our washer and dryer residue that washes into our earth and water systems… Also, what about WearPACT? They are organic, ethically, sourced and help communities and I believe have a zero plastic policy in their packaging and elsewhere..
    Thank you, Kara

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