How to Choose Sustainable Sportswear

Feeling comfortable in your workout gear is one of the ways to feel confident in the gym, but no matter where you choose to do your exercise, what you wear is an integral part. Fast fashion is everywhere, so when you need to buy new sportswear there’ll be lots of cheap, badly made clothes that have a negative impact on the environment. Become part of the slow fashion movement, however, and you can get a new workout outfit that’ll stand up to all those squats, look the part, and be more eco-friendly. Here’s how.

Sustainable Sportswear

  1. Buy from ethical brands

There’s a huge range of companies out there making sportswear, and you can make your first step in making sustainable choices by buying from a brand that has an environmentally friendly approach.

Read their mission statement, research what materials they use, delve into information about the working conditions of their factories – you catch my drift. There are lots of companies making sustainable choices, and it’s worth taking the time to find them. 

  1. Choose natural materials

This one is more difficult to put into practice, as the majority of sportswear is made from materials like nylon and polyester. That’s because they’re breathable and good at wicking moisture away from the body. The problem is these synthetic fabrics aren’t kind to the planet at any point of the process, from their manufacturing to their disposal.

You can still get these important qualities of breathability and sweat wicking, however, with natural fabrics. You just need to do a bit of searching to find plant-based options. Look for organic cotton, hemp or lyocell – which is also known in its branded form as Tencel.

  1. Look for recycled options 

In addition to natural materials, you could also consider buying sportswear that is made from recycled polyester or nylon, as that has less of an impact on the planet. It stops the unwanted material heading to landfill or being burned (which produces carbon dioxide).

You can even find sportswear made from recycled plastic bottles!

  1. Follow the Make Fashion Circular initiative

 The Ellen MacArthur Foundation created the Make Fashion Circular Initiative as a blueprint for the fashion industry, in an attempt to make clothing production have less of an impact on climate change and pollution. The three main points it’s built on are clothes that can be:

  • Used more
  • Made again
  • Created from recycled/renewable sources

This initiative shares the same goals as the slow fashion movement, which involves making more sustainable choices when it comes to your clothing. They both connect with the principle of the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.

In sportswear terms, that could mean buying less (reduce), or buying second-hand (reuse), or – as we’ve seen – buying sportswear that’s been made from materials previously used (recycle). Buying better quality also helps you buy less in the long run, as well-made garments last longer.

With these tips you can make a positive difference by choosing sustainable sportswear the next time your notice a hole in your leggings!