Sustainable Activewear: save the planet while working out

Sustainable Activewear: save the planet while working out

No matter how we perceive New Year’s resolutions, we all toy with the idea of a fresh start. With sustainable activewear, we can kick off not only a new year but a whole new decade with a commitment to planetary health as well as our own.

Jumping on the treadmill is as important as what we wear when we do it. To press start, we have put together a list of sustainable activewear brands. These will get you hyped up for your next workout and be key pieces of your conscious lifestyle.

Sustainable Activewear Traits And Trends in 2020

We give a great deal of attention to plastic, especially with regards to the pollution of our oceans. But fishing nets are in many ways the biggest threat to our oceans’ well-being. In this respect, swimwear has been great at harnessing fishing nets fashion potential.

Italian firm Aquafil has created Econyl, a nylon substitute, which often appears in sustainable gymwear. Econyl recycles and regenerates synthetic waste such as fishing nets and spin them into a textile product as robust as nylon. Which is then used to create recycled plastic activewear. Not only does this bring down the ocean’s pollution budget, but it also mitigates the growing need for nylon.

Sustainable Activewear Brands

Some of the below ethical sports brands recognise these shifting trends so you can be at the forefront of sustainable activewear.

People Tree

People Tree was the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. This means fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, best practice and gender equality.

People Tree works with Indian brand, Assisi Garments which produces most of the jersey pieces. This brand also provides training and employment for deaf and economically disadvantaged women.

Their sustainable activewear focuses on yoga, and its organic cotton pieces come in black, white and blue. People Tree’s garments have no harmful synthetic chemicals and use no additives. They are grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Their tops, bottoms and sustainable leggings are comfortable, timeless and elegant so you can exercise with a good conscious.


Rubymoon is an international female team of women empowering women to live healthy and sustainable lives. The ethical sportswear brand is also the world’s only not-for-profit swim and sustainable activewear brand.

Rubymoon collaborates with NGO,, which collects ghost fishing nets from oceans and protects its biodiversity. Developed by, the fabric technology used in the garments processes the nets and waste into a regenerated yarn. The result is a high-quality durable material with double the strength.

They designs its clothing according to slow fashion principles. To ensure durability, all pieces are versatile, affordable and easily combined with each other. The pieces are also fully opaque, chlorine and salt water-resistant. To top it off, they have long-term shape retention and are PETA-Approved Vegan and Oeko-Tex certified.

Responsible Sustainable Activewear

The ethical sports brand guarantees a transparent supply chain with pieces manufactured ethically and safely in the UK & Spain. They deliver all pieces in 100% recycled and biodegradable mailing bags.

On top of that, they invests 100% of its profits in business loans for women to encourage financial independence. They do this through loans and business training for female entrepreneurs. In fact, Rubymoon names their pieces after these admirable women.

Go As U R

Belgian label, go as u.r designs for girls on the go. They create pieces with breathable and moisture-wicking fabric and come in diverse colours such as black, red and yellow. Beauty products are vegan and natural for women with an active, transitional lifestyle.

Go as u.r makes their fabrics from natural, recycled or regenerated fibres such as eucalyptus cellulose fibre, organic cotton, regenerated fibres manufactured from discarded nylon (sea fishing nets and recycled polyester). The brand also uses Öko-Tex® certified dyes or GOTS that are water-friendly and contain no metal or toxic elements.

To reduce production time, costs and its carbon footprint, go as u.r has set up collaborations with family-based factories across Europe. go as u.r produces all its clothes in Portugal, skincare products in Belgium, and make-up in Italy.

Go as u.r has committed to empowering other girls and women worldwide to move and be as they are. With each purchase of a go as u.r piece, you invest €1 in empowering girls and women across the globe.

For packaging of Go As U R’s make-up range, the ethical gymwear and casual wear brand uses FSC® cardboard paper and zero plastic. For the skincare range, they aim for greatest usage of 100% recycled plastics or “I am green” bio-based packaging.


Founded by London-born Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Ellie Foden, the word NITARA means to be deeply rooted or grounded in Sanskrit. This is the spiritual name founder Ellie’s teacher gave to her on her first trip to India.

NITARA makes contemporary yoga and sustainable activewear that leaves as little an impact upon the planet as possible. In their signature fabric, they use 86% recycled plastic.

Who knew that recycled plastic bottle-made leggings could feel like butter on the skin? Leggings and tops come in beautiful patterns and colours such as petrol blue, turquoise highlights and saffron orange. Some patterns are Moroccan tile-inspired, others resemble peacocks or the deep blue sea.

Leggings are mid-rise elasticated band that don’t cut. NITARA makes them from sweat-wicking fabric. For this purpose, they have tried and tested them under the burning Indian sun to ensure zero sweat shows through even the sweatiest of practices.

What we wear when we jump on the treadmill is as important as the exercise itself. It is no longer viable to focus on one’s personal health without also working to better our planet’s health. Sustainable activewear offers the perfect combination of environmental health and personal fitness. We wish you happy training and a healthy New Year!


Written by Kimie Frengler