Day 7: Ethical and sustainable activewear
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With the New Year, often comes new fitness and health workout goals. If you find yourself needing some new clothes or equipment, it’s worth adding ethical and sustainable activewear to the criteria. Depending on your exercise of choice, you may be looking for rip-proof or sweat-wicking fabric, or a yoga mat with good grip. However, there is one other thing to keep in mind when shopping for activewear: the impact on the environment.
The clothing and textile industry has had a deep and lasting effect on the planet. Every year, clothing production uses millions of tons of oil and chemicals. In fact, 60% of our clothing has plastic microfibers. Clothing accounts for a third of microplastic pollution. During the manufacturing process, greenhouse gases are also released into the atmosphere, a factor that greatly affects global warming.
The most ethical and sustainable activewear is the items we already own
One of the best ways to fight the damage being done to the environment by the textile industry is by using up what we have or shopping second hand. If we need to buy new activewear, find your new favourite, get healthy and do good, by sourcing equipment from ethical and sustainable organisations.
Here are some examples of brands committed to sourcing products that are not harmful to our planet as well as ensuring that their products are made ethically.
This Denmark-based brand offers activewear for both men and women made with organic materials. The company bases everything they create around their main priority: sustainable clothing for all shapes and sizes. They only partner with factories committed to the same mission: reducing their carbon footprint and providing a safe work environment. Organic Basics offers a variety of pieces, including workout leggings and undergarments.
Allbirds finds its inspiration from nature— literally. The eclectic New Zealand brand uses wool from merino sheep to make their breathable, sweat-wicking textiles. By using locally-sourced wool, Allbirds’ manufacturing process uses 60% less energy than other processes. Aside from wool, the company also uses recycled bottles and cardboard to make shoelaces and packaging for their items.
If you’re looking for some new yoga gear, People Tree is a great contender. The company holds itself to high ethical and sustainable standards. Their products are made by hand using skills such as weaving, knitting, embroidery and printing. By employing artisan workers, they fuel local economies in rural areas. With pieces made with organic cotton, People Tree can take you from athletic wear to athleisure and everything in between.
How can you make a difference?
Even if you’re not looking for new items to add to your closet, there are ways to support our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. It can be as simple as using reusable water bottles when working out. You can also donate your old athletic wear to charities that will make great use of your old pieces. Each of us can do our part to work towards building a sustainable Earth.