This article was written by one of my friends who has been poring her heart and soul into helping people becoming the change that she wishes to see in the world: a change to vegan, organic, and eco-friendly living!
I really enjoyed this post under her Ethical Fashion section and I knew it was a perfect fit for my site. Plus, I haven’t given ya’ll much advice when it comes to finding ethical clothing..
So here ya go 😉
Author: Ashley Morgan
Let’s talk ethical athletic wear – Whether you’re actually getting your workout on or just running errands for the day, it’s important that our go-to athletic clothing checks all of the boxes:
- makes us feel great
- made from sustainable materials
- produced under ethical working conditions
Now, ideally, organic natural fabrics like cotton are preferable. Leggings/sports bras made from recycled polyester, or rPET (which you may see advertised as fabric made from recycled plastic bottles) have become all the rage recently! While this fabric is definitely better than using virgin polyester or other synthetic materials like nylon or viscose, we still run into the issue of micro plastics being washed into our waterways with each wash. For that reason, I prefer the majority of my athletic wear to come from natural fibers, however I definitely still do have some made from recycled poly and I think it’s still a great option. So I’ve included some of my favorites down below with the caveat that if you do end up purchasing some recycled poly styles, please consider purchasing a GUPPYFRIEND “Stop Micro Waste!” Washing Bag to help limit the micro waste from synthetic fibers in our waterways. The fishies will thank you! Onto the list!
If you’ve followed me for awhile you’ve heard me rave about Miakoda’s organic cotton basics. True, quality, versatile wardrobe staples that will last you years to come. So when Julia of Miakoda announced that they were introducing athletic pants, I was one happy camper! These are the softest organic cotton athletic pants I’ve ever worn and I’m completely obsessed with the little screen printed moon on the back right leg! (FYI: Miakoda means “power of the moon” !!!)
Here is what you’re paying for when you make a purchase from Miakoda:
– Quality organic cotton
– Ethical, local production
– A women owned business run by the sweetest vegan chick
– Contributing to the slow fashion movement
– Coziness level: 1,000
Style: The athletic pants come in 3 different lengths/styles: the ones that I’m wearing in the photo above are the Half Moon Athletic Crops. They also come in a full length legging and a short as well!
Fabric Content: 60% bamboo, 30% organic cotton, 10% spandex
Ethics: All of the cotton used in the Miakoda collection is always organic, and all production is always done locally, ethically, and sweatshop-free.
Another company that I don’t know where I would be in my ethical fashion journey without: Groceries Apparel. I think it’s safe to say that I’m quite possibly their #1 fan! Fashionable organic cotton staples for everyday made in their very own factory in LA (which I got a chance to visit myself! Watch the video of my visit here) run by an amazing group of humans – what more could we ask for as conscious fashionistas??
Style: The leggings that I’m wearing in the photo above are their “S-Type” leggings with cute cutouts at the thigh and the calf. I also love their organic cotton high waisted leggings which I have as well and absolutely love for lounging or working out. They run a bit snug in that style so I’d suggest sizing up if you’re in between sizes.
Fabric Content: 87% GMO-free Organic Cotton, 13% Thiuram and Caba-free spandex
Ethics: They only use organic cotton and everything is produced ethically in the Groceries Apparel factory in LA (which I got a chance to visit myself! Watch the video of my visit here)
Coupon Code: Enter “morganic20” for 20% off your order!
This yoga wear company, Hyde Yoga, is dedicated to using organic cotton and has some of the cutest styles that I’ve seen so far. Colorblocking is huge right now, especially in athleisure, and Hyde has nailed it, all while keeping it ethical and sustainable!
Styles: They have a very wide range of styles from leggings, to shorts, to joggers, and even really cute workout tops including tanks and sports bras.
Fabric Content: 87% Organic Cotton, 13% Spandex
Ethics: They only use organic cotton & everything is made in the USA sweatshop-free.
Can we take a second to appreciate these “Galaxy Wash” leggings by LVR Fashion?! They immediately caught my eye and I think I’m in love. To top it off, they’re made from organic cotton and are high waisted, too! It’s officially safe to say that I’ve met my soulmate in legging form.
Styles: Styles include leggings, comfy hoodies & zipups, tanks, long sleeve tees, and more – all in really cute tie-dye and acid wash prints.
Fabric Content: 92% Organic Cotton, 8% Lyrca
Ethics: They only use organic cotton (and are huge advocates for supporting organic farming!), everything is designed and handmade ethically in Los Angeles, and they have a great giving back program: “LVR gives back by partnering with a wildlife rescue center in Guatemala called ARCAS (arcasguatemala.org), by donating a portion of revenues quarterly to help aid in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wild animals. In addition, LVR makes donations of clothing to the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles, whose mission is to create a safe space for women in need.”
I’m personally not crazy about working out in flare-style athletic pants, however I LOVE them for wearing around the house. They silhouette of this style by Green Apple Clothing is super flattering so I was excited to be able to include them in the list.
Fabric Content: 70% Bamboo, 15% Certified Organic Cotton, 15% Spandex
Ethics: Green Apple is a huge advocate for using natural fibers (as opposed to synthetic, petroleum-based fibers) in their clothing. Their clothing is produced in factories that are WRAP certified and approved for fair labor conditions.
This tropical print really caught my eye and is what lead me to discovering Naja’s beautiful activewear collection. You’ll find really beautiful, colorful prints similar to this one throughout. I snapped the picture shown above of the sports bra that I personally purchased before wearing it for the first time – it’s easily become my favorite sports bra in my athletic wear collection. It’s one of those pieces that I never want to ruin so I find myself saving it for special workout occasions 😛
Styles: Styles include sports bras, leggings, shorts, tanks. Naja also sells sustainable/ethical lingerie and swim!
Fabric Content: 80% Polyester, 20% Elastane
Ethics: From Naja’s website regarding sustainability: “We believe in caring for our environment and in the preservation of a clean ecosystem for all of its living beings. As a result, we make every effort to reduce our environmental footprint. We use digital and sublimation printing technologies to print our garments because they are the most environmentally friendly processes for creating printed fabric. Billions of gallons of water are used each year to dye fabric for the garment industry. With digital printing, our water waste is next to none. We strive to include fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles in each of our collections and we are constantly in search of new fabrics and technologies that are good for the earth and good for you.”
From Naja’s website regarding ethical production: “Naja’s garment factory primarily employs single mothers or female heads of households where they are paid above market wages with healthcare benefits. We chose to aid single mothers, because many have to choose between working and caring for their children. At Naja, we’ve implemented flexible work policies that make it easier for women to balance work and childcare. Every child of a Naja garment worker receives books, school supplies, uniforms and all school meals paid by Naja.”
Coupon Code: Use this link to shop for $10 off your first purchase.
Girlfriend has a super wide range of super minimalistic, yet completely on-trend athletic wear that comes in the best range of colors and fits/styles. They’re one of those brands that has taken off with such success that I think most people don’t even realize that they’re a sustainable and super badass eco-conscious company! I actually love that so much. Capturing the masses while just so happening to be doing everything right behind the scenes is the way to make change. Thank you, Girlfriend!
Styles: Leggings (high waisted!), sports bras, super soft modal tees, etc.
Fabric Content: Core Fabrics: Made from 79% recycled polyester (or RPET) and 21% spandex, the Core fabric is made from post-consumer water bottles.
Ethics: Girlfriend is a dedicated eco-friendly company. All of their polys are RPET (recycled plastic bottles), and they use a really cool fabric derived from cotton waste that is called “cupro”. I’ve actually never even heard of it before checking out their website. All of their packaging is both recycled and recyclable. Their factory is located in Taiwan and is certified SA8000, uses zero forced or child labor, and always provides living wages and safe conditions. Read more on their FAQ page here.
Wolven Threads makes beautiful activewear with the most bright and colorful mandala printed designs.
Styles: Everything you could ask for: leggings, sports bras, tanks, shorts, even some dresses too!
Fabric Content: 84% Recycled P.E.T, 16% Spandex
Ethics: Wolven Threads is passionate about eco-consciousness and strictly uses RPET (recycled plastic bottles) for their polyesters This helps keep give new life to plastics that were previously floating around in the ocean. They also use a super sustainable fabric called modal in their collection as well. On their site I couldn’t find anything about how their garments are produced or anything bout the working conditions or where the clothes are made.
Styles: Colorblock print leggings, really pretty “ballet” style tie-up leggings, etc.
Fabric Content: The style shown above is 90% recycled polyester, 10% elastane
Ethics: From Mandala’s website: “Our Yoga pants are not only fairly produced, but also sustainable. We only use organic cotton with GOTS certification. Alternatively, we also produce Yoga pants made with Tencel, a cellulose fiber made out of wood, which feels wonderfully soft. For those who prefer it a bit more sporty, we have Yoga Leggings made out of Recycled Polyester. These Yoga pants are made out of recycled plastic bottles, dry very quickly and are extra stretchy with their 4-Way-Stretch – the perfect Active-Wear for Yoga, Barre, Running or other sports.”
I hope you enjoyed the post! And most importantly, I hope you found a brand that you can support when it comes time to revamp your wardrobe a little 😉
Until next time, much love!!