Exploring Eco-Friendly Fabrics in Athletic Wear
When shopping for activewear, look for brands that use sustainable fabrics and low-impact manufacturing. This limits the impact on humans, animals, and ecosystems.
Some brands use ethically sourced merino wool and recycled polyester from water bottles for its workout gear. The brand also prioritizes fair working conditions with domestic and international manufacturer partners.
Whether you’re looking for breathable workout clothes or cute yoga dresses to slip on after your session, consider brands that only use organic cotton fabrics. This sustainable natural fiber is cultivated using ethical and sustainable agricultural methods that protect the environment and workers’ health.
In contrast, conventional cotton is energy-intensive and uses lots of chemicals during production, which can negatively impact society. Organic cotton uses fewer chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which reduces the risk of soil degradation, biodiversity loss, and water pollution.
A more eco-friendly alternative to organic cotton is recycled cotton manufactured from discarded garments and fibers. It can save brands money on resources and reduce their environmental footprint, as it only requires one ton of cotton waste to produce a single t-shirt.
Another option for athletic wear is lyocell, made from wood pulp and cellulose found in plant materials like eucalyptus and bamboo. It’s free from synthetic fabric toxins and more sustainable than polyester as it doesn’t biodegrade or shed microfibres. This fabric designs and supplies comfortable and stylish activewear for women in size S-XXL that’s also breathable.
Linen is a beautiful, versatile fabric with an enduring history that dates back tens of thousands of years. Its hollow fibers keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, absorbing moisture and drying quickly for comfort all year round.
Linen requires less water to grow than cotton, and it is more sustainable in the long term. Look for linen that is certified organic or fair trade, so you know the production was done with minimal pollution and worker exploitation.
When you choose linen, be sure to opt for white pieces instead of dyed ones. The bleaching process is hard on the environment, especially if you don’t opt for organic cotton and rely on harsh chemicals like alkali and oxalic acid.
The best eco-friendly linen doesn’t use any toxic dyes and does not contribute to the ongoing microfiber pollution problem that threatens aquatic life and humans. It’s also one of the least damaging textiles regarding global warming. It’s worth watching for brands that produce their linen through organic farming methods without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
Bamboo fabric offers luxuriously soft, lightweight clothing and is naturally UV-protective. It also has great moisture-wicking properties, abrasion resistance and high elongation, making it ideal for premium sportswear fabrics.
In addition, bamboo grows extremely quickly and consumes only a third of the water needed to grow cotton. Its natural bacteriostatic property, bamboo kun, means it repels germs, meaning your clothes will stay fresh and clean for longer with less washing – a win for the environment!
Bamboo is also incredibly sustainable to manufacture into performance fabrics as it can be harvested without harming the tree and offers farmers a reliable, stable income. It can also be recycled, and almost 99 percent of the water used in bamboo fabrics is recycled through a closed-loop system.
A knitted bamboo charcoal fiber called NanoFuse is breathable, absorbent and dries faster than polyester performance fabrics. It is also anti-bacterial, odor-resistant and hypoallergenic, which is gentle on the skin and a great option for sensitive skin.
One of the most popular sustainable fabrics for sportswear, Tencel (also known as lyocell), is made from wood pulp (usually eucalyptus but can also be derived from bamboo and other trees) and uses less chemicals and energy than rayon. It also requires fewer pesticides and less water to grow than cotton.
A fabric that’s soft, cool, and comfortable to wear while regulating body temperature, it also offers moisture-wicking properties, which helps to keep the athlete dry throughout their workout. In addition, it inhibits the growth of bacteria and has anti-odor qualities that make it ideal for athletic apparel.
Eco-friendly clothing brand Whimsy + Row uses modal, a type of Tencel, in their Femme Fete and Tencel Interlock collections. They also use organic cotton, merino wool and hemp to help minimize their environmental footprint.
They work with factories with a Forest Stewardship Council certification, and they visit their factories weekly to ensure workers are treated fairly. The brand is also committed to planting a tree for every tee sold. For more information about their commitment to sustainability, you can check out their free Green Fabric Guide.
The fashion industry is a huge contributor to global environmental impacts, but many eco-fashion designers are creating clothing lines made from hemp. Hemp is an annual plant that produces various natural fibers and can be grown in temperate climates. It grows quickly and has a lot of threads while requiring very little land, water or pesticides. Hemp also contributes to soil health and is a great natural fiber that is durable, comfortable and breathable.
Hemp fabrics have three times the tensile strength of cotton, making them more durable and longer-lasting. This also means they’re less prone to stretching and getting misshapen over time, meaning they keep their shape much longer.
Hemp is a super sustainable crop that helps to fight global warming by absorbing four times as much CO2 as trees. It also takes 80% less energy to grow than cotton and requires no harsh chemical herbicides. The plant is also a natural nitrogen fixer, helping to increase soil quality and nutrition. Hemp is a fantastic choice for athletic wear, as it’s light, soft and breathable while also providing the right amount of stretch to help you get through your next workout.