It’s no secret that we love stylish activewear and with so many new brands and shops popping up across London, we are spoilt for choice! But fashion – fitness fashion included – has a big environmental and social footprint. We may be into our lycra, but we also love our world and want our kit to be both ethical and sustainable! So, we went in search of the activewear brands that do good.
Environmental sustainability is not something we usually associate with big multinational corporations, but industry leader Adidas score major environmental kudos. Among other initiatives, they are switching their production materials to sustainable cotton and recycled polyester. For example, Adidas’ latest pioneering invention is a pair of running shoes made almost entirely of recycled plastic bottles and gillnets. The shoes are made in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, an organisation that brings together environmentalists, scientists, creatives, and businesses to tackle pollution in our oceans. The limited edition Adidas X Parley shoes will pave the way to a future where ocean trash is reincarnated as stylish and functional activewear.
London-based start-up and social enterprise, Bella Kinesis, is a Healthy Living London favourite. And not just because Bella Kinesis make gorgeous activewear that’s functional, stylish and flattering, no matter your body shape. The brains behind Bella Kinesis, Shaleena and Roshni, infused their brand with their ‘strength for strength’ ethos. When we spoke with Shaleena and Roshni (read the full interview here), they explained: “We wanted to create something that inspires and empowers both ourselves and women worldwide.” For every purchase made, Bella Kinesis donate $5 to the Mann Deshi Foundation, a charity in India that provides rural women with a business education. So, through purchasing the kit you need to become stronger and more confident, you are helping to give other women the strength and skills to improve their lives.
Catalyst Activewear is a London-based start-up that makes premium quality clothing to seamlessly take you from the yoga mat to your day-to-day. Being a start-up with a conscience, Catalyst products are all manufactured in the UK. Catalyst have also partnered with the World Land Trust, an international charity that creates protected areas in the most biologically important and threatened habitats on our planet. You’re not just buying luxurious new yoga leggings! For every metre of fabric Catalyst Activewear purchases, they fund one metre of protected forest in Ecuador and Mexico.
4. Flip The Dog
It’s no secret that we love colourful yoga leggings here at Healthy Living London, so you can imagine our excitement when we discovered Flip The Dog! Vibrant prints on supple technical fabrics that truly perform, and what’s more? These gorgeous leggings are made from recycled plastic bottles. Flip The Dog are committed to being sustainable and ethically responsible in their business and manufacturing processes, so you can be confident that the only sweat involved in these leggings is in the studio and not in the factory.
My Mantra is all about life and wanderlust, and like true adventurers who love and respect our world, My Mantra are working their way towards 100% eco. Their eco yoga leggings and bikinis are made of recycled plastic bottles, while their yoga mats are made of recyclable natural tree rubber and water-based inks. My Mantra also partner with a different charity every month, doing good in all sorts of ways, from planting trees, to fighting poverty and supporting visually impaired people around the world. Find out more on the Mantra Good Deed Facebook page.
Cali-based RE3 make yoga leggings with a difference. Their leggings are made locally, using materials from recycled plastic bottles and an eco-friendly dye printing process. RE3 also support local artists. Their leggings feature original designs “inspired by yogis surfers, sacred geometry and nature, love and peace.” The result is beautiful wearable art that honours the earth.
The Sundried ethos is all about “encouraging healthy lifestyles, responsibly.” They have partnered with the Low Carbon Innovation Fund and follow strict guidelines to ensure the carbon footprint is as low as possible, throughout the lifecycle of Sundried products. Not only that, but for every purchase, Sundried make a donation to Water for Kids, a charity that helps provide safe drinking water to children in need.
Teeki is an environmentally conscious activewear brand from the USA. Teeki repurpose recycled plastic water bottles into whimsical tops and leggings, or ‘hot pants’, perfect for any fitness adventure. In their own words, Teeki “dance to a different beat, stretch with the yogi, run to the highest peaks, hike in unexplored territories, and swim where the ocean becomes one.”
The Swedish brand Under The Same Sun are committed to producing eco-friendly yoga, surf and beach wear. They aim to prove that “you don’t have to compromise on style to go green.” Under The Same Sun use only low impact, environmentally sustainable materials and printing techniques. In fact, they’ve produced their own custom made fabric from recycled polyester. Each Under The Same Sun pair of leggings recycles around 25 plastic bottles, while their tank tops are both biodegradable and recyclable.
VPL are more than just a stylish California-based activewear brand. They are on a mission for sustainable production and “slow design”. VPL upcycle all their materials, designing their products to minimise fabric waste and use excess fabric from production. Not only do VPL have impressive environmental credentials, the company’s CEO, Kikka Hanazawa is the founder of Fashion Girls for Humanity. This charitable non-profit organisation mobilises a global network of fashion and design industry professionals to provide humanitarian relief for communities in need.