I have more leggings than I do regular pants I think… Is it because I live in Vancouver or is it because of the fact that I’ve turned into one of those weirdos who loves to break a sweat? Known as one of the worst dressed cities in the world it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we love our athelesiure. Now with more people working from home, athelesiure is now work appropriate and who doesn’t love to be comfy? And in all honesty, in the past few years athletic wear has become more stylish and more sustainable than ever.
While it may be tempting to buy cheap and chic (cough, I see you Fabletics) to have a wider assortment of styles, trust me, it’s worth investing in athletic wear. Unlike other pieces in your wardrobe, functionality and performance reign supreme when it comes to the garments you wear in a high intensity spin class. Here are some of my top picks for sustainable activewear brands that you can feel good about breaking a sweat in.
A Vancouver fave, Strike Mvmnt is a local brand that believes in inclusion in movement. With a selection of shoes and clothing for both men and women each piece is designed with functionality in mind, I have their Switch Bra (pictured) and it’s one of my favourite workout pieces. It’s called the Switch because it can be wore two different ways, one way for a high neckline (perfect for running) and one way with a lower neckline for a bit more… freedom.
Rooted in the belief of seed to skin, Groceries Apparel is focused on the full life cycle of fabrics through the use of 100% GMO-free, pesticide and herbicide-free, recycled and fair-traded ingredients. I love that their collections include pieces that are no-bleach white and vegetable dye. I currently have my eye on their V-Bra (pictured) because it looks perfect for at-home casual lining.
These are my favourite leggings, hands down. I have often said that I would trade every 4 leggings I own for 1 pair of Girlfriend Collective. Moving forward I would probably stick to just buying Girlfriend Collective (available locally at Woo 2 See You) because of their longevity. I have two pairs of their black leggings that I have had for over 2 years and they stay true black, never pill and never lose their shape. Plus they’re made with recycled water bottles!
Seriously – if you don’t have a pair yet go buy some ASAP.
When you have time you should definitely check out the project pages on Veja’s website. They will win you over with their story. From the breakdown of the materials used, production and upcycling, and even their limitations and their choice to eliminate ads. Known for their transparency and organic materials, their sneakers come in a variety of colours and they’re ultra comfy.
Daub + Design
It might seem like tie-dye is a quarantine trend thing, but when it comes to hand dyed activewear, you gotta go with Daub + Design. No two pairs are alike due to being hand dyed in a variety of colours and styles. Seriously, how cute is this set in the picture? Perfect for continued self-isolation. Everything is also designed and manufactured in Canada!
Nourish Sweat Soul
Based in LA, Nourish Sweat Soul is a brand with a real person behind it. The founder, Laura Berg, started Nourish Sweat Soul after losing her home due to a natural disaster which was what motivated her to try and live more consciously and more sustainably. She shares that the year following losing her home was the most challenging of her life so their Giver collection is extra special (and extra personal.) $10 of every tee sold is donated to supporting victims of wildfires.
I’ve talked about Allbirds shoes before and I am still a fan, especially since they continue to be champions for sustainability without sacrificing style. I am still eyeing the Tree Dashers since I am overdue for new workout shoes. My main hesitation is due to not having them personally recommended to me by someone I know IRL, but the Tree Dashers have been tested for performance and is designed to be durable and responsive. AND it’s carbon neutral.
Instagram-hyped Outdoor Voices is an #ootd #fitspo dream come true. For 2020 they’ve made a commitment to focus on closing their materials’ loop as well as launching a product take back and repair program. Their pieces are so well made and I love the option to buy a Rec Kit which gets you a pair of leggings and a workout top for $95. Note: I did find that this fits a bit more snug than my other athleticwear and I did size up.
(PS: I do have a referral link to get you 20% off your first purchase!)
Okay, okay, okay – so Alternative Apparel isn’y your technical activewear but with a great price point and a variety of basics it’s perfect for light yoga or after a workout. The brand is actively a part of the Fashion Revolution and they use low impact dyes and recycled materials whenever they can. I also love that they have a section on their site called Brands We Love, highlight other brands worth checking out.
Flow 2 Freedom
These leggings might be the most unique pair of workout leggings you may ever own. Made from recycled plastic bottles, Flow 2 Freedom is a brand that is period friendly. Yup, you read correctly, finally a legging designed for those who menstruate. Designed in a way similar to period panties, these leggings are designed to be comfortable without any visible and unflattering lines and each pair holds up to 2 tampons worth of liquid.