Want to feel even better while working out? Complete your sweat sesh in style, comfort, and now peace of mind, with these eco-friendly activewear brands. We’ve got sports bras, leggings, and bike shorts made with recycled fabrics — in particular, repurposed nylon or polyester made from post-consumer plastic bottles, discarded fishing nets, or industrial waste — as well as comfortable knit sneakers that use algae instead of EVA in their midsoles. And that’s on top of the ethical, sustainable, and waste-minimising practices they’ve incorporated into their production processes. So here’s the low-down on 7 of these new or well-known brands, especially the ones that make caring for the environment look so damn good.
Over 1,179,000 bottles saved from the landfill — and counting. That’s the Aussie label’s bold claim for their conscious clothing made from used plastic bottles. Nimble Activewear‘s fun-loving ethos is all about activewear that “inspires movement” while putting the planet first, which explains the green movement the sustainable brand is pushing for — and they’ve got helpful statistics to back that up.
One pair of their leggings saves 6 bottles from landfills and ocean for instance, thanks to their signature MoveLite™ fabric that’s made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles that are broken down, melted, then spun into yarn to be knitted. Then again, they’re still fit for your yoga and pilates workouts since the fabric feels silky-smooth and optimally stretchy, stays in place while you exercise, and hugs you in all the right places to boot. Browsing through the website also takes you through a wide range of designs that’ll suit your mood and style, whether you’re more of a clean colourblock person, or someone who readily embraces tie-dye and busy prints.
Shop online at nimbleactivewear.com.
Just launched earlier this month, Aphy Active is a Singapore-based, female-founded brand that’s serious about sustainable and ethically-made activewear. Bonus, you get to look cute while going green. Their functional sports bras and leggings are made from 77% Recycled REPREVE® Nylon and 23% Elastane, complete with the compression, shape retention, and moisture wicking properties we expect from our workout gear. The particular recycled material comes from post-consumer waste, discarded fishing nets, and post-industrial waste fibre — yarn collected from a spinning factory, for instance, or waste from weaving mills, which are then processed into nylon fibres.
While the collection is currently limited to a few styles at the moment, these are classics we all could use in our workout wardrobes. The Clairo X Sports bra features an understated square neckline and thick straps for full, flattering support, and looks great when paired with the Stormi Bike Shorts, in either black or a pleasant seafoam green. There are also 100% cotton, soft-as-clouds matchy sweat sets and a Tokyo Tote bag that nail the athleisure vibe. As an extra fun touch, even their brand tag is printed on plantable seed paper.
Shop online at aphyactive.com.
Sleek and well-fitted, Outfyt‘s high-quality activewear is made to last, and as you can tell from their campaign images, designed to accentuate the form as well. Here, you’ll find clothes in classic cuts which can be mixed, matched, and worn in multiple ways — which fits right into their waste-less mentality since they can be worn repeatedly. This commitment to sustainability even extends to small-batch production, printing garment details directly onto the fabric to save on labels, and using soy-ink for hang tags, on top of biodegradable cassava bags used for packaging.
All of the designs also feature ECONYL® Regenerated Nylon, made from recovered items such as fishing nets, fabric scraps from mills, and carpets that would’ve otherwise ended up in landfills, then turned into nylon yarn. This is then blended with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fibre which holds the shape of your activewear garment, which helps greatly to resist wear and tear from chlorinated water, heat, and sunscreen lotions.
Of course, we have to talk about the minimalist cuts as well — the Lilly V 2.0 sports bra has a flattering deep v-cut and cross back for flexibility, while the more conservative Tula Crop Top comes with a seamlessly built-in sports bra for support. There are a myriad of colour options for the activewear as well, including various shades of blue, from a bright Lapis to a teal-like Aegean.
Shop online at shopoutfyt.com.
For another local activewear brand that you ought to know about, we’ve got MYË, who’s challenging the fashion industry one pair of leggings at a time, with high-performance workout gear made from recycled plastic bottles. In fact, the brand’s first collection has already recycled around 4,500 plastic bottles, which have been turned into sports bras, leggings, and shorts made from post-consumer recycled PET plastic; their signature smooth ReGen fabric comprises of about 75% RPET fabric.
Their gear also uses 60% less energy and 94% less water to make, and releases about 32% less carbon dioxide than virgin polyester counterparts, if you’re still counting, and that can only be a good thing. On top of all these, the brand goes even further —they’ve partnered with One Tree Planted so that a tree is planted for every order placed, making it even more enticing to shop their range of styles.
Naturally, just as much thought goes into the design of the activewear garments as well, which have been thoroughly tested to provide both compression and comfort. The Aspen leggings, for instance, boasts a seamless design that minimises cameltoe, while they’ve got both cropped and longline bra options, where the Ulla Bra sees an asymmetric back design and a mesh panel for speedy sweat-wicking.
Shop online at myeactive.com.
There’s a lot to admire while looking at Girlfriend‘s IG feed. First and foremost, you definitely get the message of inclusivity, as they feature models with diversity in size, shape, and skin colour. Then, there’s their reliable, eco-friendly activewear, of compressive leggings and sports bras made from 79% recycled polyester (RPET); each pair of leggings uses 25 recycled post-consumer bottles. In true slow fashion style, and even though their workout wear’s intended to last, there’s also a ReGirlfriend recycling programme available in the US, where you can drop off old, stained, or ripped items that are then regenerated into new wear.
What we especially love here are the range of limited edition colours they drop every season, which include a sunset-orange Horizon, sky-blue Haze, and muted neutrals of Quartz and Agave. Even though these often scream fun and bright hues, it’s good to know that their fabric is dyed with eco-friendly dyes where wastewater is carefully cleaned and cooled before release.
Other than that, you’re looking at extra high-rise leggings with a four-way stretch, or the No. 1 bestselling Paloma Bra with its longline silhouette and racerback style, that’s bound to fit and flatter your body no matter your size, while getting you through everything from high-impact sports to running errands. No shame there.
Shop online at girlfriend.com.
While we’ve seen many major sports brands launching sustainable sneakers in recent times, LANE EIGHT steps it up with an entire environmentally-ethical ethos, as well as sneakers made from recycled plastic bottles and other sustainable materials. Meant for everyday athletes — that is, those who aren’t destined for the Olympics but still committed to active lifestyles — their Trainer AD 1 sneaker promises a stable base, durable materials, and a versatile fit that supports all kinds of workouts, whether that’s HIIT training, a run or hike, or just an active day out in your sweats.
Let’s break down the impressive make-up of each pair of shoes. One pair is equivalent to 11 recycled single-use plastic bottles, which mostly goes into the sock-like recycled knit upper that feels comfortable and is extra breathable while you exercise. For the other parts of the shoe, they’re currently also trying to reduce their reliance on EVA by incorporating eco-friendly algae-based BLOOM foam into their midsoles, which ensures that each pair of sneakers returns 31.5 litres of fresh water back to the environment, and removes 64 cubic metres of carbon from the atmosphere. A vegan microfibre is then used instead of leather, and is just as durable but even more lightweight.
Not to mention, the sneakers look good while at it — key colours of Carbon Black, Cloud White, Lunar Grey, and Dusty Taupe form the core collection, though we can also choose from bright seasonal shades of Sunrise Yellow, Sunset Orange, and Marina Blue.
Shop online at laneeight.hk.
LANE EIGHT officially launches in Singapore on 19 August 2021, with free shipping to Singapore + 10% off for first-time orders if you sign up to their newsletter.
For the ultimate minimalists, those who embrace it as a lifestyle rather than just an aesthetic choice, there’s Vivobarefoot. You know that feeling of walking barefoot on grass, sand, and natural terrain? The founders of the barefoot footwear brand are set on making this a daily reality, bringing us closer to nature through sustainable, ultra-thin and flexible sneakers that give you the feeling of the ground beneath your feet while caring just as much about the environment we’re literally treading on.
The brand aims for a net-positive impact on the environment, done via various means including minimising waste, ensuring the durability of their products, eliminating virgin synthetic materials, and therefore using recycled, upcycled, or salvaged materials as much as possible. The Primus Trail II outdoor shoes are a leather-free pair made using recycled materials, with superior grip and a quick drain-and-dry mesh upper so you’ll feel comfortable in the wild. As for the Geo Racer II pair, this one’s more suitable for urban environments while still giving the same sensory underfoot experience, this time with a 4mm thin sole that’s shaped to your feet, not “shoe-shaped”.
Shop online at vivobarefoot.com.