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Sustainable activewear brands for women

Written by SWAY
Photo UNRUN4254

You shouldn’t have to choose between performance, style and the planet. But did you know our gym outfits are one of the clothing items that pollute the most? Sportswear serves a function and needs to be technical, one of the fabrics that has been used the most to that end is polyester. Polyester just like nylon is made out of oil, in effect this means it’s a plastic fiber that will release microplastics in the water stream with every wash, which when it comes to activewear is going to be a lot of washing .

So what to buy you ask?

There are really two things to keep in mind:

1. If you can, always choose natural fibers such as organic cotton, bamboo or castor bean over synthetic ones. Read more about them in our fabric directory.

2. If you’re going to buy polyester, make sure it is of the recycled kind and wash your gym clothes in specifically designed bag that will catch microplastics, such as the Guppyfriend.

With that in mind let’s delve into the style part and some of the brands we think get it right .

Seela Studio

Switzerland gave us the mountains and fondue (as a Belgian there’s no way I can add chocolate to this list without betraying my own country) and it’s now giving us Seela ,an activewear brand made out of revolutionary plant based castor bean fiber. What’s more Seela uses natural botanical dyes and works with Italian factories using solar panel energy and recycled water to power the production the result: 25% less water and energy used than in traditional manufacturing. 

Seela studio Montreux legging image

Seela studio Montreux legging

118.60 £

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Girlfriend Collective Float Leggings image

Girlfriend Collective Float Leggings


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Girlfriend Collective

Girlfriend collective products are made mainly from recycled plastic bottles. The brand is incredibly transparent about the traceability of its materials and the factories where the garments are made are certified SA8000, an important social certification.

Studio EHR

Made in London, in a social enterprise factory that pays a living wage, Studio EHR covers swim, active and tennis wear for women. Products are made out of top Italian performance yarn ECONYL® and come with an afterlife repair guarantee. 

Studio EHR Tennis Skort  image

Studio EHR Tennis Skort


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Ernest Leoty Julia legging image

Ernest Leoty Julia legging


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Ernest Leoty

Bridging the gap between French corsetry and sportswear, Ernest Leoty sustainable collection is made in Europe using Q-NOVA® recycled nylon. Crafted with seamless knit technology which ensures zero wastage, these pieces are then dyed with OEKO TEX® which is free from any harmful chemicals.


BAM’s range is so wide you’ll be able to find equipment for almost any sports and outdoor activity you can think of. The plus: Bam’s clothing are made entirely out of bamboo!

BAM enduro bamboo leggings image

BAM enduro bamboo leggings


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Varley animal print legging  image

Varley animal print legging


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The brand known for their animal prints and muted palette, uses 75% recycled polyester. Fun, fashionable and eco-conscious, no suprise it’s a market leader.

UNRUN 4254

Trust Olympians Olivia Borlée and Elodie Ouedraogo to come up with a line that looks as good in and out of the gym ( or track field in their case), outperforms any other on a technical level and is fully biodegradable!

Using the only biodegradable polyamid yarn in the world, it takes approximately 5 years for the clothes to be decomposed after being properly disposed of in landfills. Our gold medalist!

UNRUN 4254 Evelyn Biodegradable Leggings image

UNRUN 4254 Evelyn Biodegradable Leggings


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Adidas by Stella McCartney TruePurpose Training Tights image

Adidas by Stella McCartney TruePurpose Training Tights


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Adidas by Stella McCartney

A true pioneer in her field, Stella McCartney has been fighting for the planet long before it was a thing. Her partnership with Adidas has brought her ideals into the houses of many. All items are made with recycled yarns and are the perfect mix between Adidas’ technical expertise and Stella’s creative eye.

Written by SWAY



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