Best Sustainable Workout Clothes

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I never gave a thought to the notion of wearing sustainable workout clothes until the brand Baleaf reached out to me. I’ve been wearing their activewear for almost as long as I’ve had my Peloton. I started with their padded leggings and moved on from there.

Anyway, these days I’m in their affiliate program. That means if you click through my links and buy something from Baleaf, I get a small commission. There is no charge to you for clicking on links. 

But that’s not what this blog post is about. Instead, I’m focusing on sustainable workout clothes, and Baleaf just released a line of sustainable activewear.

These items are made from recycled plastic–think water bottles–as well as fishing nets. Then, they’re spun into a polyester yarn to make the clothing. It is Baleaf’s goal to increase the percentage of environmentally friendly products it makes to 100% by 2035!

In addition to creating a green line of clothing, Baleaf wants to make their ethical activewear affordable, too. And I think they’ve accomplished this.

Also, later in this article, I’ll share with you other brands that offer sustainble workout clothing. These brands are:

  • Adidas X Peloton
  • Allbirds
  • Amazon Aware
  • Athleta
  • Cariloha
  • Girlfriend Collective
  • Pearl Izumi
  • prAna
  • Reebok
  • Threads 4 Thoughts

Affordable sustainable activewear

Recently, I received two pieces of Baleaf sustainable workout clothing made of recycled nylon. They were a pair of sustainable leggings and a sustainable tank top. 

The sustainable, seamless leggings cost $39.99. And the sustainable crew neck tank top is $19.99. Considering workout brands like lululemon charge close to $100 for a pair of leggings, if not more, this is a great price by comparison.

Did I like the sustainable workout clothes

The day I decided to try out my sustainable leggings and tank top, it was super muggy out. We’re talking 87% humidity. It was the kind of day where the minute you step outside, you start sweating.

However, an interesting thing happened when I stepped outside with my new leggings and top on: immediately, I felt cool. It felt as if a cool breeze was moving through my clothing as I walked my dogs. That feeling remained for the entirety of our 40-minute walk. 

In fact, unlike other activewear I own, I did not feel “soaked” when I got home. Whereas my hair was wet on my neckline, the rest of me was not. The wicking was that good. Also, I cooled off so quickly and my clothes remained dry that I did not need to jump in the shower and/or change my outfit as soon as I got home.

Here is my review of Baleaf clothing.

Roundup of sustainable activewear brands

After trying these Baleaf leggings made from recycled nylon, I wanted to determine what other brands make sustainable workout clothes. I’m pleased to report that I’ve found multiple brands with at least some of their workout clothing fitting the organic, ethical, eco friendly, recycled or sustainable label. 

In addition, I’m including bamboo activewear in this list. Why? Because while bamboo in your backyard might be an invasive species, it is considered a sustainable crop because it’s so easy to grow. Plus, many manufacturers are now using bamboo in their textiles, which you can call plant based clothing.

With all that said, I’ve put together this alphabetical list of brands that make sustainable workout clothes.

Adidas X Peloton clothing

Some of the items in the Peloton X Adidas clothing collection feature recycled materials. I’ve highlighted a few examples here.

Peloton X Adidas Sustainable Clothing

Allbirds sustainable workout gear

Part of Allbirds activewear collection are partially plant based. For example, Allbirds leggings are made with a mix of sustainable materials like eucalyptus tree fiber and merino wool.

Perhaps Allbirds is best known for its sneakers. They’re made from Plant Leather, a 100% natural, plant-based leather. The shoes feature other recycled materials, too.

Allbirds Sustainable Workout Clothes

Amazon Aware sustainable clothing

Recently, Amazon launched the Amazon Aware store. It offers a wide range of lifestyle products that are carbon neutral, and made of recycled components and eco-friendly materials.

While not specifically devoted to activewear, there are a number of items in the Amazon Aware store that fit the theme of this article. This includes leggings made of a viscose blend of renewable wood, available in sizes ranging from XXS to 7X.

Amazon Aware Sustainable Clothing

Athleta workout clothes

This activewear, sportswear and loungewear brand from Gap offers many of its workout clothing in recycled fabrics. In fact, Athleta just announced a partnership with Olympian Allyson Felix–it’s called Athleta x Allyson Felix.

Allyson Felix is also an athlete that Peloton has partnered with for its homecoming celebrations.

Some Athleta clothing, including leggings, tanks tops and bike shorts, are made from recycled polyester fabric. Some of the items are considered to be Fair Trade, too. Finally, many feature organic cotton, too.

Athleta Sustainable Workout Attire

Baleaf

While Baleaf isn’t making 100% of its workout clothes sustainable, it’s off to a good start. Right now there are seven items in its green collection of activewear. This includes bike short, leggings, men’s shorts and tops for men and women.

Baleaf Sustainable Collection

Cariloha sustainable clothes 

Cariloha has made a name for itself for its products made from viscose from bamboo. This includes tons of bedding but, more importantly for this article, activewear and other women’s and men’s clothing.

As far as activewear goes, Cariloha makes clothing for men and women. This includes racerback tank tops, leggings, jackets and joggers–again all made from viscose from bamboo. 

What’s viscose? It’s a semi-synthetic material. In the case of Cariloha, it uses viscose that is made from bamboo.

FYI, you can buy Cariloha bedding on the Cariloha website or at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Cariloha Bamboo Activewear and Clothing

Girlfriend Collective sustainable workout clothes

The brand Girlfriend Collective calls itself recycled apparel with a cause. And that cause is inclusivity along with sustainability. 

In fact, the Girlfriend Collective offers sustainable, ethically made activewear in sizes XXS to 6XL. A single pair of its ethical leggings are made with 25 recycled water bottles.

You can purchase Girlfriend Collective workout clothes at Nordstrom. This includes leggings, sports bras and bike shorts.

Girlfriend Collective Sustainable Activewear

PEARL iZUMi

One of the top cycling brands is PEARL iZUMi . So, I wanted to share with you information about PEARL iZUMi’s Pedal to Zero campaign.

PEARL iZUMi is on track to have 98% of their apparel made from sustainable materials in 2024. This is compared to just 3% of apparel in 2018.

I’ve highlighted some popular products that already feature sustainable materials. This includes clothing for both men and women.

Pearl Izumi Sustainable Clothing

prAna sustainable yoga clothing

The prAna brand started by making yoga activewear. It still does along with lots of other workout clothing for men and women, along with lifestyle apparel.

At the same time prAna sportswear, including yoga pants, ticks nearly all the sustainable boxes. It uses organic cotton and hemp along with recycled polyester in its clothing. Also, it employs a Fair Trade factory. Finally, it is gym clothing that is just great looking.

prAna Sustainable Clothing

Reebok

Recently, Reebok introduced a line of plant-based running shoes, sneakers and other footwear. It’s made under the name Reegrow spelled [Ree]Grow. This niche brand is part of Reebok Sustainability.

In addition, Reebok offers workout gear from recycled materials. Called Reecycled (spelled [Ree]Cycled), these are sneakers etc. made partially of recycled plastic. According to Reebok, at least 30% of the uppers are made from recycled materials.

You’ll find these eco-friendly Reebok shoes for men and women, and for a range of activities. This includes running, walking and cross training.

Reebok Sustainability

Threads 4 Thought sustainable clothing

The brand Threads 4 Thought describes itself as sustainable clothing for men and women. And within that clothing niche is activewear. This includes sustainable sports bras and leggings.

I first learned about the Threads 4 Thought aka T4T brand when I got a Stitch Fix delivery of workout clothing. My Fix included a T4T short sleeve workout top, which I’ve worn many times since receiving it.

So what makes Threads 4 Thought a sustainable brand? Here is a brief statement from the T4T website:

“Founded in 2006, Threads 4 Thought designs and produces apparel that has a positive impact on people and an innately smaller impact on our planet. We work hard to source sustainable raw materials for our fabrics and partner with ethical factories to make our products.”

In plain English some of its activewear is made from recycled plastic water bottles, including its leggings. That’s definitely an eco-friendly approach.

Threads 4 Thought Recycled Activewear

Final thoughts on the best sustainable workout clothes

I’m so glad that Baleaf introduced me to the concept of sustainable activewear. And, honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I hadn’t pursued it sooner.

You see, we live a pretty green and eco-friendly lifestyle. I compost my food scraps (love my spinning composting bin that I got on Amazon), bring our bags to the store and have given up eating meat. In addition, I try to recycle everything, ranging from the plastic bags that bread comes in to old pairs of eyeglasses.

Now I’m going to make a more concerted effort to choose workout clothing that has an ethical or eco-friendly angle. Finally, if I’ve missed a brand of activewear that uses recycled materials or somehow fits this article’s definition, please let me know.

FYI, if you’re looking for brands that make sustainable workout equipment, especially for yoga, please check out the eco-friendly products on the Gaiam website.

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