At the beginning of 2021 I had decided to (try) and shop from sustainable and slow fashion vendors for my clothing and homewares. Suffice to say, I failed a number of times despite my best intentions. What I did discover in my search for sustainable alternatives however, was the amazing array of sustainable activewear that had entered the market in recent years. And better yet, I realised it was often good.
The eco-friendly market can be an expensive minefield to navigate. What actually works? And more importantly, how can you ensure it isn’t masterful greenwashing at its best? From using renewable materials to cleaning up our beaches by recycling bottles and fishing nets, we’ve rounded up the best sustainable activewear we love.
The Cult Style
Hailing from Byron Bay and stationed out of New York and Los Angeles, sister design-duo Laura May and Hannah Gibbs released their first Nagnata collection activewear in 2017. Founded on the basis of movement and mind practices, the brand’s array of colourful knitwear is not the usual hard-core compression kind of gym styles you’re used to and instead, blurs the lines between fashion and tech-driven activewear. Pieces are made to last, created from organic and renewable materials. Oh, and did we mention, so instagrammable.
Nagnata Retro Rib Sweater, $450. SHOP NOW
Nagnata Suki Side Stripe Biker Short, $190. SHOP NOW
Driven By Technology
Loved by the likes of Camila Cabello and Chris Hemsworth, New Zealand-born US-based start-up, Allbirds is a leader in sustainable footwear. In 2020 the brand dabbled in its first foray of apparel, but nothing could be more exciting than the highly anticipated launch of its activewear line this month. It has been two years in the making and tried and tested over 70 times! Made with a mix of sustainable materials like eucalyptus tree fibre and merino wool (don’t let that scare you, wool is great at keeping you cool in the heat) it’s amazing at wicking moisture and dries quickly.
Allbirds Natural Run Form Tank, $100. SHOP NOW
Allbirds Natural Legging, $145. SHOP NOW
Kind On The Planet (And The Credit Card)
Ask any Australian woman and they will probably recall owning a few (or a lot) of Nudy Lucy t-shirts in their teens and twenties. The brand has become a go-to for affordable staples across the years and now, the Sydney high-street label has moved into sustainable activewear. The 16-piece strong collection is composed of 75 percent Recycled Nylon spun from post-consumer waste and 25 percent Lycra Elastane. In addition, its swing tags are made from FSC certified recycled paper and garments are packaged in 100 percent bio-degradable home compostable bags.
Nude Lucy Active Crop Top, $50. SHOP NOW
Nude Lucy Active Bike Short, $60. SHOP NOW
If you like sturdy, smooth and supportive activewear, Nimble might be the perfect match. To date, the brand has saved over one million bottles from landfill and instead use the plastic to create the tights and tops from its ‘Move Lite’ collection. Plastic is broken into flakes melted into pellets spun into yarn and knitted. Nimble is famous for its mid to high-intensity activewear (aka squat proof) that won’t wear out for years to come.
Nimble Cloud Like Puffer Jacket, $139. SHOP NOW
Nimble Spin Around Short, $49. SHOP NOW
Girlfriend Collective bases its entire brand philosophy on “transparency”. On its website it has shared a huge amount of information on everything from the brand’s certification, manufacturing locations and production processes. It’s dreamy colour palette of tights, tops and crops are loved by the likes of Kerry Washington and Molly Sims and so chic, it is brunch-worthy.
Girlfriend Collective Horizon Bike Unitard, $78. SHOP NOW