Nowadays, activewear is no longer reserved just for workout sessions at the gym. In fact, sweatshirts, leggings, tops, T-shirts and even running shoes have made their way into daily wear and today people wear them to work, at home or when going out with friends. Since activewear is slowly taking over your closet, you probably want to opt for sustainable options.
Thankfully, more and more companies are focusing on the production of ethical and eco-friendly athleisure apparel, so you have a lot of choices when it comes to sportswear. However, how can you be sure that the item you want to buy is really sustainable? Here are several things you should consider if you want to be sure that you have chosen the most eco-friendly option.
Sustainable clothing is made from high quality and durable fabrics, so focus on buying comfortable attire that won’t tear in the middle of a workout. On the other hand, fast fashion clothing is made to fall apart quickly so you would buy more clothes in a short amount of time. If a brand is using the word ‘sustainable’ in their advertisement campaigns but their products are extremely low-quality, you can rest assured that reducing the textile waste of the fashion industry is not their mission after all.
Look for brands that color their products with low-impact dyes that do not contain toxic chemicals, require less rinsing and have a high absorption rate in the fabric.
Sustainability is not only about not polluting the planet, but it is also about not contributing to human suffering. If you are looking to buy a sustainable clothing item, first make sure that the factory that made it provides safe living conditions and fair wages for employees. Keep in mind that brands that are genuinely sustainable prioritize transparency.
Cotton is a soft and comfortable material and is used in many yoga garments along with spandex that increases functional properties and durability of the item. However, enormous amounts of pesticides are used in the production of cotton, and those chemicals have a huge environmental impact and endanger the health of those who work around it. On the other hand, organic cotton is grown from non-genetically modified plants, and without the use of any pesticides. Therefore, if you are looking for cotton running socks or shirts, opt for organic cotton and prevent extra environmental burden.
The best thing about bamboo is that it doesn’t require insecticides, pesticides or even replanting. This plant is tough and durable and thrives even in harsh conditions so it can be found in nearly every part of the world.
However, in order to turn bamboo into soft and silky fabric, factories use a lot of harmful chemicals. After the bamboo has been cooked in a chemical bath it hardens into fine strands that form rayon yarn. As you can see, this process is hardly eco-friendly so if you want to opt for sustainable clothing items, avoid those made from material called Bamboo Rayon.
On the other hand, some companies have started using less harmful processes to manufacture bamboo fibers. Thanks to the lyocell technology, bamboo textile is produced using less toxic chemicals, so the next time you are buying yoga wear, trekking clothing or post-workout garments, opt for items made from naturally produced bamboo or Lyocell.
People have been making clothes from hemp for thousands of years and it is still one of the most sustainable options out there. Hemp grows more densely, doesn’t require pesticides and hemp fabric can be manufactured organically through a mechanical process that doesn’t involve any chemicals. Unfortunately, despite all this, some factories still produce hemp fabric chemically because it is faster and cheaper to create. Therefore, buy hemp garments only from sustainable brands.
Sustainable brands are all about making products from recycled materials these days, and one of the most popular once is recycled polyester made out of recycled water bottles. In addition, there are also fabrics made from recycled fishing nets. Therefore, look for brands whose mission is not only to create high-quality products but also stop this senseless waste and pollution.
Unfortunately, just because a brand is advertising their products as sustainable, doesn’t mean they really are. Therefore, don’t be afraid to question the sustainability of the brand and think with your own head before you make a purchase.