We’ve examined ethical production as it relates to the shoe and denim industry—products that we use on a daily or increasingly regular basis. But what about ethical fashion for another major use like fitness? With the popularity of the athleisure movement, we’re seeing more activewear in our daily lives. While we used to think of athletic gear as being mostly synthetic, there’s a new crop of companies creating ethically made apparel that keeps you sweat and cruelty free. Not only are their materials eco friendly, they’re also working environmental consciousness into their business models, with commitments to reducing waste in packaging and minimizing their carbon footprints. We’re jumping into the New Year with a post profiling our favorite brands of ethical activewear. If you thought Lululemon was your only choice for quality yoga pants, think again! For more information on the items featured simply click the image.
With sleek silhouettes, edgy prints, and beautiful lines, Vyayama is the high fashion of sustainable activewear. Based in New York City, the company was founded with the intention of providing a natural alternative to synthetic yoga wear, with the belief that the products we use should be held to the same standards that we hold for ourselves. Vyayama’s pieces are made from Tencel, an innovative fabric crafted in Europe from sustainably farmed eucalyptus. The unique botanically based fabric is blended to be smooth, slimming, and supportive. Not only is Tencel an extremely eco friendly, renewable fiber, but the fabrics created with it are among the softest and most high performing in terms of moisture management keeping you cool, healthy, and comfortable.
Vyayama's production process is equally as environmentally considerate. The dye-houses in their production facilities have clean internal water treatments protecting local water sources from pollution. Additionally, Vyayama’s custom designed fabrics are knitted in the same area as their garment production to reduce transportation impact on the environment. As a commitment to their customers, all custom fabrics are third party tested and certified safe for wearers and the environment by the European Oeko-tex Standard 100 which ensures no harmful toxins from fibers or the production process can be absorbed by the skin while being worn.
Seamless Cashmere Modal T-Shirt (Left); Shadow Print Leggings (Center); Reflection Print Crop Top (Right)
Founded in 2015 by a former yoga instructor, Rumi X designs and manufactures innovative apparel using sustainable fibers resulting in advanced technical fabrics that push the limits of performance. Superior quality, comfort, and bold designs makes Rumi X a top PLUME pick. Transforming waste into wear, the company’s methods include the use of recycled plastic bottles, upcycled coffee grounds, and water-based ink dyes. The result is super soft fabrics with moisture-wicking properties and ultra-stretch. The combination of coffee grounds and yarn materials offers excellent odor control, UV protection and fast drying benefits. Soon, they’ll be expanding their innovations to include products created from discarded crab shells.
Kindle Tank Top (Left); Rising Leggings (Right)
We recently spotted Outdoor Voices (OV) popping up all over social media outlets and wanted to know if their sleek, cool designs came with an ethical approach that we could back. To our luck, they did! For those of you who enjoy more cardio and sweat inducing workouts, look no further for a brand that designs with you in mind. OV touts themselves on making clothes for sweating in—a wardrobe that spans gym life and everyday life.
Outdoor Voices manufactures in the US, China, and Vietnam and prioritize quality, compliance to worker’s safety, fair wages and benefits, and dedication to minimizing environmental impacts. They work with specialists around the globe to develop “high quality, made-to-sweat-in textiles” while finding ways to manufacture materials and styles more sustainably. Like the other brands profiled, OV crafts fabrics from post-consumer water bottles. For their Merino based gear, they partner with Global Merino—leaders in sourcing sustainably raised wool who can trace their fibers back to the sheep they came from. OV’s Seamless collection works to decrease waste by knitting these styles as a tube instead of cutting and sewing pieces together which eliminates scraps. These processes in addition to making gear with longer lifespans make OV a great company to support.
Running Woman Sweats (Left; Springs Leggings (Right)
If you’re looking to expand your athletic wardrobe definitely consider these companies. We were thrilled to learn that ethical production in fitness doesn't just end at clothing. For yoga mats and accessories that are planet saving consider shopping at Manduka or Jade Yoga. Meet your 2018 healthy living goals in fashionable and ethical style!
Written by: Tiffany Walker