Pants and shorts

Best Sustainable Activewear Brands for 2022

Sustainable clothing brands manufacture apparel using environmentally-friendly materials that reduce the environmental impact of clothing production.

Many companies are also ethically committed to providing fair wages and creating a healthy, safe working environment.

Some people opt for sustainable activewear because they want to have a positive impact on the environment and workers along the supply chain. They enjoy learning where their garments come from and about the production process.

Customers also appreciate timeless pieces that hold up to frequent wear, rather than chasing ever-changing fashion trends. What’s more, people enjoy the uniqueness that small-batch clothing brands provide.

We rounded up the best sustainable activewear brands based on the following criteria:

  • Company reputation. We looked for brands that offer excellent customer service and return policies.
  • Transparency. The brands on this list are transparent about business practices such as fabric sourcing, production, and workers’ wages.
  • Sustainable practices. We chose brands that use sustainable natural, semi-synthetic, or recycled synthetic materials and minimize energy consumption to reduce the environmental impact of production.
  • First-hand testing. We tried samples from several brands to evaluate the pieces for fabric quality, fit, and performance during workouts.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s business standards.

Keep reading for our picks of the 10 best sustainable activewear brands.

According to the United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, sustainable clothing brands minimize the environmental impact of clothing production and are socially responsible, supporting human rights and fair labor. Many companies also donate to charities or the local community.

Here are additional examples of sustainable clothing brand practices:

  • transparency around business practices
  • minimizing water use, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions
  • reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals
  • using sustainably grown natural fabrics and dyes
  • using recycled fabrics
  • using plastic-free packaging
  • providing fair wages and safe working conditions

Best stylish

Girlfriend Collective

Size range: XXS–6XL

Girlfriend Collective creates size-inclusive activewear using fabric made from recycled materials, including polyester, fishing nets, and post-consumer water bottles. The company also uses cupro, which is a fabric made from cotton waste.

All of their items are packaged and shipped using 100% recycled materials.

The fully transparent company makes textiles in Taiwan and Japan before manufacturing the clothing in a factory in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Girlfriend Collective’s factory is SA8000 certified — a certification developed by Social Accountability International to provide factory workers with fair wages and safe, healthy working conditions.

Our picks

Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market Editor editor Kelli McGrane tested the Compressive RIB High-Rise Legging and found them to be both stylish and comfortable.

She reported that the fabric is thick enough to conceal underwear lines and provides plenty of stretch for yoga, as well as high intensity interval training (HIIT) moves like skaters and burpees.

One thing to note is McGrane mentioned they run slightly small, so you may want to consider going up a size.

McGrane also tried the Compressive RIB Paloma Bra, which she stated is currently one of her favorite workout tops, as it’s comfortable and surprisingly supportive, even during intense training sessions.

Best versatile

Mate the Label

Size range: XS–3X

Mate the Label produces activewear in Los Angeles using natural, organic, nontoxic materials. The brand designs quality basics that last and easily transition from the street to the gym.

Mate the Label provides safe, comfortable, and fair working conditions from the beginning to the end of the supply chain.

The company is also Climate Neutral-certified and donates 1% of its proceeds to environmental causes through 1% for the Planet.

In addition to pieces for adults, Mate the Label also offers a kids’ line of activewear, including joggers, sweatshirts, and cotton tees.

Our picks

Healthline Medical Reviewer Carissa Stephens tested several items and happily reports that the Organic Stretch Sports Bra is supportive and super comfortable during workouts.

She also found the Organic Stretch Biker Short to fit as expected and appreciated that the waistband doesn’t roll down during exercise.

Stephens particularly loved the Fleece Relaxed Pocket Sweatpant for its pockets and ultra soft fabric.

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Best outdoor apparel

prAna

Size range: XS–3X

prAna was the first North American clothing brand to sell Fair Trade Certified clothing. The company offers activewear that’s ideal for activities such as yoga, hiking, and climbing.

The brand uses eco-friendly fabrics, such as Tencel lyocell, Tencel modal, and organic cotton. Plus, all packaging materials are now plastic-free.

prAna also supports various charities and donates a portion of select proceeds to Outdoor Reach, a nonprofit that provides meaningful outdoor experiences for kids and teens who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so.

Our picks

McGrane tested out a few of prAna’s bestsellers, all of which all fit true to size. She reported that the Everyday Bra holds up on long hikes and during HIIT-style workouts. Plus, it’s comfortable enough to wear under T-shirts and sweaters.

McGrane was also impressed with the Zawn Legging and appreciated the pockets. She noted that the fabric holds up well to washing and is thick enough to hide visible underwear lines.

For a complete outfit, McGrane recommends the matching ultra-soft Zawn Top, which is stylish enough for a morning walk or grabbing brunch with friends after a yoga class.

She found it to be the perfect top layer for a quick morning hike. Plus, she noted, “The gingerbread color, in particular, is stunning and perfect for fall.”

And if you’re an avid hiker or climber, according to McGrane’s husband, the Stretch Zion Pant is the only hiking trousers you’ll ever need. He commented that the pants are lightweight, breathable, and hold up during long days on the trail.

Best athleisure

Wolven

Size range: XS–XL

Wolven manufactures activewear and swimwear in a factory in China that has a Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA), which guarantees healthy, safe, and environmentally-friendly practices.

The brand also has a small team of tailors that make T-shirts and dresses in Los Angeles.

Wolven invests in carbon-offset initiatives, making its imported shipments certified 100% carbon-neutral. The company also supports rainforest conservation and landfill methane capture through a partnership with Climate Neutral.

Our picks

After trying out the CrissCross Four-Way Top, McGrane happily reports that it fits true to size and is incredibly soft and comfortable.

McGrane notes that the fabric on the Pocket Legging is thinner than that of other brands but still hides visible underwear lines. She sized up after reading reviews and is happy that she did.

McGrane remarks that the turmeric fabric is beautiful, soft, and stretchy. The leggings are one of her go-to picks for a high intensity workout or sweaty yoga session.

Best European

Organic Basics

Size range: XS–XXL

Organic Basics features fabrics such as organic cotton, recycled nylon, and Tencel lyocell — a sustainable fiber made from tree pulp — to produce high quality functional designs.

The company also uses renewable energy and reduces the use of chemicals, water, and wastewater during production.

Organic Basics works with sustainable factories that offer healthy working conditions and living wages.

Our picks

If you’re new to the company, we recommend starting with the SilverTech Active Muscle Tank. A fresh take on typical workout wear, it’s made of odor-reducing recycled nylon and comes in three rich colors.

Just keep in mind, several customers find that the tank runs slightly large.

Organic Basics’s Organic Tee is another great staple that features a comfortable fit in luxurious fabric.

Best vegan

LA Relaxed

Size range: XS–XL

LA Relaxed values ethical employment and makes clothing in downtown Los Angeles.

The brand uses sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free fabrics, such as hemp, linen, and organic cotton, to create clothing in small batches, which reduces waste and improves quality control.

As a bonus, customers rave about how comfortable the fabrics are.

Our picks

If you’re looking for alternatives to leggings, The Cloud Fleece Jogger, Essential Drawstring Jogger, and Kissed Organic Jogger are fantastic choices.

We also recommend the Smooch Fleece Sweatshirt, which offers style, comfort, and quality fabric. It’s an ideal layering item for outdoor activities.

Best organic cotton

Pact

Size range: XS–2X

Pact uses water-saving organic cotton to create good quality clothing that outlives a season.

The brand also works with Fair Trade Certified factories, which reduce the environmental impact of clothing production and treat workers fairly.

Our picks

The cotton Textured Slub Hoodie Tee fits true to size and works well for cycling and cool morning workouts.

And the Perfectly Lightweight Casual Pant is ideal for casual workouts, as it has a relaxed fit, though the fabric stretches slightly, so you may want to size down.

In addition to adult activewear, Pact offers apparel for babies and kids, bedding, and bath towels.

Best with natural dyes

Groceries Apparel

Size range: XS–XL

Groceries Apparel uses nontoxic vegetable dyes and used coffee grounds to create activewear basics in stunning colors.

What’s more, the company uses 100% recycled and organic fabrics, including hemp, organic cotton, and eucalyptus Tencel lyocell.

Groceries Apparel manufactures its clothing in Los Angeles to keep a close eye on production standards related to quality, fair wages, and waste reduction.

Our picks

Made using post-consumer recycled water bottles, the true-to-size B12 Leggings work well for high intensity workouts.

For a complete outfit, we recommend the cotton Fitted Crop Top, as it’s a great option for people who want more coverage than a sports bra.

Best comfortable

Threads 4 Thought

Size range: XXS–3X

Threads 4 Thought uses Lenzing modal — a sustainable fiber made primarily from beechwood pulp — and a blend of organic cotton, recycled polyester, and rayon for many of its garments.

The brand works with factories that provide excellent working conditions and ensure sustainable production with minimal chemicals and waste.

It also helps communities in need through a partnership with the International Rescue Committee.

Our picks

If you’re new to Threads 4 Thought, the Connie Jogger is a great place to start. It’s a customer favorite and made of Lenzing modal and spandex feather fleece. Just keep in mind the relaxed-fit pants run slightly large, so you may consider sizing down.

The ultra-soft Triblend Zip Fleece Hoodie is another good choice. It fits true to size and is long enough to suit taller individuals.

As with several others on this list, Threads 4 Thought offers clothing for both adults and kids.

Best with digital prints

Together California

Size range: XS–XXL

Together California manufactures activewear in Los Angeles using fabric made from recycled water bottles and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)-certified United States organic cotton.

The pieces are unique in that many of the designs feature digital prints inspired by nature photography taken by one of the company’s founders.

Together California uses biodegradable packaging and upcycles scrap fabric to make scrunchies, pockets, and face masks.

To reduce energy consumption, the brand manufactures textiles in the local area and digitally prints on fabric in a low impact facility run on recycled water and heating.

Our picks

The loose-fitting Sea Star Windbreaker is a popular choice for cycling and hiking, while the moisture-wicking fabric of the unisex Flamingo Hybrid Shorts is ideal for gym workouts.