Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to the products that they're buying—where and how they're produced, who is producing the goods, what materials are used, and where those materials came from.
Not only that, more and more consumers are interested in learning about brands' mission and purpose. They want to shop brands that share their values. A 2018 study by Edelman found that two-thirds of consumers will buy from or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue. And a 2020 study by Zeno Group revealed that when consumers think a brand has a strong purpose, they are four times more likely to purchase from the company.
Photo:Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
So we're shopping more thoughtfully now. We want to give our money to brands that are making a difference in their communities and the world. One issue that is on a lot of our minds is climate change and how we can do our part to reduce waste. Many consumers want to shop brands that include sustainability and conscious environmental practices in their missions and operations.
Fortunately, many industries are making changes when it comes to sustainability. One is the fashion industry, with some brands transforming their manufacturing processes, materials used, and packaging. In particular, the activewear market is an exciting space right now. You'll find leggings made of recycled bottles and new high-tech fabrics that are engineered with the environment in mind. Companies are getting so creative, and it's getting easier for consumers to shop products that are sustainable.
Take a look at some brands on our radar below. If you have a sustainable brand you love that's not on this list, we want to hear about it—send us a DM @thethirty.
1. Girlfriend Collective
We love Girlfriend Collective's comfy, long-lasting sets. Its compressive leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer bottles, and its bras are made from 11 bottles. The brand's other products are made from recycled items like fishing nets and fibers made from cotton industry waste. Its packaging is also 100% recycled and recyclable. The pieces are produced in a Vietnam factory, where the brand guarantees fair wages, healthy conditions, and zero forced or child labor.
Pact not only has activewear, but it's also got sustainable apparel options for women, men, kids, and infants. The brand makes clothing with organic cotton and is GOTS certified, which means it meets ecological and social criteria for textile processing. It guarantees that its clothing is produced without sweatshops or child labor.
Vyayama's mission statement says the brand was founded with the intention of providing a natural alternative to synthetic activewear. The brand's Tencel fabric is made of sustainably farmed eucalyptus, and the end result is comfortable, supportive, and flattering pieces. Consumers will be happy to know that the fabrics are third-party tested and have European Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certification, which means they're safe for the wearer and the environment.
You'll find the coziest hoodies and track pants at Pangaia. Its products are made with recyclable fibers, materials made from recycled water bottles, and botanical dyes. The brand even infuses the pieces with antibacterial peppermint!
5. Outdoor Voices
Yes, this cult-favorite activewear brand keeps the environment in mind when it comes to manufacturing. The brand is making an effort to use sustainable fabric alternatives, like recycled PET and ethically sourced merino wool. The products are designed with longevity in mind and are packaged in 100% recycled paper envelopes or recyclable boxes. The brand is also incorporating sustainability practices in its headquarters and stores.
6. Filippa K Soft Sport
Circular fashion—reduce, repair, reuse, and recycle—is at the center of Filippa K's mission. This means the brand creates long-lasting pieces, works to increase the percentage of sustainable fibers used, reuses materials from previous collections to create garments, and has a secondhand program, where you can bring in pieces you no longer want for a discount.
Nagnata's activewear pieces are so chic and sleek. The brand has a "sustainably minded design" philosophy, meaning it looks for environmentally conscious ways to produce garments. It also doesn't adhere to fashion's traditional "seasons" but instead designs for "movements," which has more longevity and versatility. Fabrics are made of organic cotton, and its packaging is reusable and recyclable.
Nube's pieces are made in the U.S. from recycled materials using environmentally conscious practices. Fabrics are made from materials like recycled polyester and nontoxic, lead-free dyes. The brand is also finding ways to transform and reuse its fabric scraps.
Tala uses materials like Q-Nova (regenerated raw materials) and Recovertex (recycled plastic water bottles) in its garments. The brand also ensures its suppliers and factory groups meet ethical and sustainable standards. And here's one cool fact: Its clothing tags are filled with seasonal seeds, so you can plant them. How cool is that?
You might know Summersalt from its popular swimwear pieces, but the brand also has some great activewear options. Sports bras and leggings are made from recycled plastic water bottles. Summersalt also guarantees transparency when it comes to eco-friendly operations and processes.
Athleta is one of the bigger activewear brands out there that's setting goals to be more sustainable. Right now, 76% of materials are made with sustainable fibers, 4% of products are made with water-saving techniques, and 72% of waste from shipping packaging has avoided the landfill.