This is one of my articles on Sustainable Ethical Clothing Brands , which include womenswear, menswear, nightwear and outdoor wear.
Most of the clothing in this category is a combination of bamboo, cotton – some organic, wool, silk and recycled synthetics. I’m very conflicted about some of these fibres, both from a health and sustainability point of view. If you’d like to drill down into the the sustainability, ethics and health risks of the most popular fibre types, check out this article.
Otherwise read on for a list of European brands of Sustainable Ethical Yoga, Active, Sport and Leisurewear
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Where to buy Sustainable Ethical Yoga, Active, Sport and Leisurewear in Europe
Choose Reuse First
What’s more sustainable that recycled or organic clothing????? Existing clothing. So before you start looking for new check out the UK reseller of sports clothing ReRun!
And Northface Clothing sell refurbished clothing from their website.
Brands of New Yoga, Active, Sport and Leisurewear
The Organic Movement offer leggings and tops made from a blend of organic cotton and elastane. Sizes XS – XL
Wear Fianna make garments from upcycled polyamide and recycled cotton. They also plant a tree for every order made. Sizes XS – XXL
Rashr make short and long sleeve tops from recycled materials. Sizes XS – XL, 6 – 14
Meld Apparel offers some sport and leisure garments made from certified organic or certified recycled fabrics, which they post in biodegradable packaging. Some of the company’s factories are SEDEX certified and they offset their carbon emissions with a social enterprise in Africa. Sizes 6 – 18
Patagonia is a high-street brand that makes yoga and leisure wear from recycled nylon printed with PVC- and phthalate-free inks. On their website they give details on how they work with factories and mills to ensure ethical work-practices, good working conditions and processes that are less harmful to the environment. They say they are particularly invested in protecting migrant workings and guarding against child labour and human trafficking. The company also gives 1% of their sales to support environmental organizations around the world. There is tons of information on the Patagonia website about the ethical and sustainable way they do business. I found the Environmental Assessment of Materials in Clothing particularly interesting. It talks about the reality behind some fabrics that are being sold as green. Sizes 6-22.
Holland / The Netherlands
Ironroots makes sportswear from non-plastic materials like hemp, organic cotton and close-loop viscose by Lenzig, in GOTS certified factories in Europe and ISO certified factories outside of Europe. Their products are packaged plastic-free using sustainable transport methods. They offer a take-back service for their garments, which the say they recycle into new clothing. Sizes XS – XL (women), XS – XL (men)
Pure by Luce is a Belgium brand making active wear for women from recycled materials in ethically-managed factories in Portugal. No independent certification was mentioned on their website. Sizes XS – XL
French brand Do You Green offers lounge and yoga wear made from organic pinewood fibres sourced from sustainable forests, which the company says absorbs perspiration twice as much as cotton and is softer than any other cloth. All of their dying and fabric manufacturing is done in France, to the Oekotex standard. Their packaging is plastic free. The company uses the term organic pinewood fibres but doesn’t give any details on the process involved in converting them to fibre. I emailed them to ask if it is fact Rayon, a very popular cellulose based fibre, but I never received a reply. Sizes XS – XXL
Thokk Thokk is a German brand offering sport and yoga wear made from organic cotton, sometimes blended with synthetic fibres. They have a Fairtrade Licence for their basic shirts and is certified as being organic by GOTS. They also offer free shipping. Sizes XS- XL (women), S – XXL (men)
Loud and Proud in Germany makes t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies for women from GOTS certified organic cotton in Portugal. The company’s office is in a restored 17th century building run on 100% renewable energy. The company also uses an electric car and offset their carbon emissions with a tree planting project in Papau New Guinea. Sizes 36 – 44
Runamatics is a sportswear brand that offers clothing made from materials that will biodegrade in less than 5 years. It is aiming to be the first cradle to cradle certified sportswear brand. Sizes XS- XXL (women), S – XXL (men)
Blutsgeschwister in Germany makes leggings from organic cotton blended with elastane in Fairwear accredited factories. They’ve been a member of the Fairwear Foundation since 2013 and reached the top standard for fairness in 2016. Sizes XS – XXL
Under the Same Sun make yoga and leisure wear (and swimwear), in recycled polyester, Tencel, and organic leather, in factories in Portugal. The recycled polyester that they use is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified, the Renew Prime fabric is made of 100% recycled material in Italy, and their cashmere is obtained by annual brushing of goats in Mongolia. The company also claim that they use a printing technique that is safe for the environment and the worker and produces zero waste.
Houdini make active and skiwear from natural and recycled fabric, which they cover with a lifetime guarantee and take back at the end of their life. Most of their production takes place in Europe using fabrics from Taiwan, Italy and Japan. The company lists their suppliers and factories on their website. They also offer a rental service online and instore. Sizes XXS- XL (women), XS – XL (men)
B-light in Sweden offer leggings, shorts sweatpants made from organic cotton blended with Lycra. Sizes S- XL (women), S – XL (men)
Swiss company Odlo makes outdoor and active clothing in recycled materials, muesling-free wool and ethical down in Fairwear accredited factories in Romania, Portugal Germany. They reduced emissions from transportation by 70% by relocating some of their production to Germany, and they offset the carbon of every online order they ship directly to customers. Sizes XS- XL, 34 – 46 (women), S – XXL, 46-58 (men)
Asquith clothing (see photo above) make yoga and activewear from bamboo and organic cotton in a GOTS certified factory in southern Turkey. Asquith claim to recycle everything they can and package everything so that you can do the same. They do not use animal products and nothing is ever tested on animals. Sizes XS – XXL
Noctu makes 100% organic cotton fairtrade lounge wear and nightwear for men, women and children. They say that their factory is committed to helping those who have been affected by the chemicals and fertilisers used in growing crops by establishing a dedicated cancer hospital. All of their cotton products are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fair Trade and their factories are SA8000 certified. Sizes S – L
Gossypium makes yoga clothing from bamboo and organic cotton in Britain. Sizes 8 – 22 (womens), S-L (mens)
FROM Clothing offer active and yoga clothing made from GOTS certified organic cotton grown in India, then shipped to Portugal for manufacturing. Their Merino Wool is certified as ethically sourced from South Africa. All sheep farms adhere to a non-mulesing policy as part of a continuous effort to ensure the health and welfare of the sheep. Sizes 8 – 18
Thought (formerly Braintree) sells lounge wear made from either bamboo or organic cotton. The dyes they use are Azo-free and they claim that their finishes are as environmentally friendly as possible. Each piece of their collection is completed in one to limit emissions from transportation. They’re also a founding member of the Ethical Fashion Forum. Sizes 6 – 18 (women), XS – XL (men)
Marzipants specialises in Thai fishing pants made in cotton in India in accordance with fair trade principles in a 400 year old family-run workshop using traditional methods to hand dye, cut, sew and block print many of their garments. One size.
Cambridge baby sell German sportswear brand Engel, which is made from organic wool and silk. Sizes XS – L, 8 – 18 (women)
Bamboo Bamboo Clothing sells underwear and yoga & leisure wear made from bamboo for men and women. Sizes 8 – 16 (women), S – XXL (men)
UK based By Nature is an online department store that stocks Bamboo Bamboo Clothing.
Presca Sportwear make long-lasting sports and cycling gear from recycled material in Europe and the UK, mostly in a factory run on 100% renewable energy. They state that they are the first climate-positive sports brand, which is partly achieved through offsetting. They offer a repair and buy-back service, which interestingly rewards you more the longer you hold onto garments. They aim to resell items obtained through the buy-back service, but not through their website it seems. They also mail garments in home-compostable packaging. Sizes XXS – XXL (women), XS – XXXL (men)
Planet Warriors make leggings and sports bras from recycled plastic waste, tshirts from organic cotton and sweatshirts from an organic cotton / recycled polyester blend. They print directly onto the fabric to do away with labels, they don’t use swing tags or plastic tags, and their packaging is plastic free and recycled and recyclable. Sizes S – L
Tribe Sports offer active wear made from recycled nylon made from salvaged marine waste in factories in Portugal and China. They offer a take-back service for garments of any brand, which they say are recycled into new garments. The company also plants one tree for every order that’s placed. Sizes XS – XL (women), S – XXL (men)
We are Samudra make leggings and sports tops in London from recycled polyester make from salvaged marine waste, and t-shirts from recycled cotton and polyester. They also donate 5% of their profits to female-focused marine waste charities. Sizes S – L
Vivida Lifestyle makes OEKO – TEX certified swimwear and clothing from recycled and certified organic materials. Their swing tags are recycled paper with natural ties, and they use compostable packaging and biodegradable mailers. The factory that makes their organic cotton clothing is wind powered and the fabric mills that makes their eco neoprene is Blue Sign certified for excellence in energy and water usage and waste disposal. Sizes XS – XL (women), S – XXL (men)
Select styles of ROXY boardshorts are made with REPREVE, a recycled fibre made from recycling plastic bottles. ROXY is a brand that’s easily found in high-street sport stores. Sizes XS – XXL (women)
Scimitar have a range of running and cycling tops in recycled polyester. Sizes XS – XXL
Sundried offers two activewear collections which are made from 100% recycled materials. Eco Core is made from recycled plastic bottles while Eco Charge products are made from recycled coffee grounds. It is unclear as to whether the recycled coffee ground fabric is recyclable at the end of it’s life. Sizes XS – XXL (women), S – XL (men)
Reve En Vert in the UK sells clothing by a few makers of sustainable ethical activewear.
If you’re based in America or Australia Eco Warrior Princes lists 11 Ethical Organic Cotton Athleisure Brands on their website.
Rankabrand is a very useful website that, as the name suggests, ranks brands based on their sustainability.