Eco-Athleisure: Brands On The Green Side Of The Athleisure Trend

High performance. To some athleisure fans, fabric and design that makes and active life possible without compromising on comfort or aesthetics is good enough. However, with eco-consciousness growing globally, more customers are demanding greener, sustainable and non-toxic clothing. It was only natural that brands who care about what goes into the products, as well as their impact to the environment, would pop up too. Apart from the 4.3% growth annually and estimated revenue of $186 billion by 2020, it’s believed that eco-athleisure could be the missing piece that shifts fashion’s perspective of sustainable to cool. Here are some eco-friendly brands to be inspired by:

Apart from the 4.3% growth annually and estimated revenue of $186 billion by 2020, it’s believed that eco-athleisure could be the missing piece that shift’s fashion’s perspective of sustainable to cool.



This all-round outdoor clothing not only creates quality products, but also sets an example that a brand can have best practice and still be successful. functional design, that’s eco-friendly and ethical, is also highly committed to the Corporate Responsibility movement. Patagonia’s mission is to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” This includes being involved with all stages of its supply chain to ensure fair labour practices. It’s literally been Fair Trade Certified since 2014. They are also 100% Traceable down, which assures that they’ve put the check and measures in place to ensure that no animal was harmed in the making of their apparel.

[Image: Patagonia]

Apart from using environmentally friendly material and fibres such as hemp, recycled wool, recycled plastic and Yulex® (renewable natural rubber from hevea trees grown in the highlands of Guatemala, which reduces CO2 emissions by up to ~80%), they encourage you to buy what you need. Because they make high-quality stuff, they call on their customers to be responsible and keep their gear in action longer through their WORN WEAR® program. Repair where you can and bring back Patagonia garments for recycle when they’re beyond repair.

That’s not all, they also pledge 1% of annual sales to the restoration and preservation of the natural environment. They state on their website that since 1985, they’ve donated over $78 million to grassroots environmental groups globally. There’s so much that this brand gives back to the environment that we possibly couldn’t cover it all here. But you can read more about their projects on their website.


Alternative Apparel

Fabric first. That’s what this company considers itself, with 80% of its garments made form sustainable materials and processes. This includes recycled polyester and low impact and non-toxic colour dyes.  They also take pride in their energy-efficient manufacturing plants that follow Fair Labour Association (FLA) Workplace Code of Conduct strictly. In addition, many of the factories that they work with are certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), which is an independent,
non-profit team of global social compliance experts. With all this in place, they are produce a women’s line that features a wide range of separates ranging from sports bras and leggings to pants, tanks and jackets; all priced under $100.

[Image: Alternative Apparel]

[Image: Alternative Apparel]



What is in a name? prAna, which means ‘life force’ in Sanskrit, is reflected in this brand’s positioning. Designing with the active climber, yogi or world traveller in mind, their collection boosts breathable, fluid and light fabrics to support this free-spirit of adventure. They keep it green by Using recycled polyester and wool, as well as organic cotton and hemp. for designs that set you free. The beauty isn’t just in their designs, but how they choose to make these functional and beautiful products. From Fall 2016, they have been working with Responsible Down Standard to verify that all down used in prAna products is 100% Responsible Down. This means that their entire supply chain is audited by 3rd Party Certification Body to ensure that no animals were live plucked or force feed, to carry the 100% Responsible Down Certified logo.

[Image: prAna]

[Image: prAna]


Threads 4 Thought

From the humble beginnings of a small collection of tees in Spring of 2007, Threads 4 Thought has grown into a fully-fledged lifestyle brand that caters to a range of activities and weather conditions. Yet, this expansion did not come at the expense of the environment. Their production process, which takes place in their Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production factory in China, recycles and reuses more than 80% of the water used. They also use a variety of sustainable materials, including Lenzing modal that’s reaped from the limbs of beech trees. This means that trees aren’t cut down in the process of harvesting. IN addition, 95% of the yarn they use is recycled. Apart from being Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production certified, they have been known to manufacture under certified Fair-Trade conditions in countries such as India and Kenya.

[Image: Threads 4 Thought]

[Image: Threads 4 Thought]



Their goal: to inspire the next generation to practice mindful consuming by channelling art to make a bold statement. each design features chic graphics which interestingly is captured by environmental photographers and designers. What is more, each of the collections garments is estimated to keep up to 36 plastic bottles from making their way into the oceans or landfills. That’s roughly 117,000 bottles a year! After extracting the poly fibre, they embed a wicking finish in the fibre and blend it with spandex. The result is a soft fabric with great shape retention and at least UPF 50.

Nube9 x Chris Jordan Running the Numbers [Image: Nube9]

Internally, the practice closed-loop manufacturing to reduce waste. This includes recycling scraps and old pieces into new products. Externally, that call on their customers to bring back old Nube9 apparel they’re done with, so that they can turn it into new fabric. After perfecting their fit and fabric, they decided to collaborate with Chris Jordan – an environmentalist artist – to create the ‘Running Numbers’ collection. From that collection in 2015, they’ve expanded their collections from one concept in four silhouettes to a full sportswear line with vast array of patterns and prints.

[Image: Nube9]


This French brand makes their practical sneakers in Brazil from recycled cotton, acacia-tanned leather and wild Amazonian rubber. Established in 2004 by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Modillions, this fashion brand works directly with small producer co-operatives in Brazil to make product for the European market. But you’ll rarely see them marketing their products. By choosing not to advertise, they are able to invest more money into strengthening their ethical practices. This includes paying their co-operative rubber tappers and cotton growers between 30% and 100% above world market prices.

Veja SS17 [Image: Vincent Desailly]

And their holistic approach doesn’t end there. They’re sensitive to carbon emissions throughout their supply chain; from transporting, packing and head office emissions. As mentioned earlier, they use acacia-tanned Leather, which unlike modern tanning processes that cause water pollution, the acacia extracts are natural and non-polluting. Even the way they deliver their product to France is green; choosing to use recyclable cardboard boxes.

Veja SS17 [Image: Vincent Desailly]

In their Spring-Summer 2017 collection, they introduced new fabrics such as the J-Mesh which is made from 29% Jute, 50% organic cotton, and 21% plastic bottles. Additionally, they have the maintain the Bottle Mesh (b-mesh) material each season. This is an intelligent, breathable and waterproof fabric that’s made from recycled plastic bottles. In their Fall winter 2017 collection, they were inspired by 80s sneakers to release their brand-new V-12. The upper part of the shoe is made from b-mesh, the inner sole is made from recycled cotton and the V logo is made from wild rubber. Since the brand’s inception, they have been following the same requirement level to ensure an ecological and ethical product that comfortable and stylish too.

Veja FW17 [Image: Veja]

Veja FW17 [Image: Veja]


One thing is clear from these brands; you can put out an on-trend product without harming the environment. With a little innovation clear mission and vision, as well as a scrutinized supply chain, you can give your customers a product that makes them feel good literally and figuratively.

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