Plastic is in so much of our clothing, especially when it comes to workout clothes. Sustainable activewear that is 100% plastic free is hard to find. Although plastic is a great material for exercise in some ways due to its stretch and the way it handles sweat, there are other natural materials that are much better for the environment and your health. I actually prefer wearing plastic free athletic clothing because it’s softer and not overly tight and restrictive.
Popular synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, rayon, and spandex all contain plastic. Some brands are starting to make “eco-friendly” workout clothes made out of recycled plastic, which is slightly better but still far from ideal.
The problem with synthetic workout clothes is that those plastics are making their way to the ocean and into your body. Every time you wash a synthetic fabric, it sheds hundreds or thousands of tiny plastic fibers. Those fibers travel through the water, squeaking through the filters that aren’t fine enough to catch them, and eventually polluting the ocean, marine life, and our drinking water.
When you throw away or donate used fitness clothes, most of those items also end up in landfills or the ocean. The reality is, there’s no such thing as throwing something “away”.
Also, plastic production contributes heavily to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. The process of recycling plastic also comes with a carbon footprint.
If you want to do your part to keep the oceans and planet cleaner, I recommend buying from plastic free athletic clothing brands instead. The more you choose to buy from sustainable designers, the more you support their positive practices and encourage other brands to jump on board the plastic free train. Whether you’re into yoga, running, hiking, weight lifting or another form of exercise, there are plastic-free alternatives to all your fitness gear, shoes, and clothing.
I’ve put together this list of my favorites.
8 Plastic Free And Sustainable Activewear Brands
Arms of Andes
Arms of Andes is a match made in heaven for those who love the outdoors, in many senses. Arms of Andes makes all their clothing from alpaca wool. The natural fiber is sustainable and biodegradable, unlike plastic.
However, alpaca wool also happens to be a great fabric for outdoor adventurers. It’s lightweight yet it locks in heat well, all while retaining minimal water. The wool has the strength to stand up to your hikes, climbs, and other adventures that await you.
Check out Arms of Andes
This collection, crafted from discarded food scraps, uses avocado pits, carrot tops, pomegranate peels, used coffee grounds, onions skins, roots, leaves and flowers to create a stunning range of activewear.
The collection is dyed using all non-toxic food-based dyes that maintain their vibrant color and texture, making them a sustainable choice for your wardrobe. The fabric itself is breathable and lightweight, ideal for both workout and leisure wear. The pieces are sourced from grocers and restaurants around Los Angeles, so you can be sure that you’re wearing something unique and sustainably sourced.
This compostable collection is perfect for those who want to look and feel their best while doing their part for the environment. With their effortless style and high-end performance, Groceries Apparel’s Upcycled Food Scraps Collection is a must-have for eco-conscious fashionistas everywhere.
Check out Groceries Apparel
In the era of so many people working from home, athleisure wear has become our go-to workwear. Starseeds makes sure you can enjoy the comfort without putting a burden on the environment.
Starseeds uses a variety of natural materials for their clothing, including organic cotton, ramie, and bamboo, as well as recycled blended materials. My favorite pieces are the Purity Bamboo Tee, the Aeropress Leggings, and the Schiuma Bra (both made from coffee fibres!)
WE-AR’s name is a unique embodiment of their ultimate mission. While it’s a play on the word “wear,” WE-AR captures the idea that we are all part of the same community on our planet so we all have a responsibility to care for it.
As part of that mission, WE-AR uses exclusively organic, sustainable fabrics. This gives them the diversity to create beautiful clothing ranging from yoga wear to daily casuals.
Check out WE-AR
Reprise Activewear is a brand that has taken an eco-conscious way of life and made it easier on all of us with their sustainable and lovable clothing.
The brand uses exclusively natural fibers, even avoiding recycled plastic materials to keep their footprint as small as possible. While Reprise is best-known for their leggings, they also produce cozy and sustainable t-shirts and other types of activewear.
Check out Reprise and get 20% off your first order using this link!
When I think of natural fibers, my first thought goes to cotton. While cotton is natural and biodegradable, some cotton growers use practices that hurt the planet in the process, like spraying pesticides and chemicals.
This is why Pact exclusively uses organic cotton, grown the way Mother Nature intended. On top of clothing for men, women, and kids, the brand produces home textiles like bedding and towels. Of course, all of their home textiles are made from that same organic cotton.
There are plenty of options when it comes to natural fabrics, and each option has its own advantages. Rawganique knows that everyone has their favorites, which is why they create clothing that runs the gamut from cotton to linen to hemp. My favorite pieces are the 100% Organic Hemp Yoga Leggings and the Organic Cotton Tank Top. I love that the yoga leggings aren’t super tight and impossible to get on and off, like most other workout pants made from polyester.
The common thread is that all of Rawganique’s clothing is made from sustainable and fully organic materials. The brand doesn’t stop with clothing, though. They also produce organic home products like bath textiles and bedding, as well as DIY materials you can use in your own projects at home like yarn, fabric, and rope.
Check out Rawganique
Plant Faced Clothing
Plant Faced Clothing takes the idea of ethical apparel to every stage of their process. The brand uses exclusively natural materials for their clothing, along with vegan, water-based inks for their designs.
On top of the brand’s environmental commitment, they have a commitment to the people who contribute to their clothing as well. They use ethical manufacturing practices including paying living wages, maintaining healthy working conditions, and taking a strong stance against discrimination.
Check out Plant Faced Clothing
This unique fabric blend is made from a combination of eucalyptus, spruce, and birch wood fibers, resulting in a fabric that is ultra-smooth, breathable, and highly durable.
The fabric is also naturally antibacterial, perfect for any intense workouts. No matter how hard you push yourself, Tripulse Activewear is designed for all fitness intensities. With this fabric, you can enjoy the benefits of a dry, comfortable fit throughout your workout.
Tripulse Activewear’s fabric blend is also eco-friendly, crafted from sustainable and renewable sources.
Check out Tripulse
Crafted from natural materials, Iron Roots’ sportswear is designed to keep you feeling comfortable and looking great while also reducing your environmental impact.
They use TENCEL™ Lyocell fabric – made from eucalyptus – which is free from plastics, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a more sustainable wardrobe. What’s more, their manufacturing processes save more than 60% CO₂ during production compared to other polyester clothing, so you can be sure that you’re doing your part for the environment.
Their activewear is designed to be lightweight and breathable, perfect for any activity. The fabric is also soft and smooth, providing you with the perfect blend of comfort and style. Whether you’re hitting the gym, practicing yoga, or just want to look great on the go, Iron Roots’ activewear has you covered.
Check out Iron Roots
Crafted from 100% Merino wool, Icebreaker’s activewear is designed to provide you with maximum comfort and performance.
The Merino wool is lightweight, breathable, and provides superior temperature regulation, so you can stay comfortable no matter the activity. Plus, the wool wicks away moisture quickly, so you can stay dry even in hot temperatures. And, the fabric is naturally antibacterial, so you can wear it multiple times between washing.
Check out Icebreaker
Enjoy the ultimate in cooling comfort with Boody Active’s luxurious plastic-free activewear. Made from bamboo fabrics, Boody Active crafts affordable luxury by building everyday active essentials and underwear from viscose derived from bamboo.
The fabric is silky smooth and provides a supportive stretch, so you can move freely without any restriction. Plus, the bamboo fibers are naturally smooth and round with no sharp spurs to irritate skin, so it’s perfect for those with sensitive skin.
Check out Boody
Look and feel great with eleven44’s plastic-free activewear! eleven44 is passionate about using eco-friendly materials like organic cotton and bamboo for their activewear and loungewear.
eleven44’s timeless comfort basics, athleisure, and loungewear offer the perfect wardrobe capsule for the mindful consumer. All of their products are ethically and fairly sourced, providing high-quality pieces that you can trust.
Being Kind With Your Fashion: Choosing Plastic Free Athletic Clothing Brands
Cutting out plastic from your wardrobe makes a powerful difference for the planet from day one. When you choose these plastic-free athletic clothing brands, though, your impact doesn’t stop there.
All of these brands not only use sustainable materials but take steps to make their manufacturing process more eco-friendly as well. By making kinder choices with your shopping, you’re getting the planet one step closer to providing a healthier environment for generations to come.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the above links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I would never recommend anything I don’t personally love and the income goes towards keeping this site running and free to everyone.