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How to Stay Fit, Stylish, and Sustainable

How to Stay Fit, Stylish, and Sustainable

How to Stay Fit, Stylish, and Sustainable: Our Eco-Friendly Guide to Athleticwear and Workout Accessories

By Clear Givings Market

  • Eco-friendly activewear is athletic clothing that empowers you and our planet.
  • Choose activewear that uses earth-friendly materials like recycled polyester, biodegradable nylon, and organic materials like bamboo.
  • The eco-friendly athlete should also participate in sustainable exercises and use environmental accessories, such as organic sunscreen.

  • Working out may result in buckets of sweat, but there’s no reason why you can’t look fantastic while working toward the fit and healthy body that you want. This season, it’s all about bold prints and bright colors—something that Clear Givings Market has in great supply! We support like-minded people who are trailblazers in sustainable fashion. 

    We are a community of people who want to make eco-conscious choices while looking good. This includes fashionable selections of activewear and apparel. The textile and fashion industries can be particularly problematic, but by choosing brands that seek the highest sustainability standards, we ensure a happy, green planet for future generations.

    Alongside sustainability considerations, it’s important to select activewear that manages moisture, avoids lingering odor, and is durable enough to keep up with you and your activities. Luckily, Clear Givings Market makes it easy to find activewear and stylish apparel that work with you and for our planet. We carefully cultivate our brands, doing the hard part by ensuring the best sustainability practices and screening out companies that use child labor and unfair treatment of workers.

    Before starting your online shopping trip, let’s talk about activewear and what’s important to consider in terms of materials, style, and sustainably harvested clothing. Here’s our definitive guide to earth-friendly activewear and fair trade apparel


    Table of contents

    -What is eco-friendly activewear / apparel

    -Which activewear materials are eco-friendly?

    -What to look for in activewear

    -Moisture-wicking

    -Antimicrobial

    -Breathable fabrics for outdoor activities

    -Eco-friendly activewear accessories

    -Workout bags

    -Organic suncare

    -Bicycle bags

    -Bonus: sustainable exercise

    -Pilates or other exercises without weights

    -Running, hiking, or walking

    -Plogging

    -Incorporate exercise in your commute

    What is eco-friendly activewear / apparel?

    It’s no secret that the textile and fashion industries have historical issues surrounding sustainability and social responsibility. We’re not here to bring you down with the negative aspects of these industries. Rather, let’s celebrate the important work that many sustainable fashion brands are doing.

    Polyester, or polyester blends, is one of the most common activewear materials.[1] This is due to its wicking abilities, durability, and breathability—all things that you want in athletic clothing. However, polyester is also made of plastic. As such, it won’t fully degrade, at least not for centuries, and it will break into microplastics that are harmful to the environment. 

    The sustainability-minded fashion brands on Clear Givings Market understand both the usefulness and the environmental concerns of polyester. Therefore, they’ve come up with ways to make use of the material without creating a massive footprint surrounding it. Eco-friendly athleticwear companies use recycled polyester, and polyester made from PET materials (like plastic containers and bottles), or they make products from leftover fabric.

    These passionate brands further ensure that they offer textiles with low impact on the environment, like those with natural dyes and organic materials and that come from ethical sources. Sustainability is about both the environment and social responsibility, and sustainability-minded companies will thoroughly vet their supply chains to ensure that their partners achieve these standards as well.

    The rigorous standards of sustainability are met by the brands we carry on our site. The activewear and apparel we carry offer impossible softness, boundless momentum, and the freedom to unapologetically express yourself through beautiful slow fashion. With eco-conscious communities awakening worldwide, it’s becoming easier to take a stand against fast fashion and transform the industry.

    Which activewear materials are eco-friendly?

    Choosing the best eco-friendly athleticwear for your activities comes down to three main things: style, comfort, and durability.[2] Workout clothes that feel good and look good on you, making all the difference in the way you show up is important. Sustainable style creates confidence, transcends trends, outshines fast fashion, and most importantly, matches your values.

    Recycled polyester and polyester made from recycled materials are great for wicking sweat. For intense exercises—like running, hot yoga, racquetball, etc.—sweat-wicking textiles are a must. 

    Bamboo fabric can also be a great workout fabric. It’s naturally antimicrobial, so it doesn’t hold odor, it naturally wicks water, and it's comfortably breathable. In fact, it’s very similar to rayon in appearance and feel. But, it’s made from organic bamboo rather than synthetic materials. 

    However, synthetic materials still have their place in athleticwear. When opting for materials like polyester and nylon, recycled textiles or biodegradable options are ideal.  Biodegradable nylon, for example, is made using enhanced polyamide which can be digested by bacteria (under the correct landfill settings), aiding the process of biodegradation.[4]

    Bright colors and bold designs are the workout style trend of the 2020s. Amazing colors can be enjoyed without guilt by opting for athletic wear that uses natural dyes derived from plants, minerals, or invertebrates. When possible, opt for organic materials, like organic cotton in your apparel. These types of materials are grown without harmful chemicals, like pesticides, or growth promoters.[3]  Organic materials are more supportive of natural cycles and avoid introducing toxic chemicals to our environment.

    For smaller activewear items, such as shaper bras, jiffy shirts, or bamboo underwear, you can choose those made from textile scraps or “upcycled” materials. In the fashion world, it’s natural that there will be scraps of material left over that may be difficult to work with, especially for larger pieces of clothing. Rather than throwing those scraps away, manufacturers can make smaller fashion pieces, like armbands from those materials. 

    What to look for in activewear

    An informed shopper understands the technology behind athletic wear. We want you to feel secure in your sustainability choices, which is why we offer full transparency. Besides eco-conscious choices, choosing athleticwear that provides optimal performance is a no-brainer. Here are some things to look for in high-performance

    Moisture wicking

    For high-intensity workouts with a lot of sweat,  moisture-wicking materials are ideal. Sustainable polyesters, like those mentioned above, are perfect for these activities. Biodegradable nylon or bamboo are excellent alternatives. All of these materials have the benefit of being breathable as well. 

    Antimicrobial

    There are a lot of germs associated with working out. Beyond the plethora of microbes living on the machines at the local gym, your own biome causes body odor. To minimize sweaty smells, opt for fabrics with antimicrobial properties, like recycled polyester or bamboo. These fabrics are naturally antimicrobial, so they avoid excessive use of chemicals which may be irritating to the skin or harmful to our environment.

    Breathable fabrics for outdoor workouts

    When working out outside, or when participating in an outdoor activity, wearing fabrics that naturally breathe promotes comfort. Bamboo is a breathable, soft material that also wicks sweat and other moisture. While fitness gurus go back and forth on cotton, due to the fact that it tends to absorb sweat rather than wick it, organic cotton can be a great fabric for warming up, especially if you’re getting ready to exercise outdoors in the wintertime.

    Eco-friendly activewear accessories

    Sustainable and ethical athleticwear doesn’t stop at clothing; being fully equipped with all of your sustainable workout accessories and gears helps ensure that you will have an amazing experience. 

    Workout bags

    Sustainable bag materials are just as important as sustainable clothing materials. Opt for bags made of upcycled nylon, polyester made from recycled plastic, and zippers or other components made from eco-friendly sources. There are even hip bags that have pieces made from salvaged bike rubber! 

    Organic sunscreen

    If you are a beach lover or you love working out in the sunshine, then you know how important it is to protect yourself from UV rays. While slathering on that SPF, biodegradable sunscreen is a safe choice for our environment. Even if you don’t spend much time in the ocean, where reefs and marine wildlife are particularly susceptible to the chemicals found in non-organic sunscreen, please avoid toxic chemicals, as they will wash down your shower drain and into the environment. Sunscreen that blocks UV rays with minerals and other natural ingredients is best for your skin and local wildlife.

    Bicycle bags

    Whether you bike to work, bike for fun, or bike as a workout (or maybe all three!) you need a good bicycle bag that will hold necessary items without weighing you down. Choose bicycle bags with minimal plastic components that use recycled materials, upcycled materials, or biodegradable nylon. 

    The Waste Hierarchy: Choosing materials that promote circularity

    The waste hierarchy is the waste management ranking system widely accepted by sustainability experts. It states the ways that waste should be managed from best to worst: prevention > re-use > recycling > recovery > disposal. As eco-warriors, let’s use this model to guide our purchasing decisions. Whenever possible, opt for products that reuse materials, upcycle, or are made from recycled materials. In this way, we support a circular system in which materials are re-introduced to our economy rather than thrown away.

    Bonus: Sustainable exercise

    Once all of the sustainable exercise clothing and accessories are in place, this is a great time to consider your workout routine and its impact on our environment. 

    You may be wondering, “Can exercise be environmentally unfriendly?” Your question is valid; if you think about it, most exercise doesn’t have too much of an impact on the environment. The biggest sources of environmental impact come from gym equipment and athletic gear. So, if you’re choosing sustainable activewear, then you’re already off to a great start!

    If you want to do more to minimize your environmental footprint, here are some workouts that are the most eco-friendly.

    Pilates or other exercises without weights

    Pilates and other such exercises use your own body as weights. The key to these types of workouts is not how much weight you use but repetition. Because you are using your own body rather than weights, it minimizes the number of materials you need, and minimalism is always good for the environment.

    Running, hiking, or walking

    Getting outside to run, walk, or hike can be an excellent way to get your heart pumping while appreciating the beauty of nature. These activities require few materials (just sustainable shoes, clothing, and a reusable water bottle), and they bring you to a place where you experience heartfelt gratitude for the planet that we are trying to save. These activities do come with a few environmental caveats: when in nature, please stay on designated trails to protect local plants; try to choose trails and walking paths closer to home to cut down on the commute; be sure to pack out any materials you bring with you, including organic food items.

    Do as the Swedish do, and go plogging 

    Plogging is a Swedish invention that combines hiking and trash cleanup [5]. Every time you go for a run, walk, or hike, consider taking a trash bag with you and picking up any litter that you see along the way. This way, you get your outdoor workout in while participating in an environmentally conscious activity.

    Incorporate exercise into your commute

    If possible, incorporate exercise into your commute. Speed walk in your eco-friendly shoes to work or to your nearest public transportation stop. Or, ditch the car for a bicycle. If you live a bit further from work, try to compromise by parking your car in a garage a few miles away from work and biking the rest of the way. By doing this, you accomplish two things: reducing your environmental footprint by opting for eco-friendly commute styles and getting your workout done by exercising on the way to work. It’s a win for everyone!

    There’s no need to sacrifice function for sustainability. Get the best of both worlds with high-functioning eco-friendly athletic wear. By using recycled materials, upcycled products, biodegradable polymers, and organic materials, you can find the active gear, apparel and ethical goods that works for you and protects our environment.

    Shopping with Clear Givings Market makes it easy. We’ve already researched brands that do good, ensuring their commitment to sustainability so that you don’t have to. All you need to do is find your new favorite piece of eco-athletic wear and add it to your cart.  

    Slip into styles made comfortable for sun-kissed destinations or crisp, cold mountain tops. From AM workouts to PM pleasures, we have your back in eco-friendly practices. Thank you for making a meaningful difference in sustainability. Why not start now? Shop our carefully cultivated collection of outdoor gear and activewear for both men and women

    Enter our fall giveaway to win up to $500 of luxurious pre-selected skincare and haircare.


    BONUS: Enter our giveaway collaboration here to win $3k+ in sustainable products!

     

    Sources

    [1] https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/75976

    [2] https://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/choosing-workout-clothes.aspx

    [3] ​​https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/organic-cotton

    [4]https://www.fulgar.com/eng/insights/biodegradable-nylon-amni-soul-eco

    [5]https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/motivation/a776063/plogging-the-new-running-craze-that-is-saving-the-planet/



    Aria Crane
    Aria Crane

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