Fashion Muse

Jungle Run: The Rise of Sustainable Sportswear

Lily Abel discusses sustainable and eco-friendly options in the sportswear market

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Image: Lily Abel

Active wear, from Nike to Adidas, Primark to Boohoo and New Balance to Reebok are some of the household names, ranging in expense, that people purchase to cater for their active endeavours or day to day comfort; the classic library attire. Yet, during this current drive to 'zero-waste' and 'slow fashion', the clothing we wear to exercise in (or otherwise) is often forgotten off the sustainable bandwagon. The reason for this can be deduced from the fact that, eco-friendly sustainability has been considered an 'alternative ideology' for decades, often associated with the stereotypical depiction of hippies who live in the woods and survive off raw food. It is only since people have become aware of the severity of the plastic situation, a key influence being David Attenborough's most recent Blue Planet documentary, and in turn, the realisation of our 'throw away' society, that a surge in alternatives has come about. It is important not to forget the influence of social media with key figures, whether celebrity famous or 'social media' famous supporting and promoting them.

The sudden drive to shopping sustainably, whether that be from charity shops, vintage boutiques, Depop or independent labels has enlightened many people to the multiple options for purchasing your clothing elsewhere and avoiding the cheap, 'fast fashion' trap. Yes, you can find active wear in charity and vintage shops, however that can consist of some time-consuming searching, which of course, can make the final purchase more satisfying. However, if you need to satisfy a sudden urge to go for a run or join a yoga class (or enjoy some comfort whilst lazing around) make sure you turn to a brand that offers ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly options.

So here are some alternative investments you can make into some good quality active wear. BAM, an active clothing line that is made from Bamboo, a sustainable plant as well as having many beneficial qualities such as being gentle on your skin and anti-bacterial. Patagonia, a well-known brand that is focused on using and locating materials that are the most sustainable, least damaging and produced in fair working conditions for a decent price. People Tree, a Fair Trade and sustainable line making sure the producers of their fabrics and the end product are dealt with fairly and in the eco-friendliest way possible. Jilla, a brand that is constantly in contact and strongly connected to the factory it is produced in, they offer a transparent view of the making of their ethical products. Nimble, an Australian brand that does international shipping (perhaps not the number one go to, due to the air miles), however their pieces are made from recycled plastic bottles and they support a production of fair working conditions and pay.

These are just a few and there are more being created and promoted all the time, varying from the pricey to the affordable. Our society encourages consumer quantity rather than quality which needs to be switched. So, you can go for a run (or not) and feel mindful that you have helped the planet by one small, diverted investment from the fast fashion industry.

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1 Comment

Grn Sportswear Posted on Sunday 17 Jan 2021

It's great to see more activewear companies in this space. At Grn Sportswear we create technical clothing from recycled materials for cycling, swimming, running and triathlon and fairwear bamboo semi-technical t-shirts. Our sportswear performs as well as garments from virgin materials with much less impact. The emphasis has to be on good, transparent manufacturing processes and durability.


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