12 Conscious Activewear Brands & Tips on Buying the Right Fabric

written by JILL March 9, 2017

So awhile ago Luke and I decided to sign up for the LA marathon which is happening in a couple weeks and we have been rigorously training (aka. doing the best that we can) and felt inspired to put together a list of activewear brands to help inspire you to, well maybe not do the same as us, but make your own active living goals and look good doing so!

 Before the list however I wanted to include a couple tips for buying the right fabric,  the first being a very simple yet profound tip I’ve come across while training, and just testing out different workout gear.

TIP 1 | DO NOT WEAR COTTON

Now there are  a lot of very cute cotton athleisure clothing out there and don’t get me wrong my entire wardrobe is basically athleisure street wear (or basically anything that is comfortable) so I do love a good cotton top or cotton tights for more of toning type of workout session. But if you want to do a hardcore workout which includes lots of cardio, and lots of sweat, then you want to stay clear of cotton.

Cotton is a natural absorbent fabric so for activewear you want to wear fabrics that are non-absorbent or ‘wicking’ fabrics (which basically means water resistant).

 So before my list of brands, here’s a non exhaustive list of some natural wicking fabrics and also the common synthetic wicking fabrics that are out there for you to look for when choosing the right fabric for your activewear clothing.

NATURAL FABRICS

Bamboo

Merino Wool

Tencel

 

SYNTHETIC FABRICS (Artificial Fabric)

Polyester

Spandex or (brand name Lycra)

Nylon

Polyamide

Rayon

ECO-FRIENDLY TIP 2 | What I would recommend if you wanted to be a bit more eco-friendly is consider buying secondhand activewear clothing. I’ve found amazing almost new to brand new items in several thrift shops that have been lasting pieces in my wardrobe. I’m a huge thrift supporter and recycled activewear is an awesome eco-friendly and sustainable option.  What you can also do is research the fabric that is used in the activewear brands you love (either find it on their website or just pop them a quick email asking about it) and find out how it’s made and what it’s made of. Having the right information can be helpful to know what you are putting on your skin and the impact it may have had on the environment in the production process. You can find brands out there that will use recycled fabrics, or recycled materials that are converted into fabric (like Girlfriend Collective listed below).

12 CONSCIOUS ACTIVEWEAR BRANDS

These brands I am including for the most part all provide ‘wicking’ fabric in their activewear collections and  all carry some form of activewear suited for the gym and street (my love; athleisure) and are all made mindfully with an eco-friendly or social conscience.

 

WOMEN

1 | BELLE FORCE

activewear_ballerina

I wanted to throw this new brand in there first as I just discovered them recently and they still in the pre-launch stages, however their products seemed too great to pass up on this list. They are a brand inspired by the ballerina, with form, figure and performance in mind. Their products are proudly made in New York (another reason why I love them) and are simple, clean, yet very flattering pieces. They will be launching this Spring so make sure to keep an eye out for them!

 

2 | PORT DE BRAS

activewear_sexy

Their products are beyond cool! They sell modern athleisure wear made to portray the look and style of a ballerina warming up to dance with femininity, versatility and ready-to-wear all in one. The patterns and colors are minimal with bold statements and made to be sweat-in. Their products are eco-friendly and designed with high quality for the conscious consumer and to build awareness in the fashion industry.

 

3 | SHARE HOPE 

activewear_giveback

These guys are quite fresh but worth including as their mission and product is both inspiring and innovative. They are owned by a non profit which invests in the lives of the individual producers of the garments and promote and support sustainability and transformation. Their leggings are high performance, top quality active wear pants with a creative pocket designed into the back of the pant that fits cell phones (iPhone 6 size). When you purchase their product the profits go to social programs created for workers in Haiti to help in education and health. Buying these pants not only look good, but do good at the same time! They are hoping to add more garments to their line up by the end of 2017 so they definitely are another brand to keep your eye on.

 

4 | NAJA

activewear_hip

They sell not only active wear but, lingerie and swimwear and  all created with the same motive in mind to promote “…a love for beautifully designed things, a bit of rebelliousness, and a deep desire to the make the world a better place.”  They empower and employ women with flexible work policies to make it easy to balance work and childcare. They care about the environment and implement eco-friendly technologies and fabrics into their production. Their activewear products all have a modern and creative design and use bold patterns to make a feminine and strong statement.

 

5 | GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE

activewear_girlfriendcollective

This is an exciting new brand of activewear products with their signature yoga pants that they gave away for the price of shipping in a creative sample testing marketing campaign. They launch their full collection of activewear products in the coming months. What sets them apart from other brands is the fact that they make their products out of recycled plastic bottles, take extra time and effort in their design and product creation and share one of the most transparent and informative production descriptions I’ve seen from a brand. They are strong advocates of slow fashion and want to provide long lasting, high quality products that become staple go-tos when sifting through your closet. I bought a pair of their tights and they are so incredible and soft! 

 

6 | AKROVITA

activewear_chick_blonde

With their name literally meaning  ‘to live your best life’, Akrovita motivates and encourages people of any age and shape to live their best life. Their designs and shapes are all made with beautiful and modern style with high quality materials. The best part, every item is made in the US!

 

7 | FREE LABEL

activewear_poser

Made in Canada, their products are a casual high performance line of activewear with a casual and sporty feel and style to each garment. They are dedicated to creating great basics for your closet and make all their clothes locally in Toronto or Vancouver, Canada by workers who are paid fair and work in safe environments.

 

8 | ALBION 

activewear_albion

Albion features a variety of modern, beautifully designed and patterned pieces with  different collections for swimwear, fitness, leisure and even kids. Their mission is to produce luxurious, fashionable and flattering apparel for women and their products feature beautiful floral pattern accents. They are a local family owned company and support green living and manufacturing and are proud of every garment made. 

 

MEN & WOMEN

9 | PATAGONIA

activewear_patagonia

They sell a lot more than activewear but I would say their entire feel of their brand is a more active, outdoor and sport inspired aesthetic. Their values and mission were inspired by a band of climbers and surfers who promoted a minimalist style. They sell anything from underwear, swimwear, sweatshirts and active gear to yoga and performance activewear. They also sell men’s casual clothing that may or may not really count as official activewear.

 

10 | THREADS FOR THOUGHT

activewear_threads

This is another awesome brand that sells a wide variety of products for both men and women. Their women’s activewear selection is very broad and provides creative and unique patterns. Their products are made as sustainable wardrobe staples and items to make as your go-to clothing.  As like Patagonia however, the men’s section is more casual wear than activewear. 

 

11 | HEROINE SPORT

activewear_brands_yeah

They sell high end ready to wear activewear garments that embodies high-fashion with a sporty style. They have a made in the US collection with high tech performance fabrics and products made to take you from day to night and street to gym. They also have a men’s line called Hero Sport which features just as cool men’s athleisure and activewear. 

 

12 | REVA

activewear_revia

Their passion is simple, to keep you always moving. They are focused on creating activewear for the modern minimalist. They are a small team and promote and provide youth access to sports. They support through their brand a movement to keep the growing community active, and aim to empower the next generation and provide children with greater access through donation Reva Wear products or collaborating with local partner for services to kids. They sell both men’s and women’s active wear with a modern sophisticated style and design.

 

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