When a reader recently left a comment sharing her difficulties in finding organic activewear and sportswear made from chemical-free natural fibres, a lightbulb went off in my head. She’s not the first reader to mention this; why the heck haven’t we created this list before?
Some people don’t like to wear garments made of synthetic fabrics, whether for health reasons, comfort reasons, environmental reasons or just personal preferences. Even if the garments are made from ‘sustainable’ but plastic-derived fabrics such as recycled polyester and ECONYL, or eco-friendly semi-synthetic fabrics such as Tencel and Lyocell.
Wearing organic natural fibres is healthier for the skin and more planet-friendly since it is grown with no toxic pesticides, fertilisers and GMOs. Whether we’re talking organic cotton or organic hemp, organic fibres are grown with the health of farmers, workers, wildlife and the planet in mind.
Now activewear brands that only make collections completely from 100% organic natural fibres such as 100% organic cotton doesn’t seem to exist, I’ve looked high and low. It’s clear from my research that the fibres in the garments need to be blended with elastane and Spandex for high-performance, durability and stretch. But if you know of any 100% organic cotton athleisure brands, feel free to leave their details in the comment section below.
With that said, as far as we’re concerned, close to 100% natural and organic is good enough. Any brand that responsibly manufactures activewear and athleisure clothing made of mostly natural and organic fibres should be commended.
So without further ado, here are the brands in no particular order:
Why we love them: Groceries Apparel is a sustainable fashion brand that ethically manufactures trendy collections in their own factory located in LA, California. The brand uses 100% GMO-free and fairtrade sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp and recycled fabrics. Its range of activewear and athleisure clothing is trendy AF and can be worn for daily workouts, running errands or whenever you feel like casually hanging out with mates.
Best for: Busy ladies who want to look effortlessly stylish in and out of the gym.
Price range: Sports bras from US$48, leggings from $78 and crop tops from $39.
Shop online: groceriesapparel.com
Why we love them: Fashion forward athletic leisure basics for men and women made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and produced under fairtrade conditions. The brand prides itself on its transparent and traceable supply chain, we just love that they care enough to share the details on their website!
Best for: Those seeking classic athletic casual wear for effortless style.
Price range: Tops from US$30, joggers $135 and hoodies $135.
Shop online: loomstate.org
3. Ripple Yoga Wear
Why we love them: This US brand produces classic athletic apparel specifically for yoga practitioners and and pilates lovers. Their design and brand philosophy is influenced by yoga – mindful and conscious. While not all garments are made of organic cotton, on its website the brand devotes an entire category to their organic cotton line of yoga clothing to make these items easier to find. All garments are made fairly in Israel.
Best for: Yogis looking for functional, stylish yoga wear.
Price range: From $55 for shorts, $62 for leggings.
Shop online: rippleyogawear.com
Why we love them: Bhumi is an Australian sustainable lifestyle label that uses GOTS-certified and Fairtrade organic cotton (ranging from 55% through to 100% organic cotton), recycled fabrics and low-impact water-based dyes that are free from toxic chemicals We’ve featured their ethical sports bras before but let’s face it, their entire offerings from yoga wear, organic bedding and loungewear are all worth a mention.
Best for: Women and men who want super comfy, functional organic activewear.
Price range: From $59 for tops and $89 bottoms.
Shop online: bhumi.com.au
Why we love them: Pioneering Canadian organic label founded in 1997 by off-grid homesteaders who are the real deal! Rawganique has built its reputation on transparency, ethical sourcing and eco-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton, linen and hemp. The brand reveals the country in which it sources its fibres and where its clothing is made. If you have time, check out their About Us page, seriously deserves a standing ovation for its raw, real, direct messaging around social media, business and customers. We love this part too: Zero animal testing. Zero animal cruelty. Zero slave labor. Zero sweatshop.
Best for: Serious sustainability folk who want to support a small business who really, really care about making a difference.
Price range: From $49 for hoodies and $79 for leggings.
Shop online: rawganique.com
6. PACT Apparel
Why we love them: PACT Apparel is B-Corp certified, uses GOTS-certified organic cotton fabric in its activewear (its yoga leggings are made of 92% organic cotton), produces in Fair-trade factories and is super affordable. Its website has a clean, crisp, easy-to-navigate design.
Best for: Those seeking affordable basic athleisure wear such as yoga pants, tops and sports bras.
Price range: From US$30 for women’s leggings, tops from $15 and sports bras from $25.
7. SATVA Living
Why we love them: New York based sustainable activewear brand SATVA Living incorporates eco-friendly fabrics into its designs, organic cotton (most garments contain 90% organic cotton) through to recycled fibres, it also gives back to rural communities in India, donating funds that go to the provision of education and livestock immunisation.
Best for: Classic athleisure clothing for stylish women seeking affordability and comfort.
Price range: Tops from US$25, leggings from $35 and gym shorts from $58.
Shop online: satvaliving.com
Why we love them: Pansy activewear features 90% organic cotton that is grown in the US and 10% Spandex made of recycled PET plastic bottles. Its garments are also made under ethical conductions in California, USA. We especially love the brand’s use of diverse models of various shapes, sizes and races, inclusive vibes right up our alley!
Best for: Super cool gals looking for super cool activewear in soft colour hues.
Price range: Sports bras from $64, leggings from $72 and gym shorts from $58.
9. Soul Flower
Why we love them: Soul Flower is an American activewear label ideal for “kind souls and free spirits”. Its garments are made in the USA from a blend of GOTS-certified organic cotton (around 87% in most leggings) and spandex, and items are screen-printed by hand using low-impact dyes. We love that the brand has plus-size activewear collections too.
Best for: Yogis who love artistic designs on their leggings, tops and bras, and who are more hippie than hipster.
Price range: Leggings from US$44, tank tops $30 and bralettes and sports bras $25.20.
Why we love them: This NZ sustainable label is Fair-Trade certified, uses sustainable fabrics such as GOTS-certified organic cotton, is popular with ethical fashionistas the world over for its design-forward garments and use of minimalistic photography. The brand continues to receive industry recognition and accolades for its offerings, recently receiving an ‘A’ grade in Baptist World Aid’s most recent Ethical Fashion Guide. Their athletic leisure wear is amazing but if you’re really game and you think your wardrobe needs it and your bank account can handle it, browse the entire site and check out the dresses, the basics, the jeans – oh my!
Best for: For women who love a little eco-luxe in their lives.
Price range: Leggings from US$65, track pants $165 and hooded sweater $165.
Shop online: kowtowclothing.com
11. B-LIGHT Organic
Why we love them: This Swedish sports fashion label B-LIGHT responsibly produces quality organic clothing for yoga, sport and leisure that is comfortable and soft and made only of GOTS-certified organic cotton (most garments range fro 87% to 95% organic cotton). The business regularly visits the factories to ensure compliance of strict standards.
Best for: Sporty ladies looking for high performance organic cotton athletic wear.
Price range: Leggings from €33, shorts €25 and hoodies €59.
Shipping: Ships only to countries within the European Union.
Shop online: b-light.se
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Disclosure: The curated list is based on the writer’s research and does not fully take into account all ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying particular attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. You can also check out online tools and apps that provide product reviews and brand ratings here. This list also contains affiliate links. For more information, click here.
Title image of organic cotton crossover bra from Groceries Apparel.