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While fast fashion brands have churned out unethically-made, super cheap, nylon and polyester leggings and tights, many of these don’t stand the test of time and some fall apart only after a few wears.
Luckily there are more sustainable brands than ever before producing ethical leggings and tights in natural, regenerative, recycled and eco-friendly fabrics – you just need to know where to look.
And that’s why we’ve curated this list of brands producing high-performance, sweat shop-free sustainable leggings, tights and activewear – to help you buy from brands that have a low impact on the planet but high impact on personal satisfaction.
American cult sustainable activewear label Girlfriend Collective responsibly manufactures (in Vietnam) a wide range of seamless and high-waisted ethical leggings incorporating recycled materials such as ECONYL yarn that is made from recycled plastic bottles. The materials have been certified by OEKO-TEX, Global Recycling Standards and Bluesign. A brand that truly embraces diversity and inclusivity throughout its business, it Girlfriend features women of all shapes and sizes in its photo shoots and marketing, and produces size-inclusive leggings from XXS to 6XL in bold, trendy colours.
Shop Girlfriend’s eco leggings here.
2. dk active
Australian conscious brand dk active produces super stylish, ethical tights, leggings and bike short styles in its solar-powered factory in North Brisbane. Founder Danielle Kay launched the business in 2016 to provide Aussie shoppers ethical alternatives to athletic wear. The size inclusive garments (sizes 6 to 24, including maternity leggings) feature OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified materials (read: screened out for toxic and harmful chemicals) such as organic cotton, organic bamboo and regenerated fabrics such as Italian Lycra and all are produced in Australia. Some of the ethical leggings in the range incorporate a breathable, comfortable, durable fabric called Supplex, a blend of quality nylon and spandex that is designed to stretch and retain its shape and ideal for workout clothing.
Shop DK Active ethical leggings and tights here.
For affordable ethical leggings and tights (prices range from just US$35-45) made from chemical-free, natural materials, you can’t go past Pact. This US-based global brand manufactures organic cotton leggings and tights that are made with GOTS-certified organic cotton fabric and produced in a fairtrade certified factory in India. Choose from cropped to full-length legging styles, basic colours to bold prints, whatever your tastes and preferences, Pact has got you covered.
Shop Pact organic leggings and tights here.
Established in 2014, Danish-founded brand Organic Basics made its mark in the sustainable fashion industry by producing an ethical range of organic underwear and simple tees incorporating minimalist designs and branding. The business recently launched a range of ethical seamless leggings made from a premium, stretchy, sweat-wicking certified recycled-stretch jersey fabric called SilverTech™ which is made with 80% less water than standard activewear fabrics. All garments are responsibly and fairly made in Europe.
Shop Organic Basics sustainable leggings here.
Australian brand Boody responsibly manufactures a range of comfortable and super affordable eco-friendly basics and workout tights and leggings made from organic bamboo. Available in black only; sizes XS to XL and comes in three styles: three-quarter, cropped and full leggings. Price range A$23.95-$29.95.
Shop Boody bamboo leggings here.
Conscious lifestyle brand prAna built its reputation on producing sustainable yoga wear made from eco-friendly fabrics such as hemp, recycled polyester and organic cotton in Fair Trade Certified™ factories. Its vast range of active leggings don’t disappoint, made from either organic cotton hemp jersey stretch blend or recycled nylon and Lycra blend that is lightweight and is UPF 50+; the range is as practical as it is stylish. You’ll find leggings that feature a secure wide waistband or pockets and come in full length, 7/8 and capri styles. Some legging styles go up to size 3XL.
Selected styles are currently on sale, 40-50% off priced from just US$45. Browse the prAna eco-friendly leggings range here.
Born from a desire to offer customers premium quality, simple basics that don’t hurt the bank balance or cost the earth, Canadian brand and certified B-corporation Kotn produces a small range of comfy, loungy, high-rise leggings from 100% Egyptian cotton. Designed in Canada, ethically-made in the Nile Delta, the leggings are only available in black and heather grey, sizes XS to XXL. Every purchase also funds new schools in Egypt to provide new opportunities and pathways for young people.
Leggings are currently on sale for just CAD$25. Shop Kotn ethical leggings here.
Australian label Bundarra Sportswear was founded by a multicultural group of friends from First Nation and non-Indigenous backgrounds back in 2011. The brand collaborates with First Nations artists to feature 100% authentic Indigenous Australian artworks in its collections. Its leggings are made from 80% polyester and lycra, and are beautiful and distinctive. Ethically produced in China by a family-owned garment factory that meets high standards of labour, quality and working conditions. Over the last three years, the brand has directed $1.5 million to Indigenous employment and training, direct community funding and artists sponsorships.
Shop Bundarra Sportswear leggings here.
9. Amour Vert
American ethical brand Amour Vert produces quality everyday wear and wardrobe essentials that you’ll wear again and again. Much of its range is made from eco-friendlier materials such as certified organic cotton, TENCEL Lyocell, and its range of lounge leggings follow the same eco philosophy, made from Modal, a sustainable fabric made from beechwood fibers. Amour Vert is also a ‘made in America’ brand, ethically producing all its leggings in its Californian factory, just a few miles from its San Francisco headquarters. Current range of soft and ribbed leggings are only available in black.
Shop Amour Vert leggings here.
10. Active Truth
Australian ethical activewear brand Active Truth produces a range of good quality, ethical tights for plus-sized and pregnant women, from sizes 8 to 26. The leggings are all high-waisted to provide support and some even come with pockets. They are available in the following lengths and styles: full-length, 7/8, 3/4, and there are even printed tights if you prefer a little pizzazz. Made from a blend of polyester and elastane fabric offering superior compression, most of the garments are ethically made in Australia. While the ethical brand sources some eco-friendly and natural fabrics for its entire activewear collection, it is actively committed to sustainable practices and is currently working with textile suppliers on making the transition to recycled and natural fabrics for all its products.
Disclosure: All prices are correct at time of publishing. This curated list does not fully take into account all the ethical considerations that are unique to each individual. Before making a purchase, we encourage you to do your own research paying special attention to the supply chain and your own particular set of ethics. This list also includes affiliate links. Click here to read more about our policies.
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Cover image via Kotn.