Why you should careFabrics that do double duty to empower women, education, or fight for a better planet is nothing to run from.
by Kate Houser
Quite a few things make us sweat in our best workout clothes, especially when we start talking about the possibilities of a fully plastic free Earth (we sweat when we get excited)! But often, our sweat comes from doing yoga, Pilates, weight lifting or just going on a good old fashioned hike in some of our best workout clothes. Sweat helps your bodies release toxins, stay in shape and keep your energy high — all the better to crush your goals (like being the best conscious consumer ever, well, maybe just in the neighborhood). We’re aiming for our street block.
No matter what your preferred form of activity is, how amazing would it feel to know you were doing something good for your body while wearing gear that is helping the planet?
We agree. It’s important to think about what you’re going to adorn your beautiful bod in before your sweat session, so let’s talk fabric! The most commonly used fabrics for active gear today are polyester, nylon and spandex. Polyester takes a sh*t ton of water to produce, nylon creates greenhouse gas more harmful than carbon dioxide and both are non-biodegradable, aka we can’t do anything with them once they’re created. We are literally creating waste we can’t throw away once we’ve decided we’re no longer into neon leggings (which while we love neon, there may be a time we want to retire those from our wardrobe).
Instead, next time you are shopping for active gear, look for materials on the label such as Tencel or bamboo. Tencel is made from wood pulp and wood chips and made from biodegradable plant based materials. The fibres that make up Tencel are naturally better at absorbing moisture and therefore perfect for your sweat session. This also decreases the amount of moisture living on the material which means less opportunity for bacteria to grow, and have your clothes smell during your spin class. Tencel is a win for the environment and your social life!
Cotton is also an extremely common material in active gear because it’s one of the most comfortable. Pay the few extra bucks and invest in some organic cotton pieces. They’ll last longer, especially since we wash active gear more frequently than other garments of clothing. So, spending a bit more for organic cotton will pay off in the long run on durability after multiple washes.
Athleta, Gold Medal Give Back
On Earth Day this year, Athleta made a public announcement to make their four key goals for 2020 to be focused around Protecting Resource, Conserving Water, Empowering Women and Reducing Waste and Energy Usage. Specifically, to make 80% of their products with sustainable fibers and 25% of their items to be made by new manufacturing techniques that can save up to 4.5 gallons of water per garment.
Satva, Gold Medal Give Back
Satva partners with Suminter India Organics® to produce their organic cotton. Through the Disha program that Suminter and Satva created, they also support the education of young girls in the villages where the organic cotton is grown in.
PrAna, Platinum Medal Give Back
PrAna uses organic cotton and recycled wool to make their garments. They are Fair Trade Certified, which means you can feel good about how your clothes were made and who they were made by. Learn more about what it means to be Fair Trade Certified here!
Keywords: Tencel; Bamboo; Organic Cotton; Protecting Resource; Conserving Water; Empowering Women; Reduce Waste; Reduce Energy Usage; Athleta; Satva; Prana; Suminter India Organics; organic cotton; young girls; recycled wool; Fair Trade Certified; best workout clothes