This Earth Day, you might be celebrating the great outdoors by exercising alfresco. But what will you be doing to promote conservation efforts? Combine your love of fitness with environmentalism by purchasing eco-friendly workout clothes. The following fitness brands and companies are using recyclable textiles, non-polluting manufacturing methods and other ecologically sound practices to maintain a small carbon footprint and clean, green reputation.
Sixty-five percent of the clothing from Alternative Apparel is made of sustainable fabric, which is colored with low-impact or natural dyes. In addition, the company gets its wool products from the Sustainable Alpaca Network in Peru, which promotes eco-friendly alpaca farming. Watch a documentary short of the cute alpacas and the farmers of the Highlands, Peru, here. You can also read more about Alternative Apparel’s conservation efforts on its lovely blog, Common Thread.
Athleta is owned by Gap, which has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint within every stage of its operations — from its factories, to its shipping methods, to its stores. Their environmental initiative includes recycling and composting efforts, cutting back greenhouse gas emissions, and using efficient lighting methods in stores. Gap is also a founding member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which seeks to measure and standardize sustainability practices among clothing manufacturers.
Climbing and skiing apparel company Black Diamond wants to preserve the mountains and natural landscapes for which it designs clothing. In order to do so, the company is a bluesign system partner, which means it must adhere to strict standards regarding water and energy consumption, material and chemical usage, and gas emissions. The company is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
Like Black Diamond, Patagonia is audited by bluesign to ensure it meets the firm’s criteria for sustainable textile production. The company is also steadfastly transparent when it comes to its production process through The Footprint Chronicles, a detailed diary of Patagonia’s supply chain. In addition, 1 percent of Patagonia’s annual sales goes toward funding environmental activism. To date, the company has given more than $58 million in grants and donations to upwards of 1,000 environmental groups.
Eco-friendly operations are of the utmost important to REI — a company that has webpage after webpage dedicated to detailing its approach toward sustainability. REI’s objectives include becoming a climate-neutral and zero waste-to-landfill organization by 2020; designing green stores with durable fixtures and energy-efficient lighting; and improving any environmentally adverse impacts within its apparel production process.
The founder of 4-rth is so deeply passionate about conserving the environment that he quit his job in banking to start a clothing company “accountable for its fabric choices and construction process.” All 4-rth apparel is made in the USA and with eco-friendly fabric that has one-twentieth of the ecological consequences that cotton has.
Before you head outdoors this Earth Day, don’t forget to check out the clothing offerings from these do-good fitness apparel brands!