9 Ethical & Sustainable Activewear Brands For 2023
The Good Trade editors endorse products we’ve personally researched, tested, and genuinely love. Learn more about our methodology and business model here.
We love a good athletic fit. Leggings and a supportive sports bra (or activewear top) are perfect for exercise, weekend errands, and to feel comfortable and cute while WFH. The only problem is, it can be challenging to find quality workout clothes that will outlast squats, sprints, and all the Saturdays (and Sundays) we’re sleeping in.
Fear not, though—our editors have put in the work and put brands to the test. And it’s not just quality we’ve vetted, either. These athletic brands check all the boxes on our wish list—from sustainable materials and manufacturing practices to affordability and inclusive styles and size ranges.
Many of these athletic clothing collections are made with fair trade and ethical labor practices and include natural and recycled fabrics, too. For high-performance activewear that prioritizes your comfort, your workouts, and the planet—look no further. Let us know your faves!
1. Girlfriend Collective
Best For | Size-inclusive activewear (XXS-6XL)
Price Range | $18 (underwear) – $98 (track jacket)
From skorts to sports bras, Girlfriend Collective has it all. And this thoughtful brand is exceptionally size-inclusive from XXS to 6XL, because every body is an active body. The fabrics are sustainable or recycled, too; for example, its best-selling Compressive Leggings are made with 25 recycled water bottles! From its stance on ethical production to its affordable, gorgeous designs to seeing models who actually look like us, there’s so much to love. Our team especially loves GC’s collection for cute crop tops that actually fit larger cup sizes and hold everything in. (Finally!) Read our full Girlfriend Collective review here.
Best For | Affordable adult activewear
Price Range | $38 (sports bra) – $78 (hoodie)
Pact imagines a world without toxic chemicals, sweatshops, or child labor—it’s the kind of world we want to live in, too. The brand’s basics are ethically made with GOTS certified organic cotton. Most pieces are certified Fair Trade, too. With neutral colors and affordable prices, Pact is the perfect place to stock up on all your cotton undergarments, including socks, underwear, and more. (Pact leggings are especially versatile and delightfully stretchy—we’ve worn them to hot yoga, hangouts with friends, and under dresses and boots in the fall!)
Best For | Sport-specific activewear
Price Range | $25 (performance socks) – $799 (zip front waders)
Patagonia is a B Corp committed to the triple bottom line: profit, people, and planet. The brand’s mission incorporates building the best products for those who love the great outdoors while also caring for the environment—that’s why Patagonia also has generous warranties, repairs, and even a secondhand shop. Our team loves (and has used!) Patagonia’s Ironclad guarantee to fix garment holes and stretched-out leggings from years of use—and the process is as simple and sustainable as it sounds! Whether you’re looking for yoga pants, outdoor jackets, running shorts, or activewear for little ones, this California-based brand has got you covered.
4. MATE the Label
Best For | Activewear you can sleep in
Price Range | $58 (biker shorts) – $88 (unitard)
MATE the Label is our go-to for clean, sustainable sweats, leggings, and sports bras that are just as good at the gym or on the couch. The conscious, woman-founded brand makes cozy yet functional essentials in a circular production line. We love their The Mate Eight ethos, which outlines for of their ethical and sustainable standards! Stock up on your year-round joggers, sweats, and more (and check out our Mate the Label review for more info!).
Best For | Sneakers & men’s activewear
Price Range | $14 (performance sock) – $170 (running shoe)
Allbirds revolutionized the shoe game when it first launched in 2016. (Our editor can happily attest to loving Allbird’s shoes—she wears them constantly whether she’s hiking or meeting a friend for coffee.) At the time, the brand only offered adult sneakers—but they became the go-to for anyone prioritizing comfort and sustainability in their daily walks. Since then, this certified B Corp has expanded its product line to include activewear like leggings, shorts, and tees—made with sustainable materials. Get the carbon-neutral basics you need—all in one place—for your next run.
6. Definite Articles
Best For | Biodegradable activewear
Price Range | $14 (performance sock) – $78 (leggings)
Definite Articles wants to change the performance wear game by taking plastic out of the equation. Partnering with scientific and textile experts, the brand created the first biodegradable performance wear garments that won’t shed plastic into the environment when it is washed or worn. Using CiCLO® textiles, the garments retain all of the durability and function of high quality activewear with none of the negative impacts on the environment. Making strides toward their carbon footprint impact, this B-Corp is on our radar for the next generation of sustainable performance wear!
Best For | Layers, skorts, and performance dresses
Price Range | $20 (tank) – $45 (pocket leggings)
When we want sustainable luxury at an affordable price point, we are heading to Quince. We love their buttery soft leggings and cropped tanks in subtle, gorgeous hues like rose and olive, or their performance skorts and dresses made from recycled fabrics. Dyed safely according to bluesign® standards and manufactured in WRAP certified factories to ensure ethical working practices, we can feel as good as we look in these sustainable, comfy, and chic pieces.
Best For | Patterned/printed athletic wear
Price Range | $46 (sports bra) – $104 (pocket leggings)
For the best in sleek and sustainable athletic wear, check out Wolven, an LA-based brand creating fashion-forward pieces from post-consumer recycled plastic. This collection is ethically produced in small batches in either LA or China, and the brand removes a pound of plastic waste from the ocean with every purchase. We adore how many options we get with Wolven’s reversible feature; their tops stay supportive no matter which way you wear them, and the biker shorts are so soft. The festive color options make exercise a bit more fun too! Shop here for leggings, joggers, and tops for all genders, from fitted silhouettes to crisscross styles—they’re carbon-neutral, sustainably made, and downright sexy.
Best For | Sports bras, leggings, graphic tees
Price Range | $40 (tank) – $98 (athletic pants)
tentree understands that every little bit helps when it comes to being more eco-friendly, whether it’s bringing a reusable bag to the grocery store or shopping consciously. For every purchase, tentree plants 10 trees (the company aspires to plant 1 billion by 2030—take that, climate change!), and more than 71 million have been planted already. Our team especially loves the InMotion Longline Active bra—it’s supportive enough for exercise but comfortable enough for lounging at home. The special edition colors are so dreamy!
Featured image from Girlfriend Collective