Finding stylish, comfortable, and sustainable activewear can be a challenge. The temptation to hit the mall or order online is irresistible but did you know that activewear can have a more significant environmental impact than our everyday clothes because of synthetic fabrics? Also, because we are harder on our sportswear, they wear out quicker, leading to the need to dispose of the garments more frequently.
We rounded up four of our favourite Canadian activewear brands for a recommendation for being as sustainable as they can be, high-quality, and look great while you are getting moving!
Alder Apparel is a Toronto-based activewear brand created by two childhood friends – Mikayla Wujec and Naomi Blackman – who were frustrated with women’s outdoor clothing options. They made size-inclusive garments for outdoor activities and exercise in vibrant seasonal colours. At its core, Alder Apparel holds the values of leaving the earth as it was, investing in the next generation of environmentally friendly innovations, and demanding equal opportunities by amplifying diverse voices.
Dave Luba, Kalen Emsley, and Derek Emsley founded Vancouver-based tentree, which has planted over 75 million trees by planting ten trees for every item purchased. The garments are made with the smallest environmental footprint possible while still having comfy and sustainable materials like Tencel, recycled polyester, organic cotton and hemp. With rich colours alongside basic neutrals and comfortable, versatile fits and shapes, Ten Tree’s commitment to putting the earth first in all their decisions is a bonus to their timeless activewear.
Jess Sternberg founded Free Label and uses custom milled sustainable and soft materials made in Toronto to create activewear with neutral, earthy colours in comfortable, organic silhouettes. The independent, family-run business uses natural fibre materials such as lyocell, Supima cotton, linen and bamboo, with every garment cut and sewn in Canada. Free Label’s custom fabrics ensure high-quality clothes that are as soft as they are durable.
Vitae Apparel is an activewear brand designed and made in Vancouver by Selene Dior, a competitive swimmer for 17-years. With 4-way stretch for durability, be assured even in the most strenuous workouts, your leggings and sports bra will not budge, thanks to CompressLux fabric. The breathable, sweat-wicking fabric made from recycled nylon and fishnets will keep you cool and dry. In addition, Vitae Apparel has pastel, bright-coloured and neutral activewear sets for everyone.
We are excited that more and more activewear brands are moving towards sustainability. However, the onus continues to be on the consumer to research and check garment tags to ensure that what you buy is environmentally friendly and avoid falling for deceptive greenwashing!
Feature image by Free Label.
- Olivia is passionate about fashion, writing and supporting brands that go above and beyond to support environmental and ethical issues. She believes in living an eco-friendly lifestyle and shopping sustainably and locally. As she learns more, Olivia strives to find brands to showcase that create high-quality products worthy of support.
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