Ethical and eco-friendly fashion isn’t just a trend—it’s a necessity. The fashion industry is responsible for colossal textile waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and water, air, and soil pollution with toxic chemicals. Luckily, there are plenty of sustainable fabrics available for your activewear. These include reclaimed fabrics like hemp and lyocell that save material from landfills and promote sustainability.
Cotton is a popular fabric for clothing, but many brands are now choosing to use organic cotton in their sportswear fabric. Organic cotton is cultivated without synthetic pesticides, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers. This reduces the pollution in the waterways caused by these chemicals, which can affect local wildlife and human health. It also doesn’t deplete the soil nutrients like conventional cotton, which is better for the environment.
Another sustainable fabric used in the production of sportswear is hemp. Hemp is a natural plant that doesn’t require much attention while cultivating and proliferates, making it a sustainable choice for the textile industry. Organic hemp doesn’t contain any chemicals and is very durable. It’s an excellent substitute for cotton and provides the same softness to the wearer. Hemp is very breathable and doesn’t absorb odors, which makes it a good choice for athletic apparel. It is naturally resistant to bacteria and fungi and doesn’t need any chemicals to help it stay that way. Hemp can be mixed with other materials, including merino wool and bamboo, to create comfortable and functional sportswear. Recycled polyester is another high-performance, sustainable material used to make activewear. This fabric is often blended with spandex or elastane to add elasticity.
Bamboo textiles have several benefits over other kinds of fabric and offer a better solution for environmentally friendly sportswear. It is a fast-growing plant that requires minimal agricultural inputs and no pesticides, which makes it less damaging to the environment. Additionally, it absorbs greenhouse gases and helps stabilize soil prone to erosion. It is also more insulating than cotton, which can help keep you warm on cold days. Additionally, bamboo is naturally antibacterial. This property keeps your clothes fresh and hygienic, even after extended wear. It is also highly breathable and moisture-wicking, which helps keep your skin dry and comfortable. This is due to the micro gaps in bamboo fibers that promote air circulation and allow your skin to regulate its temperature. The bamboo plant also absorbs water and nutrients from the surrounding soil, allowing it to grow without chemicals. This helps minimize the damage to the surrounding ecosystem and provides a sustainable living for farmers supplying bamboo used in fabric and other products. Another great benefit of bamboo is that it’s softer than other fabrics. Its smooth and round structure is very gentle against the skin, making it perfect for intimate apparel like sportswear underwear. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
Linen is a natural plant fiber that grows without pesticides and fertilizers. It also requires fewer resources to develop and produce than other plant fibers, including cotton and bamboo. Organic linen is also heat-regulating, meaning it helps keep athletes cool and comfortable during their workouts. The fabric is also breathable, wicking moisture away from the skin. Linen fabrics are also sustainable because they can be repurposed and recycled once they end their life. This helps reduce waste and diverts it from landfills, which can harm the environment. Additionally, repurposed linen is more durable than other fabric materials, making it an excellent choice for high-performance athletic wear. When choosing the suitable fabric for your eco-friendly sportswear, consider how much it will be used, where it’s made, and the end-of-life options.
Recycled polyester fabric is a manufactured fiber made from repurposed PET bottles, hence its name, and it performs just as well as any other polyester. It is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly fabric that’s an excellent alternative to synthetic fabrics like nylon and silk. It requires 45%-55% less energy in its manufacturing process compared to non-recycled polyester and reduces carbon emissions by about 60%. It also prevents plastic waste from going to landfill or the ocean and prevents air, water, and soil pollution. It is a durable fabric for sportswear, loungewear, and outdoor apparel. It’s lightweight, crease-resistant, and colorfast, with other benefits such as quick-drying and moisture-wicking properties. It is easy to care for as it’s machine washable and doesn’t need to be ironed. Recycled polyester has a B grade in the Made-By sustainability ranking, meaning it is sustainable and a great alternative to standard synthetic fabrics. There are two ways to create recycled polyester: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical recycling involves washing, shredding, and turning plastic into polyester chips that can go through the traditional textile fiber manufacturing process. It requires fewer resources than chemical recycling but can’t be done indefinitely as the quality degrades over time. On the other hand, chemical recycling involves breaking down the plastic into its monomers. These monomers are then fed into the chemical plant to be reformed into regular polyester, which can be recycled repeatedly. However, chemical processes still require a lot of energy and harsh chemicals. This is why recycled polyester is often blended with virgin polyester in the clothing industry.
When it comes to sustainable sportswear, synthetic fabrics are a great choice. They are abrasion resistant, flexible, and breathable – perfect for athletic wear that requires a lot of movement. Synthetic fibers are made by chemical synthesis using monomers derived from petroleum or natural materials such as coal, wood, or minerals. These monomers are then combined to create a variety of different fabric types. The most environmentally friendly synthetic materials are those that are recycled. For instance, nylon is an excellent choice for recycled athleticwear because it can be used to make new clothes at a much lower price than cotton or wool. It’s also a quick-drying fabric that doesn’t absorb as much water as other fabrics, so it won’t get soggy while working up a sweat.