The trend for fast fashion has led to clothes sales speeding up to a rate never seen before – global clothing production has DOUBLED in the past 15 years as clothes get worn fewer times and are thrown away much faster. In the UK we reportedly buy more clothes per person than any other country in Europe.
The clothing we buy comes with a huge social and environmental cost. Nearly 70 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the world’s polyester fibre, which is now the most commonly used material in our clothing. But it takes more than 200 years to decompose.
With fast fashion taking such an enormous toll on our planet, it is crucial that we all start to shop more sustainably. However, many of us can’t afford to pay more for ethical clothing. So which brands are the best value?
Here, using research from golfsupport.com, we round up the UK’s top 3 most affordable sustainable activewear companies:
Taking the top spot is Sundried, which offers activewear collections made from 100 per cent recycled materials. The average price of a Sundried activewear set is £143.30 – that’s £28.30 for a sports bra, £20 for a vest, £40 for leggings and £55 for a hoody or sweatshirt.
2. Bamboo Clothing
Next most affordable is Bamboo Clothing (BAM), which specialises in activewear made with bamboo; an increasingly popular alternative to cotton. At BAM the average price of an activewear set is £152.20 – that’s £24 for a sports bra, £21.30 for a vest, £46.90 for leggings and £60 for a hoody or sweatshirt.
3. Jilla Active
Jilla Active specialises in circular knitting techniques and functional materials. The average price of an activewear set is £167.65 – that’s £31.70 for a sports bra, £34.20 for a vest, £46.75 for leggings and £55 for a hoody or sweatshirt.
A spokesperson said: “Our products are made in a family-owned factory in China. We believe it’s important to inform consumers about the origin of clothing; it raises awareness of the fashion supply chain. Transparency is important. If the customer is informed, they are empowered in their purchasing decisions.
We are also a brand that champions women. We are a female focused business with a female director – even the factory is run by a woman. In total, there are 323 employees at the factory, 247 women and 76 men.”
Ethical credentials at a higher price
If you are able to pay a bit more, brands Starseeds, Sports Philosophy and Silou have excellent ethical credentials but come in more expensive.
At Silou the average price of an activewear set is £508.50 – that’s £100.60 for a sports bra, £80.10 for a vest, £158.80 for leggings and £169 for a hoody or sweatshirt.