The trend for fast fashion seems unstoppable with clothes sales QUADRUPLING in the last two decades as clothes get worn fewer times and are thrown away much faster (often without even being worn). In the UK we 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. The equivalent of one rubbish truck of textiles is burned or dumped in landfill every second.
With fast fashion taking such an enormous toll on our planet, it is crucial that we all start to shop more sustainably. However, when it comes to sportswear, we also want to look and feel good (while paying an affordable price).
Here’s our pick of affordable sportswear companies with high sustainable standards:
Founded in 2019, Gngr Bees creates beautiful, comfy activewear from reclaimed materials. It reinvest profits into a wide range of sustainability projects across the globe, so your purchase will continue to do good long after you’ve left the (online) shop.
So far, Gngr Bees says it has reclaimed 28, 974 plastic bottles 13,747 sheets of newspaper, 1062 metres of fishing nets, and recycled 1033 kgs of ocean-bound plastic.
With HQs in London and Sweden, Beyond Retro hand-picks products from around the world (that were destined for landfill or the shredder) and curates trend-led, vintage fashion. Its ambition is to reclaim, reduce and reuse 10 billion items. Beyond Retro has Best Buy status from Ethical Consumer magazine.
The brand, a family business, champions circular fashion. Next time you want to clear out your closet, sell them your best high street and vintage pieces, and get up to 40 per cent off your next vintage purchase.
Beyond Retro’s parent company Bank & Vogue has been managing the trade of secondhand goods around the world for over 25 years.
People Tree, founded in 1991, is a Fair Trade fashion pioneer, with every product made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish. Collections feature organic cotton, TENCEL™ Lyocell and responsible wool, and are made using traditional artisan skills.
People Tree meets the Global Organic Textile Standard certified by the Soil Association and has been awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. It has Best Buy status with Ethical Consumer magazine.
Its products are biodegradable wherever possible, it promotes organic farming, protects water supplies and sources suppliers who prioritise protection of the environment
Gym + Coffee produces high quality and stylish separates and sets that feel as good as they look.
Its leggings are 100 per cent squat-proof and designed for all-day comfort with high-intensity reliability. The brand is dedicated to sustainability both in the materials they use to make their sportswear and the fully-composable packing they arrive in.