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10 Australian Sustainable and Ethical Activewear Brands

Woman jumping in the air. Photo by Peter Conlan. Image via Unsplash

Fast fashion is out. Conscious, ethically-minded and sustainable clothing is in.

As a society we are making more sustainable, environmentally conscious choices in the food we eat, the cleaning chemicals we use and the beauty products we buy. But what about our activewear?

Traditionally, sportswear is made using highly toxic non-reusable chemicals which harm not only our own health, but also the health of our precious planet. Does this mean you have to choose between the environment and staying active? The answer is no.

Thanks to these 10 Australian made sustainable and ethical activewear brands, you can workout (or grab a coffee) in quality sportswear all with a clear conscience – from the first bicep curl to the last push up.

SQD Athletica
Image via The Iconic website.

SQD Athletica

Understanding that real men care about the planet, SQD Athletica set out on a mission to ensure that each piece of high quality sportswear is built to last – especially through high performance workouts. Using recycled plastic bottles for their Orion collection, this Brisbane-based brand believes that quality should not come at the cost of the environment. Using traceable materials and opting for sea transportation of products rather than air; from manufacturing to shipping and selling, SQD Athletica is the eco-conscious champion we all need in our wardrobes.

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Team Timbuktu
Image via The Iconic website.

Team Timbuktu

Team Timbuktu was born out of frustration with the hoards of ugly and uncomfortable synthetic sportswear on the market. With a background in fashion, Founder Rhianna knew there was a way to make functional and fashionable activewear that does not harm the environment. Replacing the oil that is traditionally used to make polyester with society’s abundance of plastic bottles, Team Timbuktu created a waste-reducing-way to reinvent sportswear. Much like their 7/8 High-Waisted Leggings that is made with 73% recycled plastic bottles and 23% elastane; each piece is engineered for movement and is so soft it feels like a second skin – the perfect way to effortlessly transition into a downward dog.

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Nimble
Image via The Iconic website.

Nimble

Since 2015, Nimble has recycled over one million plastic bottles into sleek and stylish sportswear that is breathable, dependable and sustainable. Each of their sports bras, like the Power Bra, uses two recycled plastic bottles! Each bottle is carefully broken down into flakes, melted into pellets, spun into yarn and then seamlessly woven into long lasting fabrics. Goodbye drab and dreary sports bras, hello stylish and sophisticated support! This adorable Power Bra in Tickle Me Pink bra has got you covered with removable padding and four-way support for ultimate confidence on your next run!

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Elle Evans
Image via Elle Evans Swimwear website.

Elle Evans

Elle Evans is a pioneer for environmentally conscious couture activewear. They predominantly use ECONYL® which is made from plastic waste dredged from the sea and each sportswear item is delicately printed in Australia with water-based non-toxic inks. Elle Evans is dedicated to proving every woman can feel fit and fabulous at any size, which is why they offer a range of sizes from XS to XXXL. Their hot pink Slate Shorts are perfect for the warmer months, thanks to their seamless waist preventing dig-ins and focusing on flexibility so you can squat till you drop!

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Boody
Image via Boody website.

Boody

Boody’s vision is to create better luxury basics that not only do good for the environment but feel as equally good on your skin – all without the guilt. Each piece is so supersoft and lightweight, you won’t want to take it off! Their fabrics are breathable and contain moisture wicking anti-bacterial properties and are made from a UPF50+ rated fabric to protect from ultraviolet (UV) damage. This Long Sleeve Hooded T-Shirt is made from 70% organically grown bamboo and 30% organic cotton. All Boody garments are hypoallergenic, anti-static and thermoregulating, making it the ideal companion on your cold morning run or as a light layer for your springtime walk.

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Lorna Jane
Image via Lorna Jane website.

Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane is continually striving to increase their range of ethically and environmentally conscious clothing. They source reusable and biodegradable materials where possible, their professional printing uses soy-based inks, water-based varnish and chlorine-free pulps, and they are reducing emissions by shipping directly from manufacturer to store. Providing Aussie’s with a go-to for sustainable and ethical activewear, the Lorna Jane Eco Everyday Phone Pocket Leggings features two handy phone pockets and flattering contouring which is made from Eco Nothing 2 C Here fabric containing 71% recycled polyester and 29% elastane.

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Dharma Bums
Image via The Iconic website.

Dharma Bums

‘Dharma Bum’ refers to wanderers of the world who practice anti-materialism by wearing clothes from second hand stores. This Australian based brand teams the spiritual consciousness of a Dharma Bum with the style of a contemporary cat walk! Inspired by the stunning serenity of Sydney beaches, their colourful activewear proves sustainability doesn’t have to be boring! Be a green goddess in these pretty patterned Recycled High Waist Printed Full Length Leggings which are 80% recycled polyester and made from 16 recycled PET water bottles. Featuring a non-slip waistband, these leggings won’t ride up when your workout ramps up!

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dk active
Image via The Iconic website.

dk active

Pep up your morning bike ride and turn heads as you cycle past in these fabulous Flora Bike pants! Each piece of dk active clothing is designed and manufactured in Brisbane which means fast shipping across Australia and a reduced carbon footprint! Their garments have UPF50+ protection and their collection features a range of recycled, bamboo and ECONYL® fabrics. dk active are leading the market for sustainable body positive activewear, committed to ensuring every woman has access to activewear that fits their unique body. Each piece is high quality, durable, ultra comfortable and easy to slip on, meaning no changing room struggles at the gym!

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Icebreaker
Image via Icebreaker website.

Icebreaker

Founded in 1995, Icebreaker is celebrating 25 years of world-class natural apparel with their new Spring/Summer ’21 collection. Pushing the boundaries of what is achievable when it comes to sustainability, Icebreaker is proud to announce that not only will their materials be plastic-free by 2023, but 87% of their total fibre composition is natural. For a new piece of activewear to add to your wardrobe, we’d recommend the Cool-Lite Merino Amplify Long Sleeve Half Zip Top that’s made using merino material that doubles as an odourless moisture wicking technology and temperature regulation fabric – a positive for the environment and less laundry for you!

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First Base
Image via First Base website.

First Base

Founder and designer behind First Base, Alison Cotton, has been working towards sustainability with her low key laidback sportswear since 2015 which were inspired by her love of surf and skate culture. Using recycle, repurpose and restyle as the three pillars of her business, Alison has since taken on the challenge to create sustainable ‘sports luxe’ interiors in partnership with Toyota for their new Yaris Hybrid, proving she can dress cars as well as humans! As for her latest wearable sportswear collection, it features this super cute super soft 100% organic cotton double knit Hard Knocks top, which First Base suggest to wear as a badge of honour for surviving this crazy year!

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Are you keen to be a thrifty shopper but don’t really know where to start? Have a read of our Top 5 tips to remember when buying luxury second hand pieces for your wardrobe! Or if you’re looking for more ways to be more environmentally conscious this year check out our 10 eco-friendly sunscreen brands for a more sustainable summer!

Feature image: Photographed by Peter Conlan. Image via Unsplash.
Editor’s Note: Hunter and Bligh was gifted by Icebreaker. All reviews are authentic and are in no way influenced by our partnership. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.
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