loading
drag

A growing list of sustainable Australian activewear brands

IMAGE VIA @NAGNATA/INSTAGRAM

WORDS BY MAGENTA PORTER

Make your next workout a little lighter on the planet.

Unlike other categories of clothing and fashion, where you can usually find secondhand gems to cover all of your needs and desires, activewear is slightly more complicated. The right fit, performability, breathability and durability are integral to any purchase, and unfortunately, old-school fabrics and materials lack the technology and the elasticity that a new pair of tights can provide. 

Lately, activewear has garnered a bit of a bad wrap, as it often relies heavily on synthetic fibres to be created, such as polyester and nylon, which are derived from oil, and require an enormous amount of energy to produce. Essentially, a lot of the activewear you own is just a different form of plastic that can end up in our oceans and landfills. But we all need at least some activewear to stay active, right? 


For more fashion news, shoots, articles and features, head to our Fashion section.


Never fear, because I have rounded up a list of Australian activewear companies that are consciously making sustainable and ethical decisions in their production processes. There are so many Australian owned activewear labels that use technologically advanced, recycled, repurposed fabric and materials to create tights and sports bras that are built to last years, not seasons – and they look damn good too. 

Nagnata

Nagnata is not only on the top of everyone’s wishlist but is practically a household name, known for creating considered, comfortable and technically designed activewear since 2017. Nagnata’s sustainable approach goes beyond the production process – it’s been challenging industry standards across the board. Inclusivity, diversity, community and honesty are at the core of everything the label creates. To top it off, Nagnata’s founding mantra, ‘movements not seasons’, actively opposes the ever-increasing speed of the fast fashion cycle.  

nagnata.com

Team Timbuktu

From raincoats to leggings, beanies to puffer jackets, finding high quality, sustainable activewear essentials that will see you through a rainy Melbourne day can be tough – that’s where Team Timbuktu comes in. The brand’s founder, Rihanna Knight, is a keen hiker and outdoorsy type and she was sick of activewear that didn’t reflect her passion for sustainably, without compromising on style or performance. Since its inception, the brand has evolved from using 50 per cent recycled materials to 100 per cent recycled fabrics on a number of their garments. To top it off, Team Timbuktu also plants a tree for every order made – that’s over 2,500 trees so far. 

teamtimbuktu.com

Dk Active

Dk Active is an Australian designed and made inclusive activewear brand. Whatever you wear activewear for – runs, HIIT workouts, yoga, or just around the house, this label has got you covered. Using fabrics such as regenerated nylon, organic bamboo and modal across its range to increase its sustainability efforts, as well as taking measures such as only using 100 per cent carbon offset delivery partners, are just some of the ways the brand is making a conscious effort to minimise its carbon footprint. 

dkactive.com

Nimble

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Nimble Activewear (@nimbleactivewear)

Founded by high school best friends Vera and Katia, Nimble has been a go-to activewear brand for women across the country since 2013. Sustainability has always been of high importance to Nimble, and the brand has succeeded at making activewear that not only inspires movement but puts the planet first. Nimble’s signature fabric, MoveLite, is made from recycled plastic bottles, meaning that every garment saves multiple plastic bottles from landfill and our waterways. 

nimbleactivewear.com

Hara The Label

Not only does Hara The Label make comfortable, sustainable underwear, it also designs activewear. Its matching organic, breathable bamboo bike shorts and sports bras in earthy tones make for the perfect yoga outfit. Hara makes a conscious effort to reuse as many offcuts as possible to minimise textile waste, as well as low impact non-toxic dyes across its entire range. 

harathelabel.com.au

Dharma Bums

Everything Dharma Bums makes is made to last, using a range of sustainable fabrics and eco-friendly printing methods to create bold designs that stand out for all the right reasons. Dharma Bums’ designs are made using up to 60 per cent recycled materials as well as technologically advanced fabrics such as Lenzing modal, a material made from sustainable raw beechwood, that is certified compostable and biodegradable. 

dharmabums.com.au

Active Truth

Founded by neighbours-turned-friends Stevie and Nadia, Active Truth was born out of a need for activewear that was built for real bodies of all shapes and sizes, including pregnant women. This brand is not only size-inclusive but is actively working towards a more sustainable future. Active Truth already uses a range of eco-friendly fabrics such as Australian merino wool, organic cotton and recycled polyester, and is in the process of transitioning all of its materials to recycled or natural fibres. Active Truth’s line is seasonless and built to last, so you can wear your activewear for years to come. 

activetruth.com.au

Vege Threads

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Vege Threads (@vegethreads)

Manufactured in Australia using organic, eco-friendly materials and limited dyes, Vege Threads produces activewear and leisurewear to fit your lifestyle. Committed to transparency, Vege Threads’ main factory is locally based in Melbourne, and the company is a proud member of 1% For The Planet, donating a percentage of its profits to support environmental projects and not-for-profits in Australia and around the world. 

vegethreads.com

Nico

If you’re more of a relaxed activewear kind of person and tight bike shorts aren’t your jam, then Nico is the brand for you. Comfy T-shirts, hoodies, underwear and stylish sweat-style bottoms are what Nico does best. Nico’s beautiful, minimal designs come in a range of pastel hues that look so good, you’ll almost forget you’re wearing leisurewear altogether. The label’s designs are made using a range of sustainable fibres, such as plant-dyed organic cotton, Lenzing modal and recycled cotton. Nico actively saves thousands of litres of water and hundreds of kilograms of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere by making these sustainable choices, and it’s all laid out by the numbers on its website. 

nicounderwear.com

Bay Active

This women’s activewear label produces stylish, comfortable and sustainable activewear using only ethical, certified supply chains and processes. Bay Active chooses to use only the highest quality organic cotton, natural and regenerated fibres wherever possible, knitted and dyed locally in Melbourne. Furthermore, Bay Active repurposes surplus fabrics and offcuts from other fashion houses, to ensure a closed-loop innovation and production practice that creates sustainable activewear for everyone.

bayactive.com.au

To Barwyn and Back

Born out of a love for cycling, To Barwyn and Back makes stylish, contemporary hybrid pieces that work just as well on a lengthy bike ride as they do on a Friday night out. Unlike many other activewear labels, this brand is not a fan of skin-tight lycra – its designs are built to strike the perfect middle ground, using dreamy fabrics that can handle the action. The brains behind To Barwyn and Back, architect turned fashion designer Gemma, researched the best possible quality synthetic fabrics that will actually do the job. Sustainability is built into the essence of the brand  – not only does To Barwyn and Back use selected recycled fabrics and the best technological advances to create its pieces, but it actively decreases your consumption, with its two-in-one casual wear and activewear approach. 

tobarwynandback.com

Woolerina

Woolerina garments are built to withstand the test of time, the slow fashion movement being at the forefront of the brand’s ethos. Accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, Woolerina produces leisurewear and activewear using only the finest, hand-picked wool and other materials, working with farmers who share the vision for a more transparent and ethical production process. Built for winter, Woolerina’s minimal, high-quality pieces will keep you warm while you exercise and hang out around the house.

woolerina.com.au

Boody

Boody does it all – this activewear and basics label is good for you, good for the planet and ethically made. Boody is serious about sustainability and uses production processes that are made to minimise fabric waste, organic bamboo free of pesky pesticides, and to top it off, it uses rainwater to grow its bamboo. Since 2016, Boody has been creating quality, affordable and comfortable pieces that are built better to last longer. 

boody.com.au

Avila

Avila is an ethical, sustainable activewear brand that creates sleek, minimal pieces for all shapes and sizes. By limiting fabric wastage from the sampling stage through to production and repurposing and reusing offcuts to make smaller items such as bags and scrunchies, Avila makes a conscious effort to be as sustainable as possible. The label uses the highest quality eco-friendly and low-impact fibres wherever possible to create classic, durable pieces that will last. 

avila.com.au

For tips on washing your activewear, try this.

Lazy Loading