Vegan activewear? That’s right, because animal-derived materials like merino wool just might be lurking in your favorite pair of leggings or workout top. Merino sheep used for their wool are bred to produce more of it than their bodies need. Many of them collapse and even die of heat exhaustion during warm weather. This is only one of the many ways that sheep suffer and die at the hands of humans who only want to make a profit off them. There’s no reason to choose activewear made from merino wool, especially with so many innovative fabrics that don’t harm animals and are also much more eco-friendly, since the wool industry causes greenhouse-gas emissions, land degradation, and water pollution.
Here are some brands offering eco-friendly, vegan activewear:
Girlfriend Collective offers size-inclusive leggings, sports bras, shorts, skorts, jackets, and more in a variety of colors. Its popular Compressive High-Rise Leggings are made from 25 recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, and other items are made from recycled polyester, nylon, and textile waste from the cotton industry.
As a vegan brand dedicated to becoming 100% zero waste, Plant Athletic uses as many recycled materials as possible in its products. It primarily focuses on high-performance clothes made for cycling, running, and triathlons.
Organic, fair-trade cotton is the secret to Pact’s super-soft leggings, tops, sports bras, and more.
This luxury brand uses sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp, and a recycled fabric made from marine plastic to create its swimsuits, leggings, tops, and sports bras.
This body-positive U.K. brand offers international shipping on its high-quality athletic wear made from upcycled materials.
Organic cotton, bamboo, and soy are a few of the sustainable plant fibers that you’ll see in Miakoda’s athletic wear. The company uses only vegan fabrics, so you can be sure that you’re not supporting the cruel wool industry.
Los Angeles–based clothing company Nube partners with artists to create gorgeous and bold prints. All its pieces feature sustainable fabrics, such as recycled polyester.
Nimble’s leggings, made from recycled plastic bottles, are perfect for running, yoga, or just heading to the gym.
Pistol Lake’s proprietary fabric Eudae is made from recycled bottles, eucalyptus pulp, and spandex for a mix that’s moisture wicking, odor resistant, and super-soft.
Keep animal skins off your feet, too—choose leather-free hiking boots instead. For cold-weather workouts outdoors, choose down-free coats and jackets to stay warm and cozy. There’s no need to use an animal’s skin or steal a bird’s feathers to reach your personal fitness goals. Learn more about the ways in which going vegan has helped athletes and bodybuilders: