Susannah Taylor: The fit kit that won’t cost the earth
It’s thrilling to see activewear brands leading the eco-charge with environmentally friendly, sustainable and ethical clothing choices using innovative materials such as recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets. This is my pick of the stylish fitness kit that will impact your health not the planet…
Big on bamboo
Balance Bamboo Leggings (£49, bambooclothing.co.uk)
I have a real love of clothing brand Bam’s fabrics and eco values. These new Balance Bamboo Leggings (£49, bambooclothing.co.uk) are created from sustainably sourced bamboo pulp, which is knitted into a form of viscose. Sweat-wicking, naturally breathable and super soft, these high-waisted leggings also have three-way stretch that flatters and doesn’t roll down. Potential legging perfection.
With added sugar
Marlin running trainer (£145, veja-store.com )
For trainer style and sustainability, Veja is hard to beat. Its new lightweight Marlin running trainer (£145, veja-store.com) has uppers and lining created from recycled plastic bottles and insoles made from sugar cane and recycled plastic. What’s more, the brand makes eco-friendly decisions at every turn, and is fully transparent over its manufacturing, supply chain and working conditions. Even its logistics company is a non-profit organisation that helps the vulnerable find work.
Energise Gym Vest, £40 ( sweatybetty.com )
Sweaty Betty has an entire section of its website dedicated to its ‘Sustainable Edit’, an ongoing initiative for the brand. Here you’ll find Super Sculpt Leggings each made from 17 recycled plastic bottles, Essentials sweatshirts in 100 per cent organic cotton and bikinis born from recycled fishing nets. I’m currently loving this Energise Gym Vest, £40 (sweatybetty.com), which is made from recycled polyester, and is body skimming rather than muffin-top hugging.
Charlie Vegan bag (£145, sandqvist.co.uk )
I’ve commuted using my Sandqvist rucksack for about five years and it still looks amazing. This Charlie Vegan bag (£145, sandqvist.co.uk) is made from recycled nylon and recycled polyester, making it lightweight and durable. The brand minimises climate impact wherever it can, including restricting its use of chemicals.
Nieuwland 3e wetsuit (£295, finisterre.com )
You will find the words ‘Sustainability as standard since 2003’ emblazoned across the website of outdoor apparel brand Finisterre. It’s a Certified B Corporation (a standard only given to companies with super-high eco credentials). Cornwall-based Finisterre has a deep love for the sea and is dedicated to creating products that won’t damage it. This Nieuwland 3e wetsuit (£295, finisterre.com) uses Yulex Pure, a sustainable rubber and recycled polyester to keep out the cold.
Cloudridge hiking boots (£170, on-running.com )
There’s a big buzz around Swiss brand On right now. It prides itself on unique CloudTec technology, which reacts to your own running/walking style. The Cloudridge hiking boots (£170, on-running.com) are made from recycled polyester and rubber, and use no dyed fabric. I can confirm they are lightweight, non-sweaty and super-comfy (no plasters required).
Classic swimsuit (£140, davyj.org )
My newest eco discovery is swimwear brand Davy J. Its Waste range uses Econyl, a 100 per cent regenerated nylon yarn created from, you guessed it, waste including fishing nets (of which an average of 640,000 are dumped in the ocean every year). My favourite is this Classic swimsuit (£140, davyj.org), which is double-lined and created to withstand surf, cliff jumps and dives. Not only will it ensure you’ll emerge from the water the way you went in, it is pose-worthy, too.