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Go Greener: Five Ethical Sportswear Brands

By Bonnie Friend

Add an extra touch of a feel-good factor to your workout, triathlon training or that cycle into town for coffee with friends, with ethical sportswear for every occasion.

Davy J

Taking you from cycle to swim for all you keen triathletes out there, Davy J (read Davy Jones’s Locker) is the brainchild of Helen Newcombe, who left her job as a development economist in London to set up her own company, having also worked for the Tanzanian government as an economist in the Central Ministry of Finance & Development (clever cookie and eternally interested in sustainability).

In Davy J she has formulated a highly researched line of active swimwear made from recycled nylon. The nylon for the pieces comes from old fishing nets which are melted down and repurposed, and she has a lot of ethical/recyclable elements to her packaging processes as well. Alongside that, it’s designed for women who actually want their swimwear to work rather than to just look nice (although it looks nice too). As a testament to its ability to ‘keep you in’, it’s been particularly popular with surfers and the Outdoor Swimming Society, including women of all ages, shapes, and sizes and those opting for multi-purpose activity wear.



Producing active wear made from certified organic cotton and in a sweatshop-free production line, PACT’s product range is Fairtrade certified. Super soft, their cotton collection provides everything you need for sports and fitness – leggings, t-shirts, shorts, loungewear, and sports bras. With organic cotton farming, responsible manufacturing, sustainable and ethical certifications – all combining as a part of their values-based shopping credentials.


Ruby Moon

Ethical swimwear tends to have a bit of a premium on the pricing, which is all to do with the fact that it’s frankly put more effort into sourcing fabrics. Ruby Moon is amongst the most affordable on the market producing vibrant colours and, again, geared to more active women. Their idea is to allow you to go from ‘gym to swim’ in functionality, and it has a ‘slow fashion’ ideal counter to the throwaway culture that’s developed. In addition to using sustainable materials, 100% of the net profits generated by RubyMoon are handed out as small loans, to empower women entrepreneurs in 11 nations and each swimwear piece is named after the woman in whom they have invested- for example, Victorine, Solange & Zarina.


Alternative Apparel

Soft and sustainable – that’s what Alternative Apparel has been committed to in its clothing for more than 20 years. The LA based brand produces men’s and women’s sports- and loungewear that’s eco-friendly, recycled, Fair Labor certified and Green Business certified. It has a retro look and vintage feel, complemented with a commitment to the environment and ethical labor practices, and is suitable for going from workout to coffee with friends. Perfect weekend cycling wear.


Fibre Athletics

From Chicago, Fibre Athletics’ ethical credentials come from their environmental policies. They are organic, fair trade, and they use body safe, biodegradable technology that draws sweat away from the body and dries fabric quickly – so it’s sociable and comfortable as well. Particularly good for both men’s and women’s tops and jackets, they are also committed to sustainably in their supply chain and labor practices, and they give back 1% to a variety of organizations for each purchase. Feel good factor all round.