Run Fast with Slow Fashion

What it means to keep the environment fit

Dhwani Shrotriya

Clothes Maketh The (Sports) Man

While we may be advancing into a ‘healthy’ lifestyle, with the right diet and a rigorous workout plan, we remain oblivious to a massive chunk of ‘bad habit’ that restrains our lifestyle from being entirely ethical; our clothes. Activewear contributes to 43% of fast-paced fashion in lieu of the heavy wear of the garments and perpetually advancing trends, naturally creating a colossal environmental burden. 

A survey done by Netflix, for their episode on Athleisure, showed that if two customers walked into a luxury store, one with a fur coat and a designer handbag and the other in gym attire, it was more likely for the latter to spend more money. Through the revolution of fashion and culture, high fashion has boiled down to street/hype wear inspired from sports, snowballing the global market for activewear to a 300-billion-dollar industry. While this shows a shift of mentality to making our bodies healthier, the planet not so much!

This advent of excess money spent incessantly on new gym trends inspired many brands to market a sustainable angle, offering their customers eco-friendly material and long-lasting trends.

It’s All Material

  1. Not Cotton but Cupro - Cotton is the most basic natural material. However as a sportswear textile, cotton offers no technical support. The functionality of cotton is usually enhanced with spandex. This is exactly when the garment ceases to be sustainable (spandex is non-biodegradable and takes 20-200 years to degenerate). The alternative for cotton is Cupro, the perfect example of turning waste into durable clothing material. It is a redeveloped cellulose fiber derivative of cotton linter. Cotton linter is the short downy fiber that enfolds the cotton seeds which is unused and usually thrown away. Cupro is a Japanese made fabric, hence it follows the strict mandate of zero factory pollution. Cupro is breathable, smooth, hypoallergenic, anti-static with great resilience, especially in higher temperatures. It is ideal for Yoga, Gymnastics and Pilates.

  2. Bamboo to Tencel® - Bamboo, a fast-growing fiber without insecticides and pesticides which does not require replanting has been a sustainable alternative for years. However, in activewear to transform bamboo into soft yarn is a heavy chemical process. Many producers use lyocell technology (brand name TENCEL®) to imbibe the soft fabric. It is ideal for briefs, post-workout wear, Trekking and Hiking.

  3. Hemp is the MVP- It is the most sustainable and durable option for organically sourced activewear. It provides UV-protection while holding shape. It grows densely, no pesticides or herbicides required and returns almost 70% of the nutrients back to the soil. It is ideal for technical sports and athletics.

Brand New

  1. Satva – Yoga (India) An athleisure wear brand working with Indian farmers to promote non-GMO seeds, cotton farmer livelihood, and sponsoring the education of young girls where their organic cotton is cultivated.

  2. PACT – A US-based brand that is GOTS Certified for organic material. All PACT factories are stamped Fairtrade and child-labour free. These factories also use conservative water and energy practices. It also practices Inclusivity through race, community and body images.

  3. Thread 4 Thought – It has encouraged people to #wearthoughtfully way before the onset of a green closet. They focus on men’s ethical activewear from NYC.  Their extensive line includes tees, tanks, long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts, joggers, leggings, and sweatpants. 

“Wear the change you want to see.” 

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