Work out clothes are nearly synonymous with synthetic materials. We stopped using natural fibers for performance apparel because they absorb moisture so when you sweat, they get heavy and drag you down. For the past few decades fabrics like spandex, lycra, nylon and polyester gave material stretch and absorbed less moisture. The problem with these materials is that they are petroleum based and not biodegradable. Small micro-plastics actually leech into the water supply when you wash them. Here are a new breed of designers that use recycled materials to give you the same level of performance but are less environmentally damaging. The brands Tala and Ernest Leoty’s Sustainable Essentials collection both use a new recycled, traceable fabric called Q-Nova that is made from regenerated raw materials using a mechanical rather than chemical process. Yvayama uses 85% Tencel which is biodegradable and uses less water and energy to manufacture. Outdoor Voices uses 63% recycled wool and Beaumont Organics uses 95% organic cotton. Michi still uses nylon and spandex but they are Oeko-Tex certified meaning they are independently tested for their use of chemicals to ensure they are safe beyond national and international requirements. No Ka Oi doesn’t list any of their sustainable practices on their site but they are Positive Luxury accredited with The Butterfly Mark which sites their water conservation, cruelty-free materials, and ethical trade practices.

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