Have you ever bought a cute pair of brightly coloured leggings, only to have them stretch out and become unflattering or see-through after a few wears?
Here at Movemetica we know that you want to feel and look your best while being active. We also know that you want to feel great knowing that you’re part of a global movementstriving for a more sustainable world.
This is why it’s our mission to bring you the latest and best in sustainable activewear.
With web searches for “sustainable activewear” rising by 151% between 2019 and 2020, it’s clear that there is a demand for activewear that is seen as sustainable. The definitions around sustainability vary and it can often be used as a buzzword alongside “eco-friendly”, “ethical”, and “green”.
Tara St. James, lecturer at the Fashion Institute of Technology, describes sustainability in fashion as, “making and producing in a way that doesn’t deplete the earth and the population of its resources.” She also acknowledges that sustainability in fashion touches on all aspects of the fashion supply chain, from the labour conditions of the people making your clothes, to the recycling or waste management of your garments when they reach the end of their life.
Here are some quick facts for you:
- Global clothing sales have doubled since 2000, but the number of times an item is worn is consistently declining (garments are only being worn around seven to ten times).
- Every year the textile industry relies on 98 million tons of non-renewable resources including oil, fertilizers, and chemicals for production.
- During this same production process, 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. This is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Sustainability in Activewear
In order to make it lightweight, stretchy, and sweat-proof, traditional activewear is often made from synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester and spandex. As we mentioned earlier, these materials don’t stay comfortable or flattering for very long, yet they are also non-biodegradable; taking a long time to break down.
"A fabric like polyester can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to biodegrade, while organic cotton will break down in 11 to 27 weeks."
This is why at Movemetica we only partner with brands that share our vision and make use of organic natural textiles such as cotton, bamboo, hemp and wool, as well as recycled polyester and nylon.
Organic vs. Non-Organic Cotton
The growing of traditional cotton makes up 69% of the water footprint of all textile fibre production.
"Did you know that choosing an organic cotton t-shirt will save 2,547 litres of water, compared to a non-organic one?"
Organic cotton also restricts the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO), pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. This is not only good for the environment, but also keeps farmers and their families safe and healthy.
At Movemetica we value low impact and minimal waste products. One of the biggest issues in traditional synthetic activewear is the release of micro-fibres.
"Every time you wash your clothes, up to 1,900 individual fibres can be rinsed off of a single synthetic garment."
These micro-fibres may seem tiny and unnoticeable, yet they make a huge impact. Scientists have found that micro-fibres make up 85% of human-made material found on shorelines around the world.
A rising trend in activewear that we are huge fans of is the use of recycled materials. A number of activewear brands are releasing garments made from recycled plastic bottles.
"Can you believe that the entire process of collecting, sorting, cleaning, and creating fabric from recycled plastic bottles still saves 70% energy compared to the production of conventional synthetic fabrics?"
This is why we partner with brands ‘who give a damn’, and are keen to experiment in order to make a difference.
Remember that pair of brightly coloured leggings we mentioned earlier? They were most likely created using toxic dyes.
The detrimental effects of toxic dyes can be seen in nature, with rivers in India and China dyed unnatural shades of green and purple from excess dyes spilling out of factories.
Previously, natural dyes were seen as not versatile or interesting enough, however demand for natural dyes is increasing. Chemical improvements are emerging that make it easier to create non-toxic dyes, with companies using plants and even agricultural and food-processing waste in the manufacturing process.
Technology is also emerging to remove the need to use water in the dying process. Dye houses will need to spend around $100,000 to install this new equipment, which is why it’s so important for you to use your voice, and your dollar, to let companies know that there is a demand for more sustainable fashion choices.
We know that you want activewear that is comfortable, makes you feel good, and that doesn’t hurt people or our planet.
Browse our range of sustainable activewear
- About the author -
"Amber is a writer who is passionate about leading a more sustainable life and helping others to do the same. She loves reading, watching movies, and travelling. On the weekend you’ll find her checking out the latest vegan restaurants and cafes."