10 Best Sustainable Leggings for Freedom of Movement

Amalfi Crossover Pocket Legging

Written by SaifZiya

As the New Year arrives, people make different resolutions. Some people wish to knock down the negative self-talk while others may set their goal of living a healthier life. Some of them even contribute to stopping dragging one’s feet so they could be more productive and improve the overall concentration towards achieving a short-term or long-term goal.

However, there’s one resolution that most people share.

Yes, you guessed it right — it is getting in shape.

So, what’s your firmness of purpose this year?

If it is about getting rid of those love handles, it’s about time you get to work, and before you do that, get yourself a pair of sustainable leggings.

If you have always cared for the planet i.e. the fresh environment that surrounds you and believed in staying fit at the same time, this thorough article is for you. And, since choosing the perfect-fit leggings is no piece of cake, we’ve done the digging for you.

For your serenity, we’ve gone over ten eco-conscious brands whose leggings will catch your attention at first sight and have your heart the moment you have them on.

Sustainable Leggings: Why Do They Matter?

First things first—why should anyone go after sustainably made leggings that are likely to be expensive when there are cheaper options available?

The simple answer would be: cheap isn’t always best.

What’s more, leggings that are produced using fast fashion practices or the ones that are made unsustainably are responsible for the carbon footprint that is affecting our daily lifestyle.

The following reasons are why I think you should prefer sustainable leggings.

1. Eco friendly

The very first reason why I believe you should go after sustainably made or eco-friendly leggings is that they are good for the environment. Therefore, next time you shop for earth-friendly leggings, you’ll become a helping hand for reducing the greenhouse effect.

By not choosing an eco-friendly bottom, you’re more likely to contribute to global warming. That’s because a majority of brands considered by most people produce clothing using fossil fuels, nylon, polyester, etc., which is catastrophic for our planet.

2. Saves Resources

The reason why we encourage people to buy recycled products, if possible, is that it could help reduce the global warming impact. Research shows that up to 97% of the material used in the fashion industry is new, leaving only 3% recycled materials.

In the world of fast fashion, harmful chemicals are used to produce fast clothes that not only cause allergic reactions to our skin but also kill the planet. Whereas if you switch to sustainable living, you’re highly likely to save loads of resources.

Yes, what we are referring to here is recycling—use as many leggings made from recycled fabrics as possible. Also, this could reduce the number of clothes or waste that finds its way into the landfills, resulting in carbon emission.

3. Saves Animals

Not just for nature and the people, sustainable leggings will be good for the animals, as well. It’s no secret that in the fashion industry, more than 430 million animals are slaughtered every year, and it is only the fashion sector we’re talking about—other sectors will outnumber this figure.

To educate yourself more about this, please refer to this page where PETA has made everything crystal clear—i.e. how animals are used for clothing. However, with sustainable practices, brands are now emerging towards putting an end to animal cruelty.

Now, almost every material used in the slow fashion is cruelty-free—no animals are harmed in the end-to-end process whatsoever. Take recycled polyester, for example, it is made using plastic garbage found in the landfills and ocean.

4. Less Water

It’s a common fact that most people are aware of nowadays as they’ve been doing things intelligently lately.

By cherry-picking a sustainable T-shirt, you could help a huge amount of water. Unlike organic cotton, practices involved in conventional cotton farming will require a large amount of water as cotton is highly dependent on water.

A T-shirt, if produced using conventional cotton, will require an astonishing amount of 2,700 liters of water that is really huge.

However, if you go with the sustainable lifestyle, you won’t have to be part of any of this as clothing made with sustainable fabrics require little to no water, and fabrics organic bamboo can grow barely on the rainfall.

So, why go after fast-fashion clothing and waste an incredible amount of water when you could shop sustainably and save up to 91% of the water?

Think about it before you make your next move.

5. Good for Workers

Sustainable fashion is not only meant for the betterment of the environment, but it is also good for the employees working passionately at the ethical factories of the brands.

You will find it disheartening but modern slavery still exists, even today. In fast fashion, workers are not paid the minimum wages on time (in accordance with the laws), plus they are forced to work in unsafe and unhealthy conditions which put their lives at risk.

The famous tragedy, Rana Plaza is the live example of this where more than one thousand people died and thousands faced fatal injuries.

There have also been movies about this serious issue lately, and ‘True Cost’ is one of them. Its trailer alone will leave you in tears.

6. Good for Skin

Unlike eco-unfriendly clothing, sustainable leggings not only make you look good but also make you feel good because they’ve been made with sustainable fabrics; fabrics that have been sourced organically and made using woods i.e. without animal cruelty.

Since producing sustainable leggings, among other apparel, require great efforts, and that leaves to the pricing of eco-friendly clothing; most earth-friendly activewear is usually expensive as compared to unethically made workout clothes.

So, if you don’t want to experience any kind of itching or rashes while breaking a sweat, it’s better if you invest in sustainable leggings.

Therefore, even though you will be paying some more bucks, it’s totally worth it.

This is not the end of the benefits that sustainable fashion brings to the table, there are other advantages of picking eco-friendly leggings over unsustainable ones, such as very little to no use of pesticides or fertilizers, less energy, less toxic, etc.

Sustainable Leggings for an Eco-friendly Lifestyle

Sustainability doesn’t only apply to the leggings which this article is about, it could be anything that is produced in the slow-fashion without harming nature, people, water creatures, or the land-living animals.

Anyway, we hopefully believe that the above-stated reasons have been an eye-opener for you.

The leggings we’ve laid out in this in-depth article for you are the ones that you can use for all kinds of exercises, be it HIIT, Burpee, Squats, or others. Also, for your peace of mind, we’ve tried to cover different types of leggings so you could finally go with the one you find fascinating in terms of look and feel.

So, without further ado, let’s get started:

1. ORGANIC BASICS

Founded by Mads Fibiger in 2014, OB is one of those sustainable brands that somehow manage to stay on the top of sustainable fashion picks, and its low impact website — where they showcase how serious and precisely we can think of sustainability — makes the brand stand out from the crowd.

OB features a large selection of tops and bottoms for both men and women including bras, tees, shirts, loungewear, socks, tights, activewear, and other accessories, all of which are sustainably made.

The company only believes in working with the certified factories so not only can eco-friendly products be produced but also the values of people could be appreciated.

OB’s Sustainable & Ethical Approach

Organic Basics believes in dealing with the situation honestly because they are aware that “the fashion industry is a dirty bastard”.

They’re very careful about choosing the material and the impact it will have on the environment. Producing sustainable products is their core mission and they’ve been making every possible effort to achieve this goal.

Although they’ve got all the clothing essentials, their men’s and women’s ethical leggings will have your heart, for sure.

Let’s look at the impact they’ve been making.

Sustainability:

OB’s leggings are made with the recycled materials that allow them to save water, prevent waste, and avoid carbon emissions (CO2). If you take a close look at the impact they make, you’d understand what their mission is and how they’re living up to it.

So far, they’ve saved 2.43 tonnes of waste from entering into the landfills, saved our nature from 29.23 tonnes of harmful chemicals, preserved 1991 GJ energy, avoided 163 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), and 3002 m³ amount of water.

Can you guess how bad it would turn out to be if OB had not embraced such practices in their business to deal with the issue?

Even the slightest thought of it terrifies us because things would have been different then.

Materials:

Now, this is where the real magic happens—it’s the phase where most of the modern brands lie to you, telling you that they are sustainable when, in fact, they are not. Unlike those so-called brands, OB is a clear winner as it passes all of the tests when it comes to being certified or standardized.

Garments brought into life by OB give you the opportunity to stretch more and wash less.

At Organic Basics, different types of materials come into effect based on the clothing being produced, viz. organic cotton, recycled nylon, lyocell, recycled wool, SilverTech, Polygiene, and recycled cashmere, however, speaking of the activewear, they do it with a blend of different fabrics.

One that we’ve picked for you (below) is made using approved silver salt known as Polygiene®, which means there is no way bacteria can get in touch with the fabric, plus, it is not harmful to the environment. Another reason why they’ve used Polygiene is that it keeps the leggings as fresh as new; meaning, you don’t have to wash your activewear again and again without compromising on the freedom of movement.

The reason why OB has turned out to be a complete game-changer is that garments, especially women’s sustainable leggings have been knitted with no weak points whatsoever.

No more compromising on breathability, comfort, and durability anymore.

Ethics:

We get it that for Organic Basics (OB), sustainability matters more than anything, but don’t think for a moment that ethics doesn’t.

Every single pair of leggings showcased on their website has been made ethically i.e. designed in healthy, hygienic, and safe working conditions by the people who get their wages on time.

No worker is forced to work more than the required time as per the local law or as mentioned in the guidelines issued officially by OB.

OB doesn’t support any child labor which is a great thing, actually.

Currently, OB is having a total of 15 ethical factories where the required principles are followed to ensure safe, ethical, and germ-free working conditions. The workplace is situated at different locations in Turkey, Scotland, Austria, Italy, and Portugal.

Since OB offers transparency, anyone—with no trouble—could find out what type of clothing is being produced at a specific factory i.e. whether it is denim being manufactured there or it’s a dye house you’re looking at.

In addition, you could find out if it is a family-run business or not, the number of employees working there, whether part-time or full time, and whether or not they’re paid for the overtime.

OB’s ethical factories are GOTS, GRS, OCS, RCS, and OEKO-Tex certified.

If your aim is to have frill-free leggings, look no further—OB’s sustainable leggings are your dream come true, offering you all-day comfort and longevity.

SilverTech™ Active Leggings
SilverTech™ Active Leggings
Image Credit: Organic Basics
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Why these leggings?

These leggings have been made from the bluesign® approved recycled silver salt which keeps the fabric as fresh as new and the bad odor away. They have been made using recycled materials, meaning it has no environmental impact when washed. These leggings create no seams and requires no ironing and made ethically. To make these eco-friendly leggings, 5.33 kg of CO2 has been prevented, 220 litres of water has been conserved, and 42 gram of waste has been prevented. Gets a decent 4.6 rating out of 5 and is available in 3 colors and 4 sizes. 

Shop OB!

1. PACT

Pact—a Boulder-based clothing brand—is another one-stop shop where people who have an affection for nature lovers to spend their invaluable time browsing their favorite fashion picks.

They’ve got a huge range of eco-friendly leggings you can wear while doing yoga, burpees, and squats—the part we love the most.

They’re not just limited to sustainability, their legwarmers and tights are powered by a mixture of one-of-a-kind, top-of-the-line materials, namely organic cotton and elastane.

To figure out why they use elastane, continue reading.

Pact’s Sustainable & Ethical Approach

Pact is one of those big-name brands that get honorable mentions in renowned magazines and news websites.

Yes, it is true that they’ve been featured on many websites and PETA and Refinery29 are two of them.

Pact manufactures leggings, along with other clothing, in a way that is good for the planet, people, and animals.

You could shop for different types of underwear (undies, bras, and socks), apparel (hoodies, shirts, leggings, tops, skirts, pants, jackets, etc.), or you could lay your eyes on the new arrivals.

Let’s look at how they’ve been nailing it.

Sustainability:

It’s no news that non-organic cotton is the culprit behind the increased carbon footprint and to deal with it, Pact has decided to go with the organic solution — organic cotton.

By using organic cotton, Pact requires 91% less water to make good-looking, comfortable-fit, breathable, and ethical activewear for you. And, the reason why Pact has decided to utilize cotton is that it is huge.

It is enormous just like corn, soybeans, and wheat.

Moreover, Pact is powered by Greenstory.

Materials:

What about the textiles?

Do they offer their customer satisfaction they crave?

After doing some digging, we got straightened out about the fabrics used in different types of apparel produced by them. To make those stretchable, durable, and breathable eco-friendly leggings, they make use of organic cotton, and to give leggings a little bit of stretch, they put a tiny bit of elastane. If you’re concerned about the use of elastane, don’t worry, it is a variant of spandex and is used in about 80% of clothing made in the U.S.

If you are stubborn to get a brand-new pair of leggings made with 100% cotton, it’d be hard to get such ones, and even if you somehow find them, you won’t be able to achieve the freedom of movement. Leggings made with cotton alone will be prone to be torn—and you know it’s not good when it comes to stretching out your body or breaking a sweat on a regular basis.

People have been loving the inception of the company.

These leggings will breathe life into your body, even if you have a curvy one.

But don’t just take our word for it—see what the verified consumers are saying about the sustainable leggings brought to life by Pact.

Ethical Practices:

Pact is running Fair Trade-certified factories where each employee (worker), whether male or female, is treated equally and with respect.

There is no child labor of any kind.

To make sure that employees are happy with their work and the wages they receive, the company makes visits to their ethical factories to see that employees are working in safe and clean conditions. Since Pact is a GOTS- and FA-certified brand, you could count on the fact that the company follows the rules for workers’ regular work hours and maternity leave. The company can’t tolerate any kind of sexual, religious, and color discrimination.

Diversity:

What about inclusivity?

Does Pact fulfill your needs in the first place and serves the purpose of being a go-to shop for the gym + nature lovers?

There’s no doubt that Pact is got a huge selection of apparel for both men and women, and guess what—you could select the size that fits you perfectly, there is no comprising on a pair of perfect-fit leggings.

Available sizes include XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL.

What we also loved about Pact is their transparency—they keep everything straightforward. On the production page, you could find out what that specific product is made with—the proportion of materials used in it, how much water has been saved while making it, and other important instructions to take care of the apparel.


Pocket Legging
Image Credit: Pact
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Why these leggings?

These are available in 6 different sizes that means it’s highly unlikely that these leggings won’t be perfect for you or anyone. Speaking of sustainability, these leggings have saved up to 42.0 gallons of water, and is made with 89% organic cotton and 11% elastane. The material used is GOTS certified and factory where it has been made holds a Fair Trade certification. It has more than 700 reviews, which clearly states that people have loved them very much. Most importantly, they also have side pockets so you could rest your hands.

Shop Pact!

3. TENTREE

Tentree’s leggings “feel like butter and fit like a glove”.

While there are many fascinating things about Tentree, its logo is super unique and catchy; it gets stuck in mind once you behold its beauty.

There’s something extraordinary about these guys that make them stand out. Oh, yes—it is their vision that will blow your mind.

For every purchase made, they plant trees. Not just 3 or 4, but a total of 10 trees.

Let’s behold how they’ve been putting the earth first.

Tentree’s Attitude for Sustainability and Ethics

They’ve been doing things and getting involved in different initiatives to offset the carbon emission our planet is going through.

Tentree believes that anyone on the globe can plant trees without having to spend more on the products you buy from us, hence the vision—buy an item and get 10 trees planted.

“Big change starts small”, philosophy of Tentree.

Sustainable Practices:

Tentree is one of those sustainable brands that deal with the fast-fashion issue in an extraordinary way. They set 10 plants for every item you purchase from them, with no extra cost.

Sounds eco-conscious, doesn’t it?

Wait, there is more…up to date, they’ve planted 50 million trees52,296,331, to be exact that clearly shows that they’ve been doing a great job ever since they came into existence.

And, they won’t stop there; they are planning to set more trees by 2030. The figure shows that expectation is 1 billion trees. That means as the time comes, they’ll have removed millions of tonnes of CO2 from the surroundings.

Moreover, they’re also aware of the water waste problem, and to deal with it, they make sure that they use as little amount of water as possible. To produce a sweatshirt, up to 75% less water is used.

Since tree planting depends on the purchase made, they can’t do it without you.

Materials:

Tentree makes use of sustainable materials or fabrics to create those stunning leggings to help you feel the vibes for a long time. Although to have different types of apparel produced, TT uses mainly four fabrics, namely TENCEL™, Polyester, Organic Cotton, and Linen.

However, in most of the leggings, you’ll see a blend of recycled polyester and elastane.

You could wear these leggings while doing yoga or even while running—no pain in the neck whatsoever. Choose any color you love and the size that fits you perfectly, and then do the final checkout.

Since leggings are made with recycled materials, they are not just giving discarded plastic bottles a new life but also saving the earth from carbon footprint issues.

Our favorite ones are the high-rise leggings (see top pick).

Ethics:

Tentree is a B-Corp certified brand that means they meet all the highest standards of verified environmental and social performance. Furthermore, they are honest about everything they do—there’s transparency.

Currently, there is a total of 23 ethical factories run by Tentree. These are situated in different parts of the world like China, Poland, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, and Vietnam. You could also keep track of which factory has been recently visited by the company, who is the supplier at that particular factory, and what compliances it holds.

If you really want to make an informed decision, first go to the product you’re willing to purchase and then get your head around where it has been made. Once you find out the country, go to the ethical manufacturing page and make sure that the factory where the apparel has been manufactured holds social compliances.

If you don’t want to purchase a product made in China, don’t worry—you could go with other options.

On the whole, Tentree is compliant with WRAP, BSCI, SA8000, FT, and FWF standards.

Satisfaction:

TT provides free delivery on orders of $50 or above. Also, there’s a hassle-free return, allowing you to return the product you don’t want to keep. And, if you still can’t get the issue resolved, reaching out to the team would be an easy experience for you; they are available 24×7.

So, are you ready to register your trees?


inMotion High Rise Legging
Image Source: Tentree
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Why these leggings?

Apart from being ethically made, these leggings have been made using 73% r-PET (Recycled Polyester) and 27% Elastane. That means these are sustainable, too. In the making of these leggings, 2.88 liters of water has been saved, 0.74 kg  of CO2 avoided, and 0.02 g of waste preserved. They offer great fit, feature 2 waistband pockets (enough to hold your car keys), and come with perfect inseam length. 

Shop Tentree!

4. Everlane

Everlane never makes empty promises and is famous for its revolutionary transparency.

They have got a huge collection of sustainably made activewear that also includes eco-friendly and ethical leggings. Their workout clothes create no seams no matter how you stretch your body. You could rock these close-fitting leg coverings with an activewear top, such as bras.

Everlane’s Philosophy of Sustainable & Ethical Fashion

The greenhouse effect is a serious issue we’re all dealing with in this day and age, and the culprit behind this is the fast-fashion industry.

However, Everlane, on the other hand, produces leggings—among other activewear—in the most sustainable manner possible. Like most sustainable fashion brands, Everlane also uses recycled plastics in packaging and also asks the consumers to recycle them again.

Eco-friendliness:

Everlane gets more eco-friendly every day.

They are committed to using no virgin plastics; rather what they really depend on is certified organic cotton because, as discussed in the sustainable fabrics guide, we’re already aware that it is good for the environment, requires less water, and doesn’t require any insecticide and with little to no organic fertilizers.

Everlane is geared towards fighting against climate change and to do this, they have made a commitment to get rid of all virgin plastics from their supply chain this year i.e. by 2021.

Materials:

In addition to using the most sustainable fabrics available on the planet, Everlane believes in investing in fabric innovations with an intention to keep this planet healthier.

Mostly Everlane uses a combination of recycled fabrics, such as recycled polyester and elastane to produce those leggings for you.

The fabric varies based on the type of apparel you’re shopping for. But whatever material they make use of, they make sure that no water gets wasted. For example, while making denim-based products, such as jeans, jackets, shorts, and skirts, they recycle up to 98% of water.

If you’re skeptical about their materials, you can rest assured because their textile is certified. Currently, Everlane holds the certification of GOTS, CPSC, REACH, ZDHC, GRS, RWS, Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, OEKO-Tex, and more.

Code of Conduct:

Everlane has gained a footing in the slow-fashion industry with its factories located in different parts of the world.

Currently, they’re having 7 officials (authorized) stores when you can visit and get to know more about the company and how they trying to make the world a better place. As for the industrial units, there are currently 37 principled factories located in different places.

You could locate them all using the locator and come to know about each factory, like how many people are currently employed there, the year it was established, materials they use there, and who the owner is.

Everlane has zero tolerance against sex and religious discrimination, and all of the employees are provided with safe and clean working conditions. No body part of the workers is exposed to any harmful material.

The company also regularly visits the factories to understand the needs of the employees and to see whether or not they’re satisfied with their current job, and to resolve their problems (if there are any).

Transparency:

From keeping people informed on the factories to offering them transparent pricing, Everlane has been fulfilling the needs of people in the best way possible.

They believe that it is customers’ right to know behind the scenes.

You could discover how much it cost the company to make a pair of leggings or other apparel. Know about all costs it takes for the company to make clothing, such as materials, hardware, labor, duties, and transport. Once you’re satisfied with the ‘True Cost’, you can go ahead with the final checkout.

If you want to save bucks, choose those leggings that are made in a local factory.

The Perform Leggings
The Perform Leggings
Image Courtesy: Everlane
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Why these leggings?

Well, to be frank, these ones are made with a combination of 40% Recycled Nylon, 40% Recycled Polyester, and 20% Elastane, and are available in 7 different sizes and 6 colors. Although these may not have side pockets, the interior front pocket will be a lifesaver to hold the car keys. They have been made in Sri Lanka and most people are satisfied with this activewear. Customer have rated them 4.47 out of 5.

Shop Everlane!

5. REFORMATION

Reformation has reformed the sustainable lifestyle of people in a distinct way and the fashion industry from the inside out.

They believe in the ‘No Nonsense’ philosophy and are one of the eco-friendly brands out there that publish sustainability reports from time to time. When it comes to fulfilling the needs of customers with different types of apparel like clothing, dresses, sweaters, jeans, sweats, weddings, and more, they’ve ticked all the boxes.

Reformation’s Sustainability & Ethical Practices

It’s no doubt that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluting sector, after the oil industry.

We can’t deny the fact that brands that contribute to the climate crisis are the ones that use cheap, unsustainable, and fast materials. Not just that, they don’t care about nature or the people living here (on earth), therefore, water, energy, and resource waste doesn’t make any difference.

Reformation—on the contrary—believes in producing eco-friendly, top-notch, long-lasting, and beautiful apparel. They try to utilize as many organic ways as possible in their harvesting and manufacturing processes.

They’re aware of the consequences of fast fashion and, therefore, are committed to creating a world where we can live sustainably together—all without having to harm nature, animals, or people.

Sustainability:

Reformation is very serious about sustainability. That’s the reason why they depend on materials that are good for the atmosphere. As mentioned by them, conventional cotton undoubtedly is a disaster to our environment and it requires a large amount of water.

To address this issue, they mostly use organic materials (without any chemicals) so that they do not cause any impact on our environment. That is why they strive for “no tradeoff” solutions. The 4 main pillars, that they’re based upon, are people, planet, product, and progress. They’re planning to get even better at their sustainability practices by 2025 so that their carbon footprint can be reduced to a larger extent.

Here’s the framework that outlines the current and future vision of the company. Take a look and see for yourself how they are making efforts to keep life on the land greener and life below water bluer.

Materials:

Reformation lives up to its standards by making fabulous, long-lasting, sustainable leggings using highly earth-friendly materials (fabrics). To ensure the clothing fits you perfectly, their team uses a meticulous approach and spends hours to ensure you not only look great in the garments but also feel good.

All of the fabrics are used in line with the high standards. Put differently, there is no toxic chemical used in the clothing to ensure the safety of your body.

Anyway, the name of the fabrics used by them is Lyocell (one from Lenzing and a trademark of TENCEL), Recycled Cotton, Deadstock & Vintage, Linen, Modal (again, the same company—Lenzing), Viscose, Recycled Cashmere, Econyl, Alpaca, Silk, and Leather (LWG certified).

However, speaking of the fabrics used in the leggings, you’ll find around 80% organic cotton and 12% elastane (for that sustainable stretch). Therefore, it should make those who people happy who always look for organic cotton.

To rate their clothing, they’ve defined their own standards (ratings), namely A, B, C, D, and E—with A being the best and E, of courses, being the worse in the category.

So, Leggings that fall in A, B, or sometimes in the C category are good for, however, we suggest you prefer those that are in the first two categories. As far as D is concerned, don’t go for it unless certified.

Ethical Approach:

So far we’ve come to know that Reformation believes in sustainability and accountability. Does it also govern the code of conduct and follow the guidelines that lie therein?

Having dug deep, it turns out, they treat all the workers equally and with respect. So, there’s no way discrimination can take place in the workplace. And, to take it even further, they regularly publish their reports with full transparency so people could get to know about them as they should; nothing is hidden from the people.

At this time, there are 44 factories run by Reformation and situated as follows:

  • 27 in Los Angeles
  • 8 in China
  • 4 in Turkey
  • 2 in Mexico
  • 1 in India
  • 1 in Pakistan
  • 1 in Vietnam

Reformation has zero tolerance against discrimination, harassment, abuse, forced labor, and child labor. In the rules and regulations guide, everything has been made crystal-clear.

The health, safety, and happiness of the works are always prioritized. In a regular workweek, employees are not supposed to work more than 48 hours.

Let’s buy sustainable leggings and make David Attenborough proud!

Court High Rise Legging
Court High Rise Legging
Image Credit: Reformation
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Why these leggings?

These leggings sustainably and ethically made by Reformation — they’ve saved  27.0 gal. of water and avoided 11.0 lbs. of CO2. Made with 88% organic cotton, 12% spandex, these leggings will allow you to stretch your body just the way you like. Also, Reformation doesn’t charge anything extra on delivery. 

Shop Reformation!

6. WOLVEN

If you always believed in love at first sight, we strongly believe you’ll fall head over heels in love with leggings made by Wolven, too.

Wolven is our favorite when it comes to one-of-a-kind designs or patterns. It’s that brand that makes sustainability sexy.

Wolven’s sustainably made leggings will catch your attention at first sight and the stretching brought to life is up to the mark—hands down! Apart from a variety of options to choose from, you can select any size that you think will fit you perfectly, or if you’re not sure about the fit, click on “View Size Chart” and be sure.

All of the leggings fit true to size and can be paired well with most activewear tops like a charm.

Wolven’s Ethical & Sustainable Practices

We’re smart enough to know that a sustainable lifestyle is one of the best ways to offset the carbon footprint.

They have also joined the carbon off-set initiative with “Climate Neutral” to put an end to or diminish the impact.

Wolven—a team of activists and artists—is actually carbon-neutral and their practices are rooted in heedfulness.

Every single decision they make is carried out sustainably—with responsibility and ethics in mind.

Earth-friendliness:

To keep our environment greener and water bluer, they make the most out of recycled fabrics in clothes (leggings included), wash bags, and packing.

Nearly 11.2 billion lbs of plastics find their way into the ocean every year, putting our lives at risk and impacting our environment. And, if we don’t do something about it right now, it’ll be too late.

They are a live example of the good brands out there that take advantage of recycled materials so that the greenhouse effect can be reduced. You would not believe that CO2 alone is the single most catastrophic factor that is polluting our earth like no other gas. And, to address this issue, they’ve decided to make clothes using recycled plastics (also known as rPET or recycled-PET) that allow them to reduce 79% of carbon emission.

The collected plastic is 100% BPA free—meaning, there’s no toxic material used in the leggings. That’s why you won’t feel any itching nor will you have any rashes while wearing these leggings for yoga, burpees, or squats.

They don’t order third-party vendors to have the fabric ready, instead, they have established their own “Forest of Fabrics” where they plant plants and use them once they’re ready to provide them with benefits.

That way, they’re able to ensure the lowest environmental impact.

Ethical Code:

What about the code of conduct exercised by Woven at their ethical factories? Do they pay minimum wages to their workers on time? Do they ensure safe working conditions for their employees?

These are the questions that need to be asked.

The good news is that Wolven, being a proud member of 1% for the planet, gives away 1% of their overall proceeds. They work at their principled factories right in line with the Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA), Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Clean Hub, and OEKO-TEX standards.

Not just that, they’re also carbon-neutral, which makes them a highly suitable brand for nature. That means we can take it for granted that the practices incorporated by them are not responsible for the global warming caused.

Materials:

What kind of fabrics do they use?

Do they have anything to do with climate change?

Well, as far as the leggings are taken into account, they are a mixture of 84% r-PET a.k.a. recycled polyester, and 16% spandex (or sometimes elastane). The reason why they haven’t used 100% cotton is that it’s not effective in this scenario. In other words, cotton in activewear is prone to be torn as you move your body; rather, you need a fabric that is stretchable, thanks to spandex.

In fact, if you meet someone wearing these one-of-a-kind leggings from Wolven, we strongly believe that you’ll receive tons of compliments from people.

No matter if you love cardio, stretching, or weightlifting, these leggings are your go-to accessory—a long-term companion to your exercising journey. If you’re doubtful about sizing, don’t come unglued; rather visit their sizing guide and be sure of the fit you’re about to go for.

Amalfi Crossover Pocket Legging
Amalfi Crossover Pocket Legging
Image Courtesy: Wolven
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Why these leggings?

These ones have been specially designed with ‘wanderlusters’ in mind.  In addition to having state-of-the-art apperance, these are packed with side pockets to keep your hands rested. They have been made using 84% RPET and 16% spandex, hence sustainably made. People have rated it 4.8 out of 5, which is pretty good.

Shop Wolven!

7. GIRLFRIEND

Recycle. Reuse. ReGirlfriend.

If you wish to get those trendy, exceptional, and sustainable leggings, let’s be friends with ‘Girlfriend’ because there you will be able to browse a variety of leggings that will make your day. All in-demand leggings, such as a compressive, double-side pocket, ultra-high rise, high rise, squat-proof lettings, etc., are available on their website, waiting for your well-versed decision.

Did you know that only 1% of the clothing produced is recycled?

Yes, it may be shocking to you, but it is truth and the rest of the clothing gets wasted—downcycled, or finally chucked out into the rivers or landfills. Girl Collective, on the other hand, deals with this issue in an over-the-top way—they are running a program where they get sent clothing by the people which they turn into new outfits.

Girlfriend’s Viewpoint of Sustainability & Moral Values

Girlfriend—which is also known as ‘Girlfriend Collective’—is a go-to fashion shop where you can lay your eyes on the cutest sustainable activewear, such as leggings, bras, and tanks.

Their philosophy is to do everything thoughtfully—i.e. with responsibility and all the protocols in mind. Every part of the process that comes into effect is chosen by them wisely, be it about raw materials or facilities or something else for that matter.

In addition to offering sustainable products, their packaging is also eco-friendly. Yes, the bags that they use to pack things up is 100% recyclable, therefore, we suggest you not toss it out; rather, send it back to your Girlfriend and they will have it recycled for sure

Materials:

Being an SA8000-certified brand, Girlfriend strives to reduce the impact of carbon emissions that is polluting our beautiful planet. Furthermore, they also hold the certification from Fair Trade, meaning everything that they do is carried out thoughtfully—with nature and people in mind.

Speaking of the materials they use to make leggings and other clothing, you’ll see a mixture of recycled fabrics because, as discussed earlier, they are geared toward getting rid of plastics that are rotting in the water and polluting our environment.

Recycled fabrics made use of by them include recycled polyester (r-PET), spandex, and all outfits are recyclable which means you can easily get your clothing recycled with Girlfriend after you’re done using it. Girlfriend’s leggings don’t create seams and can be stretched however you want it to—goes with your body.

Sustainability:

Girlfriend is geared toward cutting down the greenhouse effect impact and they do it with the help of recycling. To achieve their mission, they avail themselves of the recycled fabrics and, therefore, stop plastic bottles from entering landfills, which in turn, keeps the water as bluer as imaginable and the environment as greener as possible

Girlfriend is nothing like other brands that always show off their sustainability and transparency as if they are the only sustainable brands that care for our plant and yet never live up to customer’s expectations when the time comes.

They’ve also found the solution to the waste the keeps entering the landfills and oceans. According to Girlfriend, “Good things come to good who don’t waste”, which is quite true. The recycling program they’re running allows you to recycle your old clothes in just 4 steps:

How to Recycle at Girlfriend?

  • Step 1: Buy a product with a shipping label on it.
  • Step 2: Once you think it is no longer of any use, drop that product in the mail.
  • Step 3: In this step, their unit will recycle that product into brand-new Girlfriend gear.
  • Step 4: Once recycled, you’ll be rewarded $15 towards your next purchase.

Evidently, they’re offering everyone an opportunity to dispense with carbon emissions and make this planet greener and healthier.

Moral Code:

How does Girlfriend deal with the discrimination that most likely takes place in the workplace?

Girlfriend believes that cutting and sewing is the most intensive part of apparel creation. For that reason, every worker who does their job at their ethical factories needs to be treated with respect. Their factories are SA8000 certified, meaning people are always put first, and then the product that is being made. Every single employee is provided with a fair living wage so they (workers) could thrive in their lives and live their dreams without any problem at all.

Aforesaid certification also ensures that there is no child or forced labor happening in the workplace, and this is not about one or two factories—every single factory work in line with this standard, making sure every worker receives the appreciation for the work do they.

In addition to catering lunch for the regular workers, there’s a facility of lunch for the workers who prefer doing evening shifts. To take it even further, the company also offers every employee free health checkups that occur every 6th month, along with the health insurance facility.

The organization or any employee in the workplace, under any circumstances, cannot involve in or support any kind of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, identity, social origin, marital status, political opinions, etc. Plus, there is a law that outlines the minimum and maximum working hours for the employees.

Workers mustn’t work more than 48 hours a week.


Plum Compressive High-Rise Legging
Image: Girlfriend
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Why these leggings?

These leggings have caught the attention of most people because they’ve been reviewed more than 11960 reviews and most people say that they fit true to size. By making these leggings sustainably, 3.11 gallons of water has been saved, 18.61 lbs of CO2 prevented, and 25 water bottles diverted from landfills. Speaking of materials, it contains recycled materials, such as 79% RPET and 21% spandex.

Shop Girlfriend!

8. PEOPLE TREE

People Tree is that sustainable brand that has been rocking Fair Trade slow-fashion since 1991, tackling all of the challenges with positivity and confidence found in the fashion industry. It was founded by one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs—Safia Minney, an award-winning businesswoman, keynote speaker, and company advisor.

PT’s has got an enormous collection of leggings that once you wear, you would not want to take them off. Wear the FT-certified and WTFO-verified leggings while doing yoga, pushups, squats, or burpees, the choice is all yours. Pose however you like or relax your hands in those relaxing pockets available on both sides of the leggings.

Leggings carefully curated by People Tree are available in different eye-catching colors and sizes so you don’t have to compromise on the perfect-fit activewear.

PT’s Beliefs about Sustainability and Ethical Fashion

Sustainability:

People Tree has also collaborated with the big-name brands, namely BBC Earth. PT is not only about Fair Trade-certified apparel, it has also been standardized by GOTS and is Vegan approved.

PT is one of those brands that have found a footing in the world of slow fashion, and to be where they are today (a leading slow-fashion brand), they’ve tackled thousands of challenges with determination. Their strength of mind towards a fresh and clean environment keeps the people coming back for more, and their eco-friendly leggings will have your heart at the first sight.

They are aimed at reducing global warming by using sustainable materials only. To achieve this, they promote organic farming (as research shows us how conventional farming is killing our planet and ethics), avoid any kind of polluting substances, such as insect killers to keep the soil fresh.

How do they deal with the waste?

Well, to address this major concern, they always use biodegradable materials so that it doesn’t have any bag impact air, water, or people that depend on them. To know more about their sustainability practices, head over to the materials segment below.

Textiles:

Manufacturing is where things get worse because most so-called sustainable brands never live up to their promises. That way, the eco-unfriendly material used in the clothing becomes the reason for itching and rashes caused on athletes’ bodies.

People Tree, on the other hand, turns out to be a game-changer. They use GOTS-certified fabrics—the fabrics that not only are good for nature but also for the people who wear the outfit made using such fabrics. There is no harmful material used in the end-to-end process whatsoever. By using 100% organic cotton in most apparel (and 95% in the leggings), they are a live example of how carbon emission can be dispensed effectively.

By using organic cotton, they are able to reduce up to 94% greenhouse emissions. Apart from biological cotton, they also make the most of other sustainable fabrics, such as Lenzing certified TENCEL modal which is made using wood pulp and biodegradable—no animal glue used in the process.

Up to 99% of water and other solvent used in the solving-spinning process get recycled, meaning there’s nothing that gets wasted. Their SARP-certified jeans require 87.2% less water as compared to the conventional denim production. The same idea goes behind linen that helps save up to 13 1.5L bottles of water when a T-shirt is made using it, and guess what—flax is 100% biodegradable.

Ethical Approach:

Their mission is to use those practices that can help sustain communities while providing quality. The livelihood of workers is always put first—even from the moment a costume is sketched.

Their state-of-the-art approach helps revive the traditional skills that have been forgotten now. That is why PT also encourages hand skills of the people who are good at it because there is nothing like hand-woven clothing.

With People Tree, knowing who made your clothes is pretty easy!

That’s the reason you can easily lay your eyes on different hand-made, hand-woven, hand-printed, hand-knitted, and hand-embroidered outfits on their official website.

PT has been providing opportunities to many rural and urban areas. They have been contributing to poverty alleviations so that self-reliance can be achieved in the long run.

Every single factory run by People Tree adheres to all ethical guidelines required by the law. Hence, PT has no tolerance against discrimination based on religion, sex, race, color, etc.

PT is a WTFO certified organization that means they have to adhere to every single guideline as required by Fair Trade, which clearly means that they have to:

  • Provide opportunities to disadvantaged producers
  • Keep everything transparent to their customers
  • Abide by all of the FT guidelines as required
  • Offer fair pricing model with affordability
  • Say ‘NO’ to the child or forced labor
  • Provide workers with good working conditions
  • Respect the environment in the best way possible

Apart from sticking to these guidelines, there are other strategies that PT has embraced for the betterment of the atmosphere and the people living in it.

To know more, you can look up all principles that People Tree adheres to.


Yoga Leggings
Image Credit: People Tree
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Why these leggings?

These ones really needs your attention if you’re on the lookout for leggings made with up to 90% oganic cotton. And, guess what? These ones are made with 95% Organic Fairtrade Cotton, 5% Elastane. They have been ethically made by Asisi in India. The cotton that has been used in this active is GOTS certified one, and there is no toxic material used in them.

Shop People Tree!

9. ELEVEN44

If you’re a huge fan of organic cotton, you’ll fall in love with eleven44’s leggings because they offer you the exact same thing. Packed with convenient side pockets, you could either rest your hands after breaking a sweat or you could pose like a female model and ask one of your friends to take a cool picture of you in those leggings.

Eleven44, a sustainable clothing brand, was started by Linda Morkos in Bali. She launched it in 2008, so clearly it has been more than 12 years since the existence. When she started, she wanted to provide people with unique street and athletic wear that could offer comfort. Ever since they have been using low-impact processes to maintain a good balance on our planet.

Eleven44’s Sustainability & Ethical Practices

Evenen44 was started with a vision—to provide people with unique, trendy, and eco-friendly apparel to kick start their day. They wanted to do achieve this without letting us compromise on the style—fashion may fade away but the style is always eternal.

Sustainability:

Fast fashion is a serious issue, it is huge, and we’ve already talked about it in one of our articles.

Guess what? Eleven44 also gets it—and, therefore, they’re making every possible effort towards lowering its impact on our planet. To address this, they have decided to take advantage of recycled and organic fabrics.

Items are thoughtfully designed so as to make sure they don’t harm the environment we all live in. They have a responsibility (of producing high-quality and sustainable activewear) and they know how to handle it very well.

Guess what—they strive towards zero waste.

Yes, you read it right—nothing gets wasted. They have all the waste recycled so that nothing finds its way into the ocean or landfills. To take it even further, they’ve been donating to the small family business.

They don’t believe in keeping their customers in the dark, and that’s why they are ready to admit that the fashion industry is indeed dirty.

“We’re not perfect”, says Eleven44.

Still, they are figuring out how they can improve in every area by using sustainable and ethical practices.

Textiles:

Do you go purchase your favorite leggings from a brand that makes use of sustainable materials?

Yes, this is very important if you’re spending your invaluable money on a pair of leggings. And, this isn’t only about your wealth, it’s also about your health. Picture this: you buy leggings from a start-up brand and wear them the next day while going to the gym, next day you find that the leggings you’ve purchased have caused an allergic reaction to your body.

But how?

That’s because of the materials used in the leggings. Therefore, it is always significant to ensure that the leggings are not made using any toxic materials i.e. they’ve been made using sustainable textiles. By sustainable, we mean GOTS-certified fabrics, such as organic cotton, bamboo, Lenzing modal, and linen.

While producing, they always try to reduce the amount of water used in the process with an intention to diminish the carbon impact.

Inclusivity:

To ensure all clothing purchased by people fit perfectly and snugly, there’s a chart on the website that allows you to choose the size based on your body shape.

You could go with different sizes depending on your physical appearance, including XS, S, M, L, and XL. If you’re someone who gets confused when comparing the size using a US size chart, don’t worry—they also have an AUS sizing chart.

While finding the perfect-fit clothing for you, always keep the size of chest, waist, and hops in mind, however, for purchasing leggings, you’ll only need to look into the hips, and sometimes waist, as well. What we suggest you look at is the material the leggings are made with.

Ethical Manufacturing:

Eleven44 is proud to have their leggings and other clothing made ethically. They have zero tolerance against racism—be it about sex, religion, race, color, or other characteristics. There is no forced work, harassment, or any abuse experienced by the workers in the workplace.

The workers are not asked to overwork and there’s a limit defined for working hours beyond which no employee can work. All employees are provided with equal wages and opportunities so that they could thrive and do something good for the community, and eventually fulfill their ambitions.

Furthermore, the company also provides education to the people working there so as to improve their skills. That way, they won’t have any problem while seeking employment elsewhere.

Black Leggings Organic Cotton Lycra
Black Leggings Organic Cotton Lycra
Image Courtesy: eleven44
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Why these leggings?

These leggings have both sustainably and ethically made. They are total 22 reviews left by the verified customers and all of them are up to the mark. Made with certified organic cotton, these will make your day and night, for sure. We believe once you own a pair, you’ll crave for more.

Shop Eleven44!

10. BOODY

The last—but certainly not the least—is Boody that has been an inspiration to many athletes there. Boody is one of those sustainable fashion brands that have truly made a possible impact to sustain our planet for good.

Boody provides free delivery for products $49 and the payment method is super flexible—order now, pay later. Not just that, they also offer a feel-good guarantee to all of their customers. Having said that if you are not satisfied (which we don’t think will happen), the leggings or any clothing you purchase from them will be on them.

If you ever believed that wood-based material can’t be used to make those stretchable leggings, you were mistaken. That’s where Boody proves people wrong because they make good use of bamboo-based material, viscose, to make activewear so that you could achieve freedom of movement while you’re on the go doing yoga or other physical exercises.

Boody’s Attitude towards Sustainability

There are many ecological reasons why Boody has decided to go with the bamboo-based fabric like it is considered to the largest member of the grass family and also grows back at a faster rate after being cut, leaving us to the 2nd important factor—it makes harvesting super easy.

Yes, to reach its full height, bamboo only takes about 50 to 60 days, which is a short span of time. It is just like the grass that grows back after being cut, and most importantly, it has nothing to do with global warming, in fact, it has turned out to be a lifesaver when it comes to slowing down the greenhouse effect.

Sustainability:

Each garment at Boody is created thoughtfully i.e. with sustainability and ethics in mind. Their positive impact will have you goggle-eyed for sure. So far, they have avoided 4,374,027 kilometers of driving emissions, saved a total of 38,393,249 days of LED bulb energy, and saved 455,978,932 liters of drinking water, which, putting everything together, is really HUGE.

All that credit goes to Bamboo!

Bamboo can help save up to 50% energy and requires 66% less waster as compared to conventional cotton.

What also catches our eye is that Bamboo doesn’t require any kind of fertilizers or pesticides to grow. You don’t need any irrigation—just rainfall will do it.

You wouldn’t believe that bamboo can generate up to 35% more oxygen as compared to other trees and, therefore, lower the impact of CO2. What’s also surprising is that we don’t have to face deforestation, instead, research shows that bamboo contributes to slowing down disforestation. Speaking of water usage, it requires less water as compared with conventional cotton—which is a thirsty crop.

Materials:

To make those gorgeous leggings, Boody makes use of sustainable and biodegradable materials. Most of the leggings available on their website are made with a blend of bamboo viscose, organic cotton, and spandex. The design may take place in a different country as compare to the manufacturing part. So, the region where the leggings are made matters to you, please be aware of where the apparel has been made.

Leggings bought to life by Boody are breathable, seamless, and odor-resistant. So, how no matter how long you spend breaking a sweat in the gym, you won’t be disappointed by the odor. They are super comfortable and you can wear them even while jogging or running.

The leggings are good for all types of skin, and therefore, won’t cause any allergic reaction or rashes if worn for a long time. Moreover, unlike other brands, leggings made thoughtfully by Boody will never lose shape and will keep you cool and comfortable all day long.

Ethics:

On top of following an eco-friendly processing system, Boody also cares for their workers and ensures their happiness and satisfaction by regularly visiting ethical factories.

Boody adheres to all 12 principles as required by WRAP—Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production that is having 2,286 factories employing 2,065,900 people.

Being in line with WRAP protocols means:

  • Complying with all laws and workplace principles
  • Forbidding child and forced labor
  • Having zero tolerance against harassment
  • Providing unbiased opportunities to workers
  • Setting hours for work for all employees
  • Ensuring safe and health of the workers
  • Offering custom compliance and security

Not just that, Boody has also been giving back. To take part in the donation, they are running different types of programs.

Also, if you want to support African entrepreneurs or provide income to the women in need, you could consider buying this Boodyful giving bracelet.

Full Leggings
Full Leggings
Image: Boody

Why these leggings?

Apart from being people’s favorite sustainable activewear, these leggings are also affordably priced — you don’t have to break the bank to get these. Plus, they have been sustainably made i.e. energy and water have been saved while making this activewear. As for the content they are made with, 80% viscose made from bamboo, 13% nylon, and 7% spandex have been used in them. Getting a 4.6 rating out of 5, these sustainable leggings have been reviewed by a total of 955 consumers.

Shop Boody!

Important:

You may not know this, but when you wash your clothes made with synthetic fabrics, they shed microfibers i.e. tiny pieces of plastics that enter the water streams and eventually cause harm to the water creatures. Hence, if you’ve decided to shop for leggings that use recycled materials, we suggest you consider having this microfiber filter that is affordable and gets the work done just like a top-of-the-line filter.

Sustainable Leggings — Wrapping Up

After writing this thorough article on “Sustainable Leggings” and addressing all dirty issues that lie in the fast fashion industry, even a little thought of eco-unfriendly and unethical practices frightens us and be satisfied with what we’ve already got in our wardrobes.

But, again…although leggings made with organic, environmentally friendly materials last longer, they eventually have to be replaced with new ones. Thus, the best thing you could do to maintain sustainability is to have your clothes recycled instead of throwing them out.

That’s all we’ve got for you—and, before we sign off, we would like to know what you want us to shed light on in our next article. Also, do share your preference—which one do think would be the best choice out of the given sustainable leggings laid out above?

Is there any activewear we missed out on in this article?

Speak your mind in the comments.

About the Founder

Thomas Kanze

Thomas is the founder of this blog (SincerelySustainable). He is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, and loves to travel the world. When he is not helping you live a sustainable life, he's busy in brushing up on his German, Italian, and Spanish. 


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