A few weeks ago while pacing my way round London with LDN Brunch Club I met another blogger, Eleanor Clarke aka Sustainable City Girl. We started chatting running brands, sustainability and ethics – heavy chat for a Sunday 10 miler. It got me thinking…should I be paying more attention to where my lycra comes from? So I tapped up Eleanor, a fitness mad eco-warrior who’s studying for an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems for her best ethical fitness buys.
Like Patagonia, Adidas works with the Fair Labour Association to audit the working practices in their factories and they have invested in training for factory owners and managers to improve conditions to comply with global standards. Adidas’s environmental strategy was produced with some input from Greenpeace. Their main pledges being: to minimise usage of water and energy, reduce the use of non-renewable materials, to reduce waste and importantly to eliminate the use of certain hazardous chemicals in their production processes. Find out more here.
Eleanor’s Top Pick… Adidas Women Training Workout Bra £18
With a wide range of specialised products I find Adidas will always have something to fit the bill. The gear looks exciting and colourful and is ‘fit for purpose’. This sports bra is a particular favourite. I wear it if I’m doing a weights session or spin but if I’m running or doing a class I go for something with a bit more support!
Patagonia is a brand committed to environmental and ethical practices in a big way. They carefully audit their consumption of energy and water in order to ensure their production is as efficient as possible and invest millions of dollars every year in supporting grassroots environmental groups and initiatives. With regard to working conditions they pay third party assessors to review their factories, in addition to the checks carried out by their own social responsibility team, and voluntary checks by the Fair Labour Association. Find out more about Patagonia’s approach to environmental and sustainability policy here.
Eleanor’s Top Pick… Patagonia Women’s Velocity Running Tights £60
These running leggings are my staple, they never fall down/ride up/pinch or pull, I have several pairs. However unlike Adidas, Patagonia’s selection is a bit less exciting.
Lulu Lemon work with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to optimise the environmental efficiency of their production. They have stringent regulations regarding the use of chemicals, and the handling of hazardous and non hazardous wastes. They have tried to create a culture of transparency surrounding the manufacturing processes and allow their workers to form unions for collective bargaining. They have a strict zero tolerance of child labour and forced employment and workers are paid overtime. They also make really swanky stuff. Funky colours and flattering shapes, they specialise in multifunctional kit that you could wear in the gym or out on the street, for me the problem is price range! Find out more about what goes into the making of Lululemon kit here.
Eleanor’s Top Pick… Lululemon Coast Wrap £105
This one is on the wish list. A bit pricey at £105 but could be worth it on the basis that it works on the run or thrown on with a pair of jeans!
They meet much of their power demand through green energy and many of their clothes, shoes and hats are actually made out of recycled plastic! Under Armour’s manufacturing is subcontracted overseas but as with Lulu Lemon the company has regulations in place protecting workers rights and ensuring fair pay. Find out more here.
Eleanor’s Top Pick… Women’s UA Alpha Mesh Printed Relaxed Short £28
I can’t justify buying another pair of shorts with summer on its way out but this jazzy pair would be top of my list otherwise!
You can find Eleanor blogging about all things eco-friendly over on Sustainable City Girl.