Athletic Brands Making Sustainable Wear From Recycled Materials

Looking good and caring for the planet at the same time doesn’t have to be an impossible task.

In recent years, major activewear and sneaker brands have all introduced eco-friendly styles into their collection. As a result, you don’t have to compromise when it comes to your style or your commitment to the environment.

If you want to switch to sustainably produced clothing and sneakers but don’t know where to start, we’ve created this essential guide to the sustainable styles offered by some of your favorite brands. Here are the top five sustainable activewear and recycled sneaker brands on the market to help get you started.

adidas

Known for its slick style and innovative designs, adidas’ latest venture into sustainability has taken the sportswear industry by storm. 

The company’s newest eco-conscious collection, Primeblue, is made primarily from a unique type of high-tech recycled material. In particular, sneakers and styles in the Primeblue line are engineered out of an innovative kind of recycled polyester fabric to help lessen your impact on the environment.

If that wasn’t enough, this recycled fabric is actually produced in concert with Parley for the Oceans, a collaborative nonprofit that seeks to protect our Earth’s greatest resource: the ocean. By partnering with Parley for the Oceans, adidas was able to craft their new Primeblue fabric partially out of ocean plastic, which is then upcycled to create your new kicks. What could be better?

Puma

Puma is known for blending European-inspired fashion and functionality into all their styles. Their new sustainability-focused initiatives are yet another way for the company to help propel the sportswear industry to the front of the conversation on corporate ethics.

The company has a number of different sustainability programs running at any given time. One of its primary initiatives is its Forever Better line of clothing and sneakers, all of which are made with sustainable fabrics and production practices.

As part of the Forever Better line, Puma also uses a new type of textile called First Mile in many of their new sneakers and sportswear offerings. 

In addition to using plastic waste to create the yarns used in these recycled running shoes, First Mile helps support manufacturing jobs in Haiti, Honduras and Taiwan. Since the plastic used to create this recycled yarn also comes from the trash in small towns, the initiative has a major social and environmental impact on the people who live in these communities — a win for everyone involved!

Nike

Nike is one of the world’s leading activewear companies, so it should come as no surprise that they added sustainability-focused styles into their offerings.

Perhaps the company’s best-known eco-friendly initiative is the Nike Grind campaign. Launched in 1992, Nike Grind is a sustainability program that seeks to transform excess raw materials and old sneakers into high-end clothing and equipment.

How it works is fairly straightforward: The program gathers everything from end-of-life sneakers to bits of rubber and textiles that go unused during the manufacturing process. Then, it takes these recovered materials and upcycles them into new recycled sneakers. That way, the company can help keep trash out of landfills while also outfitting you with high-quality gear made from sustainable materials.

In addition to Nike Grind, Nike also has another campaign in the works called Move to Zero. With Move to Zero, Nike made a pact to work toward a zero-carbon and zero-waste production process. They aim to do so by using their proprietary recycled canvas, leather, and synthetic fabrics and by creating products with a circular lifecycle in mind.

Timberland 

Timberland is all about getting people to work hard and play hard in the great outdoors. It’s only natural that they’re making a splash in the activewear industry with their environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.

One of Timberland’s largest concerns when it comes to sustainability is how they source their raw materials and textiles. The company’s boots and clothing rely heavily on cotton, leather, plastic and rubber, so finding ways to make their gear without hurting the environment is important.

To do so, Timberland has shaken up its entire production process. Most of its sneakers and boots now feature recycled plastic and rubber components in order to lessen the company’s dependence on raw materials. The company has also switched to using almost exclusively organic and sustainably grown cotton in its apparel.

Finally, when it comes to producing the leather for Timberland’s iconic boots, the company has sought out sustainable partnerships with tanneries around the world. They now work primarily with tanneries that have responsible water and energy management systems, so you can feel good about what you buy.

Reebok

Reebok’s product line features a little bit of everything, from athleisure to high-performance sneakers. Therefore, it’s only natural that its sustainability initiatives are just as far-reaching.

The company currently has two primary environmental initiatives: [REE]GROW and [REE]CYCLED. 

With [REE]GROW, Reebok hopes to transition much of its textiles and materials to be plant-based rather than petroleum or animal product-based. To do so, Reebok is pioneering new technology that uses plants such as eucalyptus bark, bloom algae, and castor bean oil to make everything from shoe midsoles and insoles to fabrics.

Additionally, Reebok’s [REE]CYCLED initiative is designed to create the next generation of recycled sneakers. As part of this program, Reebok takes all recycled materials and breathes fresh life into them by crafting fresh new styles. That means you can get Reebok’s Classic Leather kicks, all without hurting the environment. 

Go green with your next sportswear or sneaker purchase

Going green with your workout clothes and sneakers is the perfect way to care for the environment without sacrificing your style. Thankfully, you now have plenty of excellent options to choose from when it comes to sustainable sportswear. 

When you shop with one of these sustainability-minded brands, you never have to compromise your ethics or fashion sense ever again.

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