As a digital nomad living a whole-foods plant-based lifestyle, I will need a lot of sunshine to avoid vitamin D deficiency. So, I get Vita D by running outdoors.
Just to let you know, I’m absolutely not a morning person. I typically run in the afternoons, though I’ve been trying to get up as early as possible to get a good dose of soft early-morning sunshine.
And, to run, of course, I will need my trusty gear with me: from clothes to earphones. This time, I’ll talk about clothes.
Below are some of the eco-friendly and sustainable running activewear manufactured by brands that produce clothing made of materials that are safe for us, save the animals, and restore the planet.
I’m a “self-proclaimed” environmentalist and an advocate for sustainability. But when it comes to clothes, I don’t just opt for eco-friendly—I move towards eco-friendly that offers the most comfort. This is especially true for wearing bras.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of wearing a bra, and I don’t wear mine unless I need to. I don’t know about you but for me, it’s super uncomfortable, especially when I’m sweating during workouts. So, when it comes to running outdoors, I choose brassieres that are not just good for the environment, but also comfortable and healthy for me.
My favorite ones are:
- Adidas by Stella McCartney — like other Stella McCartney-designed Adidas products, this one is entirely made of repurposed waste materials such as polyester (recycled water bottles collected from the ocean).
- Athleta — Run Free Bra is specially designed for running and medium-impact workouts. It’s also not too compressive and has asymmetrical straps that allow you to move easily. Athleta, by the way, is a Certified B Corporation. Around 60% of materials used to create their products are made with recycled and sustainable fibers —and they aim to reach 80% in 2020.
- Girlfriend Collective — this one’s made from recycled fishing nets that are collected from the oceans. Its other materials are also made of recycled materials, and the bra itself is recyclable. This is just one among others in Girlfriend Collective’s LITE collection that “helps remove 1 lb of waste from the oceans and donates a percentage of sales to Healthy Seas.”
- Outdoor Voices — OV’s TechSweat™ fabric collection is made of recycled polyester, and the Outdoor Voices bra is one among the selection. What separates it from others is its mesh racerback that allows you to move your upper extremities comfortably.
- Pact — made with 92% organic cotton, this high-neck bra is so soft, you will love it! It features desirable qualities for a sports bra, such as its wide elastic band and shrink-resistance. The company focuses on the construction of their selection of clothing to ensure that their products are child-labor-free and sweatshop-free (child labor and sweatshops are very common in the clothing industry). Also, by choosing this particular product, you get to save 19.1 gallons of water. How about that?
For my outdoor runs, I prefer to wear bottoms that make me feel more “in control” of my lower limbs. For tights, I prefer light ones that aren’t too thick. For shorts, I’m into ones that are breathable with a flexible design that allows me to use them over my tights as well.
- Adidas by Stella McCartney — I’m one of those who dread about their tights rolling up to their thighs during a run. Doesn’t that make you feel uncomfortable too? That’s why this one’s my special favorite; aside from its sustainable materials, it also includes shorts, so I could have a more comfortable run, and I wouldn’t have to keep pulling my tights down. It also has a Climalite function that keeps your limbs dry and helps regulate your body temperature.
- Athleta — its ultra-lightweight recycled fabric (from used plastic bottles), pockets, and mesh ventilation make this crop one of my favorites. It’s also breathable, quick-drying, and abrasion-resistant.
- Girlfriend Collective — this high-rise short is lightweight, breezy, and water-resistant. It also has built-in underwear lining, drawstring waist, zippable pockets, and a slightly loose fit that helps keep me cool during runs. Did I forget to mention that it’s made of 100 percent recycled plastic from water bottles?
- Outdoor Voices — like its OV bra pair, this legging is made of TechSweat™ fabric as well. It’s cool to touch, keeps you dry during sweaty runs, and stretchable enough to fit your lower limbs. Overall, it’s one that offers high sustainability and quality without compromising style.
- Pact — it’s durable and breathable. Most of all, producing this product requires very little water (compared to inorganic brands) and zero harmful chemicals. This means you don’t only get to protect yourself, you also get to help conserve water.
They say a fine pair of shoes is one that makes you forget you’re even wearing one. Boy, oh boy, did that mean a lot to me when I actually experienced having to pause often from a run to adjust my feet and even getting my shoes ripped. It really pays to invest in a quality pair of kicks, especially if you’re an active individual.
Well, I’m a shoe collector myself, and I’m always into those shoes that are light, simple, and comfortable enough to give you a fun run (get that rhyme? “fun” and “run”? No? Nevermind.) Anyway, here are some of my picks:
- Adidas Women’s Ultraboost Parley — this pair of shoes, like other Adidas X Parley designs, is made of yarn created from plastic collected from coastal areas. It is also made of Continental rubber—supplied by another sustainable partner of Adidas, Continental AG — which allows for a strong grip even on wet surfaces.
- Vivobarefoot — this vegan brand doesn’t only focus on the ethical values they uphold but also in sustainability. Their Primus Lite shoes, in particular, require PET plastic bottles to produce. Its minimal yet futuristic design, durability that sustains for distance running, breathability that keeps your feet cool, puncture-resistance for extra safety for outdoor runs, and flexibility that allows you to pack these shoes during your trips conveniently are just some of the best perks it offers.
- Reebok — Reebok offers a wide selection of vegan shoes, and this Sole Fury is just one of them. Sole Fury SE is specially designed to help boost your runs. I personally am in love with its limited-edition twin: Sole Fury SE in Lilac/Orchid/White/Back.
- Lems — Lems’s ultra-minimalist and ultra-light Primal 2 shoes are created with 100% vegan materials. Its unique design helps correct posture and align your spine. It’s super light, soft, and breezy — you’ll feel like walking on a cloud!
- Nike — like Adidas and Reebok, Nike is also a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. In 2018, they launched the Nike Free RN Flyknit running shoes that are made from fiber spun from recycled plastic bottles. Its production reduces waste by 60 percent compared to that of a traditional running shoe. My raspberry red Free RN Flyknit has always served me well on short-distance runs. It’s also my best choice for casual trips to the supermarket.
Sustainable + Vegan
So, these are a few of my favorite things! (Pun intended.) I love wearing my favorite activewear pieces even during my trips to the supermarket. They’re comfortable and allow me to move freely. But it would be hypocritical for me to buy this type of clothing if it uses unethical materials. So, I had to do some research before picking brands and purchasing my choices.
It’s so much easier to find sustainable fashion nowadays as there are so many more brands out there that have been spearheading the ethical movement with sustainable and eco-friendly materials. Shop wisely! 😉
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Love and light,