Updated: 4 days ago
Fast fashion culture is facing a public reckoning. Consumers are asking more questions than ever about the environmental impact of manufacturing, producing and throwing away vast quantities of clothing without any consideration for the planet. As a result more people are pledging to buy less, to buy better quality or try and buy second-hand. Reduce, reuse, recycle is fashionable once again.
While this is a worthwhile commitment for stocking most of your wardrobe - there is one part you’re probably less inclined to buy vintage; your sports gear. Admittedly you probably have fewer outfits for exercising than day-to-day wear but even in small numbers they could still be the most damning items in your wardrobe - at least when it comes to sustainability.
Traditionally, activewear is manufactured from synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester and spandex. These materials might boast properties that benefit your workout – such as being lightweight, stretchy, or sweat-wicking – but they certainly don’t benefit the environment. All three are non-biodegradable and require huge amounts of energy and water to produce. Additionally, they are not long-lasting, particularly when you’re exercising in them on a regular basis.
It’s not just the materials either. When we wash these fabrics in our machines is that they shed millions of tiny particles of plastic that are so small they drain out of the washing machine, through our water waste and ultimately into our oceans and into our food chain. That doesn’t bear thinking about for the environment and the marine life that swallow this nonsensical waste.