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Stories from FIT, Style

Homegrown Ethical Activewear Brands to Love

by Voices Wellness 23 Feb 2021
Photo: Haikini

Beyond style and performance, these three brands pride themselves on fair wages, sustainable materials, and other ethical practices. By SAMANTHA FRANCIS

A brand-new year is always a good time to renew your commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and if a regular exercise regime is part of the deal—all the better! With athleisure becoming mainstream as they bridge the gap between street style and performance, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to workout apparel.

But beyond aesthetics and high-tech features, some brands are going the extra mile with fair trade and ethical labour practices to ensure a well-rounded business process. Others use natural and recycled fabrics to reduce consumption of natural resources like water in textile production, as well as limited, conscious production.

Overall, the aim is to protect the environment even while designing high-performance activewear that’s made to last.

Here are three brands we love:

Photo: Cloud & Victory

For dancers: Cloud & Victory

Seen on prolific dancers like Skylar Brandt of the American Ballet Theatre and Nikisha Fogo of the San Francisco Ballet, this Singapore-based dancewear brand by Tan Li Min believes in social-mindedness and kindness. All of their shirts and tops are manufactured in developing countries by factories committed to UN Fair labour standards including fair wages and safe working conditions. You’ll find tongue-in-cheek t-shirts that reference pop cultural icons like Harry Potter or Marvel Comics, alongside flattering leotards and pastel-coloured tulle skirts. Plus, their non-GMO organic cotton tees are said to feel softer and last longer as they are free of the harsh chemicals typically used to grow cotton crops.

More information here.

Photo: Haikini

For gym-goers: Outfyt

Founded by Stephanie Colhag Yeo, this activewear label was designed to empower women through workout wear that’s both high quality and sustainable. Channeling a minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic, the pieces come in “eco-luxe” materials like ECONYL Regenerated Nylon, which is made by recovering nylon waste and turning it into virgin quality nylon yarn. Available in both monochrome and vibrant colours like sand and wine, the range runs the gamut from well-supported sports bras to leggings and loungewear. For every purchase made, 1 percent of proceeds go to Healthy Seas, an organisation that endeavours to save marine wildlife, prevent future pollution, and recycle resources.

More information here.

Photo: Haikini

For lovers of water sports: Haikini

Started by Becky Liu, a professional surfer with Team Singapore, this surf and swimwear brand is an extension of her love for the sea. With functionality, design, and affordability at its core, Haikini prides itself on ethical production and fair wages. By using a pre-order business model, the brand avoids excess fabric and wastage—its swimsuits are all ethically made in Bali in limited batches. What you get are beautifully designed bikinis featuring charming prints and bright hues that can be used for both low-impact activities like lounging and high-impact sports like beach volleyball and surfing. Packaged sustainably, each order comes in a reusable pouch made from deadstock fabrics.

More information here.

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