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Lifestyle

The Complete Guide to Sustainable Activewear

I love activewear and I’m sure you do too.

But everyday, I’m becoming more conscious of my impact on the environment, especially when it comes to clothes.

A recent industry report found that apparel and footwear industries account for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is as much as the entire European Union! The forecast isn’t much brighter. By 2030, the climate impact of the apparel industry will be nearly equivalent to the U.S annual greenhouse gas emissions!

But telling people to stop buying activewear or clothes is unachievable. In a time when society values their health, wellbeing and appearance more than ever, it is definitely unachievable to say “stop buying activewear!”

However, we all can definitely do our bit to help the environment.

This is the complete guide to sustainable activewear.

What makes activewear non-sustainable

Most workout gear are made from synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon.

These man-made materials are popular as they don’t absorb moisture (compared to natural fibres) and promote evaporation of sweat from your skin.

The problem with these synthetics is they outlast our wardrobes and end up in landfill for up to 200 years while the manufacturing process of these oil-based synthetics contributes to a huge carbon footprint.

Combine the above with the classic economical cycle of demand and supply. We have been and are in the midst of the mass production of activewear. With athleisure becoming a norm, activewear has risen in the ranks to become highly coveted style of clothing.

This has resulted in

  • Long supply chains – from raw materials to the finished product contributes to high carbon emissions
  • Increased transportation – to accomodate that long supply chain
  • Poor labour practices – off-shore manufacturing is cheaper but at the expense of the environment and many locals
  • Non-eco packaging
  • Marketing and advertisements – influencer marketing and sampling can result in more waste, combine this with ever-changing trends and styles
  • Poor quality fast fashion – higher chance of damage and therefore, waste

When you think about all these factors combined, you realise that the planet isn’t too much of a happy chap.

Source: Chris Liverani (Unsplash)

What you can do

You can do so many things to keep the planet fit and healthy! Most of these are accessible, wallet-friendly AND stylish.

Remember that the planet has never compromised on your style, and it isn’t about to now.

  • Don’t throw away your current activewear (even if they are synthetics) just because you want to become more sustainable – more waste will be created, more demands and therefore supply will be created
  • Need less, want less – consume less overall, develop a mindset that less is more (I was a maximalist growing up and now I’m becoming more minimalist)
  • Buy second-hand – craigslist, gumtree, ebay, your local swap-meets, op-shops (they’re becoming more modern and trendy). I know a lot of people hesitate to buy second-hand activewear but if they’ve gone through a good wash, you can be sure they are quite clean!
  • Buy eco-friendly materials – more info below!
  • Buy it RIGHT – As Dame Vivienne Westwood famously said: “Buy less, choose well, make it last”.

Also spread love, spread knowledge and spread it kindly.

This is my mantra when there is a (often heated) discussion about societal issues. No one is perfect – we can clearly see that from our impact on the environment. But everyone starts somewhere! I grew up in an immigrant family where success and survival were the ideals. Worrying about sustainability or being eco-friendly weren’t a thing. But education is powerful.

I’m still on my journey to become more and more sustainable everyday. Part of this is researching how I can make my active lifestyle more sustainable and I love sharing it with you guys!

Source: Patrick Schneider (Unsplash)

Materials

Here are some materials that have been popularised with the sustainable activewear moment.

Recycled Materials

Recycled wool, nylon, down and polyester is the best way to re-use materials that have already undergone its processing.

This prevents the need for cultivating new trees, using more land and resources to produce more materials that are already part of the system.

Lyocell

What is it?

  • Lycocell is a form of rayon made from cellulose fibres
  • Brand names include Tencel, Newcell, Excel

How is it made?

  • Starts off with wood sourced mainly from eucalyptus trees
  • Wood is then ground into a pulp and dissolved by amine oxide producing raw cellulose
  • Raw cellulose is pushed through spinnerets to form lyocell fibres
  • Fibres are spun into a yarn and woven into a cloth

Why is it considered sustainable?

  • Fabric is biodegradable
  • Tree plantations can be sustainable
  • 99% of the solvent is re-used in their closed-loop process
  • Amine oxide solvent used is less . toxic
  • Less water and dye used compared to cotton
  • Consumers may find that it’s less smelly compared to cotton (due to lyocell’s breathability) and can wash it less, saving water and electricity

Any downsides?

  • Energy source of the process is not quite renewable or sustainable
  • Susceptible to greenwashing and down-grading of standards (especially with tree plantations)
  • More expensive than your typical activewear

Is it good for activewear?

Yes!

  • Soft, lightweight, flexible and wrinkle-resistant
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Moisture-absorbent and anti-bacterial – 50% more than cotton
  • Aesthetically beautiful, smooth surface
  • Treated lyocell can be machine-washed

Activewear brands that use lyocell?

  • Target
  • Activn
  • Athleta
  • Tentree
  • The North Face

Organic Cotton

source: Marianne Krohn (Unsplash)

What is it?

  • Organic cotton differs from conventional non-organic cotton that has lots of social and environmental issue
  • Organic cotton is grown without using non-GMO seeds, pesticides, chemicals and fertilisers

How is it made?

  • Cannabis plants are grown and harvested
  • The stalks undergo ‘retting’ which is letting the fibres split and separate naturally from exposure to the natural environment
  • The fibres are spun to produce a thread that is woven into fabric

Why is it considered sustainable?

  • Fabric is biodegradable
  • Compared to non-organic cotton, organic cotton has shown to be much more environmentally friendly – less fertiliser run-off, less soil damage
  • Non-GMO seeds that can be re harvested and re-planted
  • Organic cotton impacts water pollution 98% less and produces 94% less greenhouse gas emissions
  • The impact of water pollution of organic cotton is 98% less compared to the conventional cotton production
  • Less toxic chemicals in contact with us and our skin
  • More safe and ethical workplace practices

Any downsides?

  • Organic cotton still requires an enormous amount of water
  • The processing of cotton is still very chemical-intensive
  • Since cotton is in such high-demand, issues such as fair working conditions and labour policies may trickle into the organic cotton industry
  • Conventional cotton has a higher yield than organic cotton

Is it good for activewear?

Yes only when blended with other types of materials. In this case, it would be great with lyocell. Otherwise, 100% organic cotton holds sweat and it takes longer to dry. However, it is perfect for loungewear and athleisure!

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Soft, good for sensitive skin
  • Good for sensitive skin

Activewear brands that use hemp?

  • Bhumi
  • Vege Threads
  • People Tree

Hemp

SOURCE: Khoa Tran (Unsplash)

What is it?

  • Marijuana’s ‘sober cousin’
  • Industrial hemp is from the same species of the cannabis plant
  • Low to none amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychotropic ingredient) that gets you high since different parts of the plant is harvested

How is it made?

  • Cannabis plants are grown and harvested
  • The stalks undergo ‘retting’ which is letting the fibres split and separate naturally from exposure to the natural environment
  • The fibres are spun to produce a thread that is woven into fabric

Why is it considered sustainable?

  • Fabric is biodegradable
  • Cannabis plantations can be sustainable – no pesticides, easy planting, smaller land needed to cultivate
  • Cotton requires 4 times more water than hemp
  • The main reason hemp hasn’t been all that popular despite being an ancient resource is because of the negative connotations with marijuana

Any downsides?

  • Energy source of the process is not quite renewable or sustainable
  • Although the retting process is supposed to be natural, companies can now add in chemicals to fasten the retting process which usually takes 4-6 weeks
  • Susceptible to greenwashing and down-grading of standards
  • More expensive than your typical activewear

Is it good for activewear?

Yes!

  • Long-lasting and very durable
  • Soft, airy, natural and light
  • Good for sensitive skin
  • Breathable!
  • UV resistant
  • Can be blended in with lyocell and organic cotton to increase functionality

Activewear brands that use hemp?

  • Patagonia
  • Rawganique

Bamboo

Source: Ben Guerin (Unsplash)

What is it?

  • Marijuana’s ‘sober cousin’
  • Industrial hemp is from the same species of the cannabis plant
  • Low to none amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (the psychotropic ingredient) that gets you high since different parts of the plant is harvested

How is it made?

  • There are many ways to produce bamboo fabric
  • Depending on the type of process, you can produce bamboo linen and bamboo rayon
  • Most of these processes involves the use of chemicals that are highly-toxic
  • If you want to know more, you can read more on why I stopped buying bamboo activewear

Why is it considered sustainable?

  • Bamboo can self-regenerate, no need for re-plantation
  • The plant doesn’t require pesticides as it is usually pest-resistant
  • Bamboo is fast-growing and therefore doesn’t need fertiliser

Any downsides?

  • Although bamboo can be a sustainable crop, a lot of the plantations and sources are being questioned on their sustainability
  • Despite bamboo being pest-resistant, there is evidence that farmers are using chemical fertilisers to mass produce bamboo
  • China is the only country that grows bamboo on a commercial scale and there are lack of environmental and sustainability guidelines and transparency over there
  • Natural forestland are being cleared to grow bamboo, endangering the already critically endangered pandas
  • While the cultivation of bamboo is sustainable, the production process is not. The production process is both chemically and labour intensive.

Is it good for activewear?

No – I put this here because I want to raise awareness to the fact that bamboo isn’t as sustainable and eco-friendly as you thought!

Many companies will claim that bamboo fibre is anti-bacterial or UV resistant. However, the chemically intensive process most likely will have removed these properties in the bamboo fibre and there has been no conclusive evidence to support these claims.

Wool

SOURCE: Annie Spratt (Unsplash)

What is it?

  • Sheep wool
  • More specifically, we’re talking about fine merino wool that is better equipped for performance wear due to its finer properties (3 times finer than human hair!)

How is it made?

  • Mostly sourced from Australian sheep
  • There are a lot of treatment and manufacturing techniques that allow wool to be transformed into ideal activewear (not the classic wooly lining you see inside of jackets!)

Why is it considered sustainable?

  • Wool is 100% biodegradable
  • Highly renewable, recyclable
  • Can be produced organically
  • There are wool traceability standards as well as animal welfare standards

Any downsides?

  • Obviously not vegan
  • Wool requires vast amounts of land for grazing the sheep
  • High demands for energy, water and chemicals to convert wool from fleece shorn off the sheep into what we wear
  • There are concerns raised upon the ethical treatment of sheep
  • Many merino brands say they take steps and pre-cautions to only work with ethical farmers
  • As with any industry, an increase demand will result in less ethical practices to increase supply
  • Expensive

Is it good for activewear?

Yes, although not on its own. Usually wool is often blended with nylon and spandex in activewear to increase stretchiness and durability. Although it’s nicer use 100% natural fibres, this is the step in the right direction.

  • Absorbs moisture
  • Absorbs and locks away odour molecules
  • Thermoregulation – stay warm when the weather is cold, cool when the weather is hot
  • UV resistant
  • Highly durable, wrinkle-resistant
  • Flame-resistant and natural water repellent

Activewear brands that use fine merino wool?

  • iomerino
  • Jemala
  • Nagnata
  • Icebreaker

Certifications to Look Out For

source: Drahomír Posteby-Mach (Unsplash)

Have you heard of greenwashing? Greenwashing is NOT cool.

Greenwashing is a marketing strategy where companies FALSELY convey to consumers that their products or services are ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’.

In a society where we are becoming more environmentally conscious, it creates a false idea that these companies are ‘better’ than their competitors.

To combat greenwashing, there are certifications created by independent third parties that authenticate a company’s sustainability claims. These help you identify whether the company has integrity and if you should be buying from them or start looking elsewhere!

Some of the certifications I look out for include:

  • B-Corp – requires companies to meet social sustainability, environmental and accountability standards
  • Ecocert – strives to balance production with respect for the environment. They advocate for better management of energy and natural resources, integrate environment protection at each stage of the production, promote social and ethical work practices as well as providing transparency
  • Fairtrade – this institution helps developing countries achieve better trading conditions in the production industry
  • Global Organic Textile standard (GOTS) – ensures integrity within the responsible and organic textile production industry. Ensures the entire process is organic from raw material harvesting to manufacturing to labelling
  • Oeko-Tex 100 – clothes carrying this label have been tested for regulated and unregulated harmful substances that may be unfit for wear
  • Social Accountability Standard International SA8000 – focuses on social welfare and encourages organisations to develop, maintain and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace

So when you’re looking at a new brand, check if they have any of these certifications!

It also doesn’t hurt to do your own research into the brand. Read honest and real reviews (often from a third party website), read the company’s ‘about us’ page to assess their values and have a look at what materials they’re using in their activewear.

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Lifestyle

7 things to do when trying on new Activewear

Activewear has become a finicky thing hasn’t it! It was designed to optimise your workout (whatever realm that may be) and to make you comfortable while you’re sweating at a rate of 0.8 to 1.4L per hour. But with athleisure becoming the norm and the endless competition between activewear companies, the design and purpose of activewear has changed significantly over time.

So we’re very much blessed with plentiful of choices when it comes to activewear. The array of colours, prints, cuts and styles lets us feel more confident in what we workout in as we can dress to our body shape and personal style.

But let’s not forget that the main purpose of activewear was to let us optimise our bodies when working out! (Unless you’re solely buying activewear for athleisure!) Sometimes we get too engrossed in its aesthetics that we forget its functionality. Are the designs and extra features actually gimmicky and impractical for what you’ll ultimately be wearing them for?

I have listed 7 things that you should do when you’re trying out your new activewear to make sure its practical and functional for you. There is more to it than standing up and twisting and turning in front of the mirror! These tips will save you that moment when you finally notice something you don’t like about it in the gym mirror or after you watch a video of yourself exercising!

Disclaimer: in some instances I list down a few things to look out for aesthetically. Remember that everyone has their personal style preferences and as long as we let others do as they please and don’t judge each other, we live in a happier world. Below are my own preferences and experiences that I have had since starting my fitness journey.

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Sit Down

And look at your crotch area. This is one thing I always look out for when I’m trying on tights. There are two unsightly things that I could potentially see:

  • A loose patchy area caused by a poorly fitted and lined crotch area
  • A camel toe

To me, both of them signify that the tights aren’t well made or that my body shape doesn’t suit these particular tights. Or that I didn’t put them on properly or sitting in poor posture. So I will also try to adjust the way I’m sitting to see if it makes a difference and try to pull out the camel toe in the case that I pulled my waistband up too high.

Also feel if it is too tight in that area when you’re sitting down. Sometimes the seam gets really close to your privates which can be uncomfortable but also can cause chafing!

We all sit a lot in our tights, whether it is on the gym floor or when we’re at brunch, so it’s important to be comfortable with how you look in these basic positions.

Squat as low as you can

If you like to do squats then this is super duper important! If you don’t like to do squats as an exercise, I am SURE it will come up once in your workout. Even then, squatting is a functional movement so you will be doing it in your day-to-day life without noticing that you’re actually squatting.

Squat as low as you can while checking behind you in the mirror how the leggings are sitting on your buttocks. If it’s not seamless, is the middle line aligned perfectly between your butt cheeks? Sometimes there are faulty items that have their stitches just a bit off – so make sure you get the quality for the price you are paying!

If the tights are mid-rise or low-rise, check to see if your underwear is poking through the back. This is a common thing that happens especially if you wear G-strings or seamless underwear.

Always check how the material stretches when you’re doing a squat. Do you see through to your underwear? If you are unsure and can’t really see it properly, get your phone out and record from behind or get a lighter coloured tights of the same style! Some people don’t mind this, but others do.

Jog, jump or bounce on the spot

This is to assess how much your boobs move and therefore, how supported they are with the sports bra. Try to jog with high knees or jump up and down. If you’re conscious about doing this in the fitting rooms, then keep your feet on the floor but bop up and down.

If your boobs are all over the place, then it’s important to get a higher level of support!

Leggings-wise, it helps you feel the ease of movement in the legs and assess their level of comfort especially when you’re bending your knees.

Bend-over like you’re doing a deadlift

Even if you don’t deadlift often, bending over is a movement we all do. I wore this super loose and airy top to the gym once and it literally ballooned forwards and out in front of me when I bent over to do my deadlift… so I couldn’t see anything!

I also think it’s good to be self-aware and notice whether your sports bra shows through your top when you bend over or if your boobs are coming out of your sports bra!

Suck in and blow your tummy out

This is especially important if you like high-waisted leggings. Sometimes we bloat and sometimes we don’t. It’s good to know how loose or tight the waistband will get when either of these happen. In one instance, a customer said she was quite bloated from some medications she was taking when trying out a pair of leggings and she decided to choose a size down!

Aesthetically, certain prints and colours may draw further attention to a bloated belly. This might be something to look out for if you experience bloating a lot like me!

Raise your hands up

When you’re trying out sports bras or tops, raise your hands up in the air. This will help you determine the ease of movement especially through the armpits and elbows (if its a tight long-sleeved). If you have a bigger bust, it’s also good to know how your boobs will move within the sports bra when you do a pull-up or a burpee!

Reassess!

Categories
Lifestyle

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying New Activewear

The new year is here and so are we with our fitness resolutions! The only thing stopping us is that we don’t have any (or new) activewear!

But before you head off to buy some new gear, ask yourself these 5 questions. It will help you to create a stylish activewear wardrobe with quality pieces while saving you a lot of money.

What are you buying this for?

Do you have a specific reason for buying new activewear? Having ‘fitness goals 2020’ written down isn’t enough. Are you actually going to pursue them? Better yet, have you taken steps to get the ball rolling?

The hard truth: are you actually going to use it?

This slight pessimism is coming from personal experience. Years ago in the lead up to my new fitness goals, I bought a whole new set of activewear. But I never really wore them because I never ended up exercising as much as I thought I would have. So I kept them until I got more serious about training and my wishful thinking was that I would wear them later (in the hopes that I didn’t waste money). Although I did eventually wear them, the items were always my last choice as my style had changed and I was doing a different type of training. This ensued to me not wearing them at all!

I always cringe when I think of that time. It was such a waste of money… and it’s not even just that! Growing up, I’m becoming more aware of how my spending and consumerism affects the environment and looking back, that wasn’t a great decision by me.

So don’t make the same mistake!

I believe it was a combination of:

  • Not having enough intrinsic motivation to get fit, so I had to compensate through purchasing new activewear to motivate me
  • Not knowing what I was exactly doing… which leads me to my next point.

How are you going to practically achieve your fitness goals?

Are you taking up a new sport or hobby that is quite specific like hiking or swimming? Or are you getting into more general things like running and gymming? Is it high, medium or low impact?

Different sporting and fitness endeavours will require different activewear in terms of fit, material and special features. The first two sports require more specialised gear (speedos! …on a hike yes!) while you can be a bit more flexible between running and gymming (although they will have their differences too).

So knowing exactly what activities you’ll be doing will help guide what activewear you should buy.

What’s even better is doing a few sessions of the activity first, before buying new activewear.

  • This will help you determine whether you actually want to continue pursuing the sports/exercise and therefore, makes the activewear purchase worth it.
  • It will also help you discover what you need to buy on top of what you already have… or is your current stuff actually ok? For example, when you run, are you finding that your boobs are staying put (don’t need to buy new sports bra) or knocking out the person next to you (need to buy a high-impact sports bra ASAP)?

Material

The type of material that the activewear is mainly composed of is important. However, if you’re buying your activewear from a reputable brand then most of the time, you don’t have to worry about this (as they should be bringing this quality to you).

So there’s a reason why that sweaty guy at the gym has sweat patches everywhere! The truth is he’s probably doing a hardcore workout. But the second most likely reason is that he’s wearing a cotton T-shirt. Cotton absorbs sweat. But unless it has been specially engineered to make it activewear friendly, the cotton will hold the sweat close to the skin making you feel damp (uncomfortable) and unattractive (unless you like your men sweaty). It also takes ages to dry which isn’t ideal if you’re doing a long workout or going to brunch afterwards.

Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon or lycra are popular for activewear as they wick away sweat well. This means you feel cooler and more comfortable during your workout. Interestingly though, cotton reduces your post-workout body odour better compared to these synthetics, so that’s something to keep in mind.

If you’re wanting to be more environmentally friendly, look for these natural materials such as calico, wool, bamboo fibre and tencel.

This is a general overview of what to look out for. Let me know in the comments if you guys want me to make a more detailed post about this!

Special features

I love sussing out the special features on activewear, designers can get so creative!

Most often, the special features are bonuses to us. We don’t really think of them until we read the tags on the items and it says “special hidden pockets for your cards and keys” or “reflective lining for your night runs”. *Cue the prefrontal cortex of our brain that finds this marketing strategy appealing* and we’re off to purchase it before we know it.

So we should use this to our advantage. It’s already a struggle to workout sometimes, so think about what would make it easier and more convenient for you to do this long-term. Then apply this by researching and shopping around to see if there is anything on the market that would provide a solution to your problem! Maybe you do run a lot at night and reflective lining would actually make you feel safer when crossing streets!

But also think conservatively, if you don’t need the extra features, is there the same item or similar that cost less?

Do you have the basic essentials?

Think of what you already have. Are you missing any of these basic essential items that every active girl should have?

Basic essentials for activewear:

  • Sports bra
  • Shirt
  • Leggings/tights
  • Shorts
  • Under layers – underwear, socks
  • Jacket or jumper

And I don’t mean a sports bra that is one cup too big for you or a T-shirt that you kept from last year’s pubcrawl. The basic essentials should be items that suit what you’re doing and that you feel comfortable wearing.

Feeling comfortable means it fits well AND it makes you feel confident all the time and everywhere. We all have those days where we feel bad about our bodies and ourselves in general. You’ll definitely want a set of activewear that makes you feel good so that you can actually get into the workout and start releasing some endorphins!

Also keep this in mind especially when you see something on sale. There is no point buying another shirt when you have this uncomfortable sports bra that you dread wearing every time!

Once you have your basics, other more fancy stuff you can buy later to add to your wardrobe.

Is this a trend or a staple?

There are HEAPS of activewear brands on the market today. So when everyone is trying to compete against each other, they’re going to try to create something different and unique that’s trendy.

I don’t necessarily agree that trendy is bad per se. The trend could go on to become a staple years later… who knows! (e.g. jeans) Or it could be a part of your style that’s just hitting its peak right now.

So if there is an activewear style that is currently trending and you’re contemplating buying it, think to yourself:

  • Is this something I would want to wear a few months or years later?
  • Would I be comfortable wearing this if I’m the only one wearing it?
  • Does this go well with my personal style and what I have in my wardrobe right now?
  • Also think environmental!!!

A good example is the leggings with the scrunched bum. It’s a huuuge trend right now, rightly so, as it complements the big booty fever we all have. I think it’s cute, I wouldn’t mind trying it out but I don’t think it goes well with my overall style and will probably end up at the bottom of my drawer, which is why I haven’t bought it!

What is your body shape?

Photo by Cinn on Unsplash

You may have heard this tip for when you dress normally, but it applies for activewear as well! Knowing your body shape and any self-conscious areas, can help you pick the style, colour and patterns of items wisely.

A lot of people ask me how this applies to leggings and tights when leggings and tights are literally… tight and therefore, accentuates your lower body area a lot. Firstly, you don’t HAVE to wear leggings to work out, there are so many other choices (in my opinion, it’s not even that comfortable to wear anyway) and two, you can use colours and patterns to your advantage. For example, if you have shorter legs, choose tights that are high-waisted or have vertical stripes on the sides or an angled cut at the leg opening. These features will help make your legs look longer. I would also avoid prints that are blocky or cuts the knee or calf area (as shown below)

Photo by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

Similarly, if you have a smaller bust, there are ample sports bras that are designed to be push-up. Go for colours and prints, not black as it will ‘slim’ your bust down. Look for bras that have removable pads so you can insert your own that have more padding power!

If you have a bum that you feel doesn’t look big or round, look for designs that accentuate the area. You’re probably familiar with Gymshark’s designs that help round the buttocks and as mentioned before, the scrunchie bum works too. My personal favourite is to wear high-waisted pants combined with a loose crop top. Again, avoid black as it will ‘slim’ it down.

These are just a few examples but I definitely have more tips on how to style according to your body type! Let me know in the comments if you guys want more in-depth guide on this!

What is your style?

Everyone has their own style. Really knowing your style will help you buy activewear that you can wear long-term. It also helps you save money as you’re not constantly buying things that you end up not wearing. Even if you do want to experiment with new styles, knowing your current style will help you do this more effectively.

When I say style, I mean everything including the overall look and vibe, the colours, the prints and the style/cuts of the items.

Below are a few common categories of styles that I’ve observed over the years (I’ll make a more detailed one later on). These are mainly driven by the style of the activewear company, their intended audience and primary physical activity (guys, athleisure IS a physical activity!). Let me know if you have observed any other styles that I’ve missed. Of course, brands will try to expand their horizons and appeal to other demographics so most of these brands will have something for everybody.

  • Gym-goer look – think of seamless figure-hugging activewear, Gymshark pioneered this look well (Gymshark, Ryderwear, doyoueven, ECHT)
  • Minimalist look – they go for simple designs, colours and prints, smaller logos (Lululemon, Athleta, Filippa K)
  • Athleisure – enough said! versatile pieces, lots of colours and prints (Lorna Jane, The Upside, any brand basically could be athleisure)
  • Athletic/runner look – literally think of a Nike advert or an athlete (Nike, Adidas, Asics, Under Armour)
  • Sports luxe – lots of stripes, contrasting colours especially black and white, leather/wet look (Calvin Klein, P.E Nation)

Again, there’s no real black or white, there will always be a mix between the styles. I like to borrow bits and pieces from each category and create my personal style. To be honest, my style depends on my mood a lot these days! I usually like to wear high-waisted leggings with a crop but sometimes I enjoy working out in my baggy, college-vibe T-shirt with shorts. While when I’m running, I love that Nike runner look!

So when you’re buying new activewear, always think – does this go with my usual style – colour/print/cut? If yes, then there are more chances that you’ll wear it frequently. If no, then you’ll probably will choose it less often over your other activewear pieces (albeit what your mind might be telling you now!)

So hopefully you guys found this helpful. I certainly wish I thought of these questions when I was starting off with my fitness journey. It would’ve saved me so much money and contributed to less waste!