Consciously curating your collection of activewear


When we think about a capsule wardrobe, we wouldn’t usually include our activewear. It makes sense, I mean you wouldn’t pair a neon yellow sports bra with your black tailored work trousers (or maybe you would? I guess it depends on your personal style…). But this means we often neglect to consider the sustainability of our workout wear. The all-encompassing textiles industry is one of the most resource intensive and environmentally polluting industries globally. With the fitness and wellness industries booming, more and more people are investing in activewear (Quartz, 2017; Telegraph, 2016), therefore it’s crucial we all become more conscious about our collection of sportswear.

Well, where to begin? What should you consider? Whether you’re thinking of buying something new or reviewing what you already own, here are some of the key questions to ask yourself…

Does it fit you well?

Usability is essential when assessing any area of your wardrobe, especially when it comes to what you’ll wear for exercise. We workout to both look and feel good. If your exercise clothes don’t work for you, you might feel less confident when stepping into the studio and therefore less likely to give your training session everything you’ve got because you’re pre-occupied with your top hugging your tummy too tightly or your leggings slipping down your behind. WRAP has found 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe hasn’t been worn for a year, often because it doesn’t fit anymore. If you’re not using an item because it doesn’t fit quite right, why let it take up precious space in your home?  Only purchase activewear that makes you feel as a great as you do after an amazing workout.

 

How often will you wear it?

Think about your personal style. We’ve all got caught up in fast fashion trends before, seeing our favourite influencers wearing the same print or cut clothing and wanting to be part of it, then a month or two later wondering why we went for something so wacky. Assess why you want the piece you’re considering purchasing. Is it part of a short-lived trend that you’ll regret buying into in a few months time? Think about the items you own that you do and don’t wear regularly. Which pile will this new piece fit into? Do you have other items that will compliment it? Style is about longevity, so pick pieces you know you’ll wear for years of sweaty, stretchy sessions to come.

 

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Photo source: Cassey Ho

 

How long will it last?

What material is it made from? Does it feel durable? Breathable? Supportive? Are there already bobbles before it’s been bought? Does the stitching look strong enough? There’s nothing worse than diving deep into a squat and hearing your leggings rip, revealing all! Assess the quality of the item, choosing quality over quantity every time.

 

Does the brand ethos align with your values?

Dig a little deeper into the company that made your clothes. What can you find out about their sustainability strategy? Are they socially or environmentally conscious? See if their values align with your own. If it’s the way in which workers are treated that you care about the most, then find out what the company does to ensure fair and safe labour conditions throughout their supply chain. Our perhaps you’re passionate about waste, do they use any recycled fibres in their product? If you can’t find out what you want to know on their website, email or call their head office to find out more. Even if you don’t get the answer you’re looking for, that call or email might trigger internal discussions that get you the answer you want in the future. You are what you wear, only buy into brands that share your beliefs.  

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Photo source: Blair McKarnin

 

Do you need it?

So it fits you well, it matches your personal style, the quality seems high and you love the company’s ethos, but you already have 3 pairs of leggings with a similar print and mesh bottom. Now it’s time to be strict on yourself – how many pairs of leggings do you really need? Say you exercise on average 4 times, and you get really sweaty 2 of those 4 times. Perhaps you need 2 pairs of leggings for the week. Then possibly a spare pair or two in case you can’t wash and dry them in time, or they get an unfixable tear. That’s 4 pairs of leggings you’ll need at the very most. We’re all guilty of owning more than we need. In the UK, a study by Oxfam and M&S (2016) found adults wear just 44% of clothing they own regularly. That’s a waste of resources, money, time and space! Reducing the number of items you have and working towards a more minimalist wardrobe is great for both space saving and avoiding morning outfit stress!

 

Keep an eye out for my next blog post on my sustainable sportswear discoveries coming soon!

What I did last week: Sustainable sportswear, organic beauty & a food waste feast

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As I’ve had a particularly good week of sustainability and wellbeing events, I thought I’d share a little summary with you. I can’t guarantee this will be the first of a new series of posts as my average weeks aren’t quite so eventful, and quite frankly because I’m not sure anyone wants to know what I’ve done all 52 weeks of the year, but I hope this one will be of interest and may inform you of companies or events you wouldn’t have otherwise have heard of. Here goes… Continue reading “What I did last week: Sustainable sportswear, organic beauty & a food waste feast”

Are your beauty products actually organic? 

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Did you know that it’s Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week? The Soil Association launched this week to celebrate beauty brands that are certified organic. As it turns out, there are no legal standards for labelling beauty products as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, so products with this label may contain few if any organic ingredients. This is misleading and it’s greenwashing, and like the Soil Association I don’t think it’s ok… Continue reading “Are your beauty products actually organic? “

Wake up happy with a Lumie Bodyclock

Waking up in the early hours when you know a busy commute and a long day awaits you can be tough, especially in the winter months. I often find it hard to pull myself out from under my warm, cosy duvet to brace the cold that lies beyond – even if that chill only lasts a few seconds before I reach my dressing gown! Well, that’s where the Lumie Bodyclock comes in, helping you to wake up happy and ready to start your day…

It’s essentially a light alarm clock, waking you with a gradually brightening lamp and alarm sound if you like. You can set the light to come on either 20, 30 or 45 minutes before you want to wake up and there are various alarm tones to choose from. Continue reading “Wake up happy with a Lumie Bodyclock”

Finding Fika in Stockholm

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Sweden is renowned for fika, so when we ventured to Stockholm Ollie and I were on the look out for the best cafes to grab a great coffee and sweet treat.

In the 2017 World Happiness Report released this week Sweden ranked 9th place, and we think it’s got to have something to do with this delicious tradition. In fact, a number of studies have linked fika breaks to both the high satisfaction and productivity rates in Sweden (BBC, 2016; Virgin, 2017). Alex Pentland, a computer scientist, monitored the impact of scheduling regular all-staff coffee breaks. He found that staff productivity increased by 10-15% and satisfaction by up to 10%. The main reason was the connection the employees built with one another whilst discussing non-work related topics in a flat, non-hierarchical environment (2017).

We certainly enjoyed exploring Stockholm’s best coffee shops, and the caffeine definitely helped to fuel our long days spent exploring the city. So whether you’re looking for a fika break to enhance your productivity at work, or simply a spot to rest and refuel whilst exploring the city, here’s a round up of our favourite places to enjoy a hot drink and a baked good… Continue reading “Finding Fika in Stockholm”

Vintage shopping & veggie dining in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

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Photo source: Manchester evening news 

On a trip up to Derbyshire for my Granny’s 90th, Ollie and I spent half a day mooching around Manchester city centre. After searching online for independent shops, we found there is a great vintage scene with lots of shops on Oldham Street. Our favourite was We are Cow, who have another shop in Leeds and are on ASOS Marketplace. They sell vintage clothing as it is or reworked by their in-house seamstresses. Continue reading “Vintage shopping & veggie dining in Manchester’s Northern Quarter”