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What Sustainable Fabric Materials Can Be Used in Sportswear?

  • Post category:Activewear / Blog
  • Reading time:9 mins read

According to a recent industry report, the activewear market is projected to reach a staggering $547 billion by 2024. [1] The activewear industry is booming, but with that growth comes a responsibility to consider the environmental impact of producing all those workout clothes. Thankfully, there’s a growing movement towards sustainable sportswear, utilizing fabrics that are better for the planet without sacrificing performance.

This shift is driven by a combination of factors. Consumers are increasingly eco-conscious, demanding products that align with their values. Additionally, the fashion industry itself is recognizing the need for more sustainable practices.

But what exactly are these sustainable fabric materials, and how do they translate into high-performing activewear? Let’s delve into some of the most promising options:

Natural Fibers:

  • Organic Cotton: A familiar favorite, organic cotton offers breathability and comfort. Grown without harmful pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, it reduces environmental impact. However, cotton production can be water-intensive, so it’s important to choose brands committed to responsible water usage.
  • Organic Hemp: Hemp is a superstar when it comes to sustainability. It requires minimal water to grow, thrives without pesticides, and even improves soil quality. Hemp fabric is naturally durable, moisture-wicking, and offers UV protection – perfect for activewear. While it may not be as stretchy as some synthetic options, advancements in blending are making hemp a more versatile choice.
  • Merino Wool: Wool gets a bad rap for being itchy, but high-quality merino wool is incredibly soft and breathable. It has excellent moisture-wicking properties and natural odor resistance, making it ideal for intense workouts. Plus, merino wool is naturally temperature regulating, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Look for ethically sourced merino wool from sustainable farms.

Recycled Materials:

  • Recycled Polyester: A significant amount of plastic waste comes from discarded clothing. Recycled polyester offers a solution by giving new life to plastic bottles and other post-consumer waste. It retains the performance benefits of regular polyester – moisture-wicking, durability, and shape retention – but with a smaller environmental footprint.
  • Recycled Nylon: Similar to recycled polyester, recycled nylon utilizes pre-consumer or post-consumer nylon waste. This reduces reliance on virgin materials and creates durable, high-performance fabrics perfect for activewear. Look for brands that prioritize transparency in their sourcing of recycled materials.

Innovative Materials:

  • Man-made Cellulosic Fibers (MMCFs): Derived from sustainably sourced wood pulp, MMCFs like Tencel® offer a unique combination of sustainability and performance. These fabrics are known for their exceptional moisture management, breathability, and soft feel. Tencel® is also biodegradable, further reducing its environmental impact.
  • Biodegradable Polyester: Regular polyester is petroleum-based and not biodegradable. However, advancements in technology have led to the development of biodegradable polyester. This exciting innovation offers the performance benefits of polyester with a significantly reduced environmental impact at the end of its lifecycle.

Choosing the Right Sustainable Activewear Brand

With so many Sustainable Fabric Materials options available, how do you choose the right activewear brand for you? Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Material Transparency: Look for brands that clearly communicate the materials used in their garments and their commitment to sustainable sourcing.
  • Certifications: Certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 can provide assurance that the fabrics meet environmental and social responsibility standards.
  • Manufacturing Practices: Choose brands that prioritize ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices throughout their supply chain.
  • Performance: Sustainable fabrics shouldn’t compromise on performance. Look for brands that create activewear that keeps you dry, comfortable, and supported during your workouts.

Iconic Apparel House: Your Wholesale Activewear Provider in Canada

At Iconic Apparel House, we’re passionate about creating high-performance activewear that’s kind to the planet. We utilize a range of Sustainable Fabric Materials, including organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel®, to create activewear that delivers on both performance and sustainability.

We prioritize transparency in our sourcing and hold ourselves to the highest ethical and environmental standards. Our commitment extends beyond materials; we partner with responsible manufacturers and prioritize sustainable practices throughout our supply chain.

Ready to make a difference with your activewear choices? Explore Iconic Apparel House’s collection and discover sustainable wholesale activewear Canada that empowers your workouts and protects the planet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are sustainable fabrics?

A: Sustainable fabrics are textiles produced in an environmentally friendly manner, focusing on minimizing the ecological footprint throughout their lifecycle. This includes using renewable resources, reducing water and chemical use, and ensuring ethical labor practices.

Q: Why is sustainability important in sportswear?

A: Sustainability in sportswear is crucial because the activewear industry often relies on synthetic materials that can harm the environment. Sustainable sportswear reduces pollution, conserves resources, and promotes better health and safety for workers and consumers.

Q: What are some common Sustainable Fabric Materials used in sportswear?

A: Common sustainable fabrics in sportswear include organic cotton, recycled polyester, Tencel (lyocell), bamboo, hemp, and merino wool. These materials are chosen for their lower environmental impact and performance characteristics suitable for activewear.

Q: What is organic cotton, and why is it used in sportswear?

A: Organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. It is used in sportswear for its breathability, softness, and reduced environmental impact compared to conventional cotton.

Q: How is recycled polyester made, and what are its benefits?

A: Recycled polyester, made from post-consumer plastic bottles or discarded polyester garments. It reduces waste, lowers energy consumption, and decreases the reliance on virgin petroleum, making it a more sustainable option than traditional polyester.

Q: What is Tencel, and what makes it a sustainable choice?

A: Tencel, also known as lyocell, is a fabric come from sustainabe wood pulp. It comes in a closed-loop process that recycles water and solvents, making it highly eco-friendly. Tencel is soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking, ideal for sportswear.

Q: Is bamboo fabric truly sustainable?

A: Bamboo fabric can be sustainable if produced using environmentally friendly methods. However, some bamboo fabrics comes by using processes that involve harsh chemicals. Look for bamboo viscose that is certified organic or produced using the lyocell process for a more sustainable option.

Q: What are the benefits of using hemp in sportswear?

A: Hemp is a highly sustainable crop requiring minimal water and pesticides. Hemp fabric is strong, durable, and naturally resistant to bacteria and UV rays, making it a great choice for sportswear.

Q: How does merino wool contribute to sustainability in sportswear?

A: Merino wool is a natural, renewable fiber that is biodegradable. It is highly breathable, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating, making it ideal for sportswear. Additionally, merino wool production has a relatively low environmental impact.

Q: Are there any new sustainable fabrics for sportswear?

A: Yes, innovations in Sustainable Fabric Materials include materials like algae-based textiles, biodegradable synthetics, and fabrics made from recycled ocean plastics. These new Sustainable Fabric Materials aim to further reduce environmental impact and improve performance.