Breathable clothing is a must-have for many athletes, as it wicks sweat away from the body and ideally keeps it warm. On cold or rainy days, it protects its wearer from cooling down. What many do not know, however, is that the more functions sports fashion has, the higher the probability that it has been mixed with chemicals and not produced in an environmentally friendly way. But what exactly is sustainable clothing? And how can laypersons tell whether sportswear has been produced fairly?
First things first: When it comes to sustainability, it's not about what materials the sports fashion was made of, but under what circumstances. In other words, was the clothing made in an environmentally friendly and fair way? In addition to the production method, three factors play an important role:
In order to make ordinary functional clothing more resistant to wind and weather, it is usually treated with chemicals: depending on the manufacturer, substances that are harmful to health (dye or bleach) are sometimes used, which can lead to skin irritation. Sustainable sports fashion, on the other hand, is produced in an environmentally friendly way, regardless of whether it is made of artificial or natural fibers (such as silk or organic cotton). Merino wool, for example, is a popular material for sportswear, warming the body when it's cold and cooling it when it's warm. And completely without chemical additives.
There are different organic seals, which differ from each other as follows:
Global Organic Textile Standard
Fair Wear Foundation
Oeko-Tex Made in Green
If you are interested in sportswear that has been produced sustainably, these six brands are recommended:
1. Vaude "Green Shape" is the label for sustainable sports fashion from the Vaude brand, which is based in Tettnang on Lake Constance: It stands for sustainable materials, resource-saving manufacturing and fair production. In addition, 80 percent of the manufacturer's sports and outdoor clothing has a Bluesign certificate. It is particularly exciting that many products are made from recycled PET bottles, old clothes or old fishing nets.
2. LöfflerBike, running, outdoor and winter sports: The Löffler company from Austria is also a well-known manufacturer of functional sportswear. In terms of sustainability, the company says that the majority of the textiles come from its own knitting mill. In addition, all yarns, fabrics, zips and fabric finishes that are purchased should be awarded the "Oeko-Tex Standard 100" seal - and are therefore low in harmful substances.
3. PatagoniaSustainable sports and outdoor clothing is also available from Patagonia. The manufacturer also relies on sustainable materials (e.g. hemp, organic cotton, recycled polyester or nylon) and chemical-free processing of tops and T-shirts, long sleeves and functional underwear or leggings. In addition, many products are Bluesign-certified - and the brand supports various environmental organizations.
4. MammutThis manufacturer received the "Best Practice Award" from the Fair Wear Foundation in 2013, which works to improve working conditions in the clothing and textile industry. The high-priced Mammut brand primarily manufactures products for mountain, climbing, outdoor and snow sports. The range now includes more than 35,000 items - including, of course, sustainable sportswear for hiking and trekking. Tips for the right hiking outfit can be found here.
5. MandalaIn contrast to the first three labels, the Bavarian company Mandala focuses on sustainable yoga clothing (such as leggings and sports bras), which - according to their own statements - are manufactured under fair working conditions. It is made from organic cotton, tencel, modal, organic polyamide and polyester that has been recycled. The company's own textile factories are located in Turkey and in Shanghai.
6. TrigemaLast but not least on this list: the Swabian label Trigema, whose sustainable sports fashion and leisurewear for women, men and children is produced in Germany and also bears the "Oeko-Tex Standard 100" seal. A large part of the collection is made of synthetic fibers - except for the Trigema Change line: According to Trigema, organic cotton is used here.
Sources: Sportscheck, Utopia
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