2020 was a year that radically shifted our way of life: the way we work, the way we communicate, and also, the way we choose to get dressed. While some of these shifts were tough to absorb, at the very least 2020 introduced the masses to the beauty of dressing comfortably. We moms and yogis have been in on this secret for a long time. For us, sporting soft and cozy athletic apparel isn’t just for working from home, it’s a part of our way of life!
If you’ve been feeling the spark to update your wardrobe, I’m here to assure you it doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. With a mindful eye, it is totally possible to create the conscious closet you’ve always wanted–activewear and all!
To do this, we also have to refresh how we think about getting dressed more broadly. The age-old advice of needing clothes that “transition from day to night” needs some serious updating for women today. The modern woman needs pieces that transition from working from home to working out; from dog-walking to date night; from movement to motherhood and everything in between.
What should I look for in an activewear brand?
As dynamic women, we demand dynamic wardrobes. Whether we’re running off to our weekly barre class, chasing our kiddos around the park, or just enjoying a night out with friends, we need pieces that move with us and work for us. But most importantly, we need clothes that make us feel good!
While comfort and function are non-starters when it comes to finding quality athletic apparel, truly feeling good in my clothes means feeling confident when I put them on. Not just confident that they will hold up and stay in place throughout my daily activities and workouts, but also confident that I look good in them! Most importantly I want to feel good about what clothes I’m buying and where they come from.
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors of pollution and environmental degradation in the world. The cyclical demand for new styles and low prices has had a major impact on our planet. With styles and trends constantly evolving, the sheer volume of production in the fashion industry has made it responsible for 10% of all man-made carbon emissions across the globe.
The key to creating a more conscious, sustainable closet is buying less and buying better. A whopping 85% of all textiles end up in a landfill each year. This shows that not only are people buying more and more clothes, they are keeping them for less time. Purchasing higher quality pieces that last–athletic apparel included–could significantly reduce the amount of clothing waste each year.
Along with looking for higher quality, a more sustainable closet begins with more versatile pieces. When you buy more functional pieces that last longer, the price-per-wear of the item goes down significantly. While a $100 pair of leggings might seem absurd at first, if you factor in how long you will keep them with how many times you will wear them, it is not only the cost-effective option but the environmentally friendly one. If you live an active lifestyle, this is especially important to consider for your athletic apparel–choose durable pieces that can serve multiple purposes in your life!
What are the best activewear brands?
Buying locally is always going to be the most sustainable, least wasteful option when it comes to shopping for athletic apparel. Ohana’s Evolve Together Line has all the essentials you need to outfit your active lifestyle. The Align Leggings are the most comfortable leggings for yogis in the game. They are those buttery soft, high-waisted leggings you’re always hearing about specifically designed to move with you through your practice. Instead of compression, these leggings offer superior comfort and wearability–they look and feel almost like a second skin.
Also in-store at the Ohana boutique, I am a huge fan of the Pax Leggings by Groceries Apparel. Made with all non-toxic vegetable dyes and organic cotton, these premium high-rise leggings are as comfortable as they are practical. Also in the Ohana shop by Groceries apparel, try the organic cotton tees or crops that are perfect for just about any activity in your everyday life!
If you are looking for a little more variety, luckily there are a good number of fashion and activewear brands that are stepping up in the sustainability game that not only look and feel good, but are contributing to positive environmental change in the fashion industry. To find high-performance, on-trend athletic apparel that still does its part for the planet I highly recommend checking out these two brands:
Made with 25 recycled post-consumer bottles, these leggings are the definition of supportive, sustainable function. Known for their compressive leggings and supportive sports bras and crops, this ethically made high-end activewear brand has all of your athletic apparel boxes checked – with gear for everything from yoga, hiking, to tennis it is sure to have something to fit your lifestyle. With 100% recycled and recyclable packing, this is a brand you can feel good supporting.
Wolven’s motto is “make sustainability sexy”. Wolven Threads has a commitment to making carbon-neutral products – not only do they operate as sustainably as possible, but they also invest in programs to offset the emissions they create such as purchasing carbon credits and making plans to reduce emissions moving forward. Crafted using modal fabric made from trees and another fabric made from recycled bottles, these leggings are as comfortable as they are stylish.
The best apparel for restorative yoga
Restorative yoga is all about maximizing comfort to minimize distractions so you can fully absorb the benefits of the practice. Unlike a vinyasa flow that requires tight-fitting, sweat-wicking fabrics that stay in place while you move, activewear apparel for restorative yoga is much more relaxed. For example, without having to worry about compression or support on top, you can ditch that restrictive sports bra and opt instead for something like the Ohana Evolve Together Ribbed Seamless Racerback Cami–with a ribbed, seamless fabric and four-way stretch, it looks just as cozy as it feels!
If you’re taking a restorative class, I would recommend wearing sweats or joggers on bottom and layering up on top with a sports bra and tank, as well as a cozier long-sleeved item to have on hand. Without the added heat and sweat from movement, wearing long sleeves or a sweatshirt of some kind can help you stay warm throughout your slow-paced practice – it is common for your body temperature to drop a bit with this level of stillness, so plan accordingly!
The organic cotton collection by Ohana has all the cozy, breathable essentials you need to stay feeling zen and comfortable during a restorative session. The Evolve Waffle Knit Henley and the organic cotton sweatpants are the perfect layering pieces to throw on over a crop top and leggings before your practice. Made from super-soft organic fabrics, these pieces will feel amazing against your skin – and you can feel amazing about buying them, too!
Best Apparel for Barre/Yoga
Barre and yoga are two active classes that involve lots of movement and stretching – the best athletic apparel for these types of classes are pieces that feel like a second skin. Look for items that are form-fitting and dynamic like the Align leggings and the Ohana Sun Ice Dye Energy Bra.
To get the most use out of your barre and yoga clothing, opt for items that can double-function as both athletic apparel and streetwear. For example, if you have a great pair of high quality black leggings that you can practice in and wear for everyday life, all you need to add is some white sneaks, a denim jacket, and a fun dad cap for extra style points. Buying your workout leggings in neutral colors will help you mix and match your looks more easily–opt for olive green and other earth tones to maximize your outfit options!