Whether you're just updating your gym wardrobe or are in need of new sportswear, Sundried give you our top 10 activewear pieces from sports bras to mens leggings.
1. Sports Bra
A sports bra is an absolute must have for any type of workout. The racerback design of a sports bra prevents the straps slipping down while you move, while the supportive cups keep your chest in place and prevent any pain or discomfort. Sundried's range of sports bras are designed to lock down movement and reduce the impact on the shoulders by redistributing the weight across your back. The racer back is great for keeping you cool when you build up a sweat and they look great too!
2. Technical T-Shirt
You may think that any t-shirt will do for a gym workout, but you want to make sure that the gym top you wear has technical performance qualities to keep you comfortable while you train. Sweat-wicking materials draw moisture away from the body so that you stay drier and more comfortable during a tough session. A good technical gym top won't lose its shape as you move and will prevent chafing. Sundried's range of technical sports t-shirts are made from recycled materials which boast advanced technical qualities such as moisture wicking, UV protection, and even anti-odour.
3. Gym Leggings
Finding the right pair of gym leggings is crucial for a comfortable workout. If you're constantly having to pull them up you won't be able to focus on your performance so you'll want to find ones with an adjustable waistband. Sundried's range of gym leggings feature a high waist band which won't dig in or slip down as you jump, skip, and lift. They also feature slimming designs and seamless construction so that they're perfectly comfortable and you can wear them with confidence.
4. Training Socks
The right socks might not always be top of your list when it comes to activewear, but they are important. Blisters can really set your training back and long training sessions are dependant upon your feet being comfortable. Sports-specific training socks should be sweat-wicking with extra padding or protection in areas prone to blisters. Sundried's socks feature mesh ventilation panels to the top so that your feet can breathe and wick sweat to prevent chafing and blisters.
5. Comfortable Gym Shoes
The right gym shoes can make or break a training session. The last thing you want is to be tripping over shoes that are too big or suffering numb toes from shoes that are too small. Furthermore, your gym shoes need to have the right grip and performance qualities for your type of training. Do you do CrossFit? You'll want to invest in a proper pair of CrossFit shoes as there is a difference between CrossFit shoes and training shoes. Sundried offer a pair of barefoot gym shoes which are said to prevent injury and allow you to feel every movement, thereby enhancing your performance and training results.
6. Gym Vest
The right gym vest will make you feel confident and comfortable while working out in the gym. No matter the season, a gym will always be warmer than outdoors, so having a vest handy even in winter is important for regular gym-goers. You want a gym vest that enhances your physique and makes you feel confident while also being practical and technical. The Sundried men's gym vest is made with seamless construction for comfort and features a stylish arrow design to the chest which enhances your physique.
7. Fitness Tracker
Using a fitness tracker will help you achieve your goals with real statistics and useful information. By tracking your heart rate during a workout you can see if you are working hard enough and will be rewarded with calories burned at the end. Having an accurate measurement will aid in reaching your goals and can be something positive to focus on.
8. Gym Bag
With all your new gym gear you're going to need somewhere to put it! Regular bags may pick up a smell, but a gym bag is designed to be odour-resistant. We recommend you pack up your gym bag the night before, that way when it comes time to workout, you’re ready and raring to go and have no excuses to put it off. Keep your pre-gym routine as simple as possible to avoid allowing yourself the opportunity to find an excuse to not bother.
9. Water Bottle
When you're training at intensity, you lose a lot of water, so it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated. Grabbing yourself a reusable bottle prevents wasting used plastic bottles and helps minimise the load in our landfills waiting to decompose, not only that but plastic bottles contain harmful substances so you'll want one which is BPA-free like the Sundried water bottle.
Last but definitely not least is a gym towel. Having sweat dripping off your face during a tough workout might make you look like you're working hard, but it can be very irritating and uncomfortable. Make sure you have an appropriately-sized gym-specific towel that you can keep in your bag and also use to wipe down machines and benches once you've used them.
Have you been hearing the phrase 'sustainable fashion' a lot lately? You're not the only one. 2018 has been the year of the conscience as the world wakes up to the reality of the global plastic pollution crisis and the damage that we are doing to the planet. This is your ultimate guide to sustainable fashion and will answer all your questions about this important growing trend.
What is ethical and sustainable fashion?
Shockingly, the fashion industry is the world's second largest pollutant behind only the oil industry. Isn't it incredible to think about the clothes you're wearing causing almost as much harm to the planet as the drilling of oil and emissions created by all the aeroplanes, buses, cars, and motorbikes in the entire world? Stop to really think about that for a moment.
If clothing companies do nothing to change their practises, the global plastic pollution crisis as well as greenhouse gases and other toxic results will take their toll on our planet and our health. That's where ethical and sustainable fashion comes in.
Sustainable fashion is that which is produced responsibly with low carbon emissions, ideally from recycled materials, and vows to treat everyone in the supply chain fairly and with respect. This means no more sweat shops, no more textile factory disasters, and significantly reduced pollution. Not only this, it aims to educate consumers on moving towards a 'zero waste' lifestyle by not buying cheap clothing only to wear it once (or never!) and then throw it away and it stay in landfill for years to come.
Which clothing companies are ethical?
Thankfully, the sustainable and eco living movement is gaining traction day on day and there are numerous environmentally friendly clothing companies out there which are fully sustainable and ethical. Even huge corporations like H&M are striving to change their ways and begin to adopt more ethical practises and become more eco conscious.
Zara Williams is a sustainability consultant to several large brands and companies. She explains, "In my role as a sustainability consultant I advise a number of different companies on how to manage their environmental and social risks. Projects include working to improve employment conditions throughout the supply chain and monitoring and managing energy and water consumption and waste management. As we work with lots of different companies on a range of projects no day is the same which is great as it means I'm constantly learning and it rarely gets boring."
Ethical activewear brand Sundried produces beautiful activewear from 100% recycled materials including plastic bottles and even coffee grounds! Every purchase includes a donation to partner charity Water For Kids and the supply chain is fully transparent from source to sale so you know that the people who made your clothes were treated fairly and with respect in good working conditions. This is a stellar example of a sustainable fashion brand.
What is the most eco friendly fabric?
When you think fabric, which do you think of? Cotton? Polyester? Denim? You'd be surprised at just how many different fabrics and fabric blends there are available these days. One type you may not have thought about is recycled fabrics. These ethically-sourced and super green eco materials are made in sustainable processes from raw materials like coffee grounds, bamboo, fruit, and even other materials like plastic.
Recycled fabrics are very eco friendly as they produce less than a quarter of the carbon emissions of polyester and a third of the emissions of cotton. Additionally, producing cotton and manufacturing it into the clothes you're wearing today uses a lot of resources such as water and energy. The production of recycled materials and eco friendly fabrics uses far less water and is all-round better for the environment.
The Sundried Olperer T-Shirt (pictured above) is made from 100% recycled coffee grounds, a super eco friendly fabric.
Why is sustainable fashion important?
There is a new phrase being thrown around the media at the moment which is 'circular economy'. When you think about a basic economy, we do three things: make, use, dispose. This is particularly prevalent in the fast fashion industry in which cheap clothing is mass produced and sold, bought at rock bottom prices by people who don't think anything of it, and then thrown in the bin and in turn taken to landfill. This is hugely damaging to the environment and is not sustainable, that is to say we cannot continue like this.
Alternatively, a circular economy is one which goes against this age-old practice by introducing a new method whereby we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. To apply this to ethical activewear, this would mean investing in a piece of high quality clothing like a running vest made from recycled materials, taking care of it by washing it carefully and not drying it in the extreme heat of a tumble dryer, and using it for several years without buying a new one.
Infographic courtesy of WRAP
Sustainable fashion is important because a non-circular economy cannot live on indefinitely and eventually we will run out of resources and find ourselves with an unmanageable amount of landfill and waste on our planet. In a circular economy and with the likes of sustainable fashion, it is possible to continue indefinitely in a manageable way that is not damaging to the environment or the health and well-being of people.
'Fast fashion' is a term that describes how quickly clothing is mass produced, marketed, and bought in the current market. Clothing retailers like Primark are currently under scrutiny for selling clothing so cheaply as this is said to fuel the fast fashion frenzy and encourage shoppers to buy lots of cheap items, not care for them, and then discard them after only a few wears.
Infographic courtesy of BBC
Why is fast fashion bad?
There is evidence to show that:
- British shoppers buy far more new clothes than any nation in Europe.
- People are buying twice as many items of clothing as they did a decade ago.
- Fish in the seas are eating synthetic fibres dislodged in the wash.
Cheap clothing encourages a 'throw away' society where everything is disposable. This is bad for the environment as landfills are filling up with rubbish and the oceans are filling up with plastic. The more we produce and consume, the more our planet suffers.
It is not only our environment that is suffering from fast fashion. Have you ever stopped to think about who exactly made those cheap t-shirts for sale in Primark? It's time for big brands and large clothing companies to be more transparent about their production chains and how their workers are treated.
This is why the slow fashion movement is so important and is also why the campaign 'who made my clothes' was created.
Image courtesy of Trusted Clothes sustainability blog
What is the slow fashion movement?
The 'slow fashion' movement is a new campaign that aims to educate consumers on their purchases and to question the ethics of the fashion they are buying.
Sustainable fashion is the future
The most influential part of modern life, whether we like it or not, is money. Until this changes, animals, humans and the environment will continue to be abused in the name of profit. Socially responsible companies aim to maximise long-term profits whilst balancing a respect for wider social issues.
It’s easy to think that just one person won’t make a difference.
The faster ethically responsible companies grow, the more pressure they will place on other companies, investors, and banks to move away from unethical practices. As irresponsible practices are being forced under the spotlight, public concern is growing over the treatment of animals, people and the environment, making companies involved in these areas less viable in the long term as we become more educated about how our products are made.
Socially responsible investments are now more widely recognised as safe long term investment strategies. The combination of consumer, investment and business pressure can bring about lasting change – change which will benefit people, animals and the environment.
The Ethical Consumer 2015 report found we’re starting to support ethical products: the value of the ethical market has grown from £35 billion to £38 billion.
Sustainable fashion market analysis
The fashion industry isn’t all doom and gloom. Ethical fashion is no longer just a niche sector; it’s becoming part of the mainstream fashion industry.
- 48% of US millennial consumers choose brands that actively support social causes (BCG, 2014)
- 50% of US adults identify as ‘green consumers’
- 13% identify as ‘super green’ meaning they purchase organic and sustainable products, are informed about the products they buy, and expect retailers to keep environmental damage to a minimum (Forrester, 2013)
Delivering premium style and technical function in an ethical way requires extensive research and extra time, but good things come to those who wait.
"Eco fashion is now a $5 billion per year industry, whereas just ten years ago it hadn’t even cracked $1 billion. This might still be a small share of global revenue, but its growth signals a major shift." - Ethea
Sustainability issues in the fashion industry
There are many varied sustainability issues in the fashion industry. These can be put into two main categories: environmental factors and social factors;
There are many environmental issues in the fashion industry: chemicals, waste, pollution, energy, and water.
There are also many social issues: working hours, modern slavery, child labour, regular employment, and healthy & safety.
It's very important to question the ethics of the brands you support and the clothing companies that you buy from. Question all of the above aspects and make these large corporations face the hard facts that this is not sustainable long term and something has to change, and change soon.
If you've taken the plunge and signed up to your first fitness class at the gym, chances are you have a lot of questions. Worrying about what you should wear should be the least of your problems, so we're here to help you feel confident in your gym clothes and help you pick out a stylish but practical gym outfit.
Stylish fitness wear
Let's face it, you want to look good while you sweat. Wearing stylish fitness clothing will boost your confidence and help you walk through the door feeling good about yourself. Of course, the most important thing is that you are comfortable, but if you can look good at the same time then that's a bonus!
Thanks to the evolution of athleisure and the rise of fashion gym wear, looking good at the gym has never been easier. Of course, you need to make sure that your sports clothing is practical, but technical fabrics now marry with stylish designs to make looking your best at the gym easier than ever.
Supportive sports bra
The base of any good gym outfit is a supportive and comfortable sports bra. You need to make sure that you choose the best sports bra for your needs and your own specific goals as there are lots of different types out there. If your first gym class is something a little lower impact such as yoga, you can get away with wearing a more crop top style sports bra which features less support but may be more stylish. If your first class is going to be something high impact like HIIT or circuit training, you'll need a high impact sports bra that can keep up with you and support you as necessary.
High waisted leggings
When it comes to gym wear, high waisted leggings are a must. They cinch your waist and hold you in where it counts. A good pair of women's gym leggings will also accentuate your curves while flattering your figure. High waisted leggings are also practical as they are less likely to slip down as you move, which can be very distracting while you're trying to workout. Look out for gym leggings which feature a draw string waist so that you can personalise the fit and they can stay put throughout your training session.
The rise of athleisure has seen us say goodbye to grey tops with sweat patches and what was embarrassing to be caught in has now transformed into high fashion, technical fabrics with bold designs and flattering gym clothing that can be worn all day.
Women's fitness clothing has had an upgrade, no longer do you keep your old baggy spaghetti stained t-shirts for the gym, but in fact your gym wear can be the most high quality and technical fabrics to embrace your wardrobe. Gym clothing has always been long behind high street fashion, but in recent years it is catching up and even overtaking, breaking its way onto the catwalk.
Women's gym wear now has advanced technologies which wick sweat, keep your temperature regulated and move with your body. New technologies enable you to be confident in your gym clothing and your workout.
Serious about sport
Wearing gym clothing which has been designed with the purpose of being worn to workout is a sign you take your training seriously.
All day active
Gym clothing is no longer just for wearing to the gym. From grocery shopping to coffee shops, it’s no longer an embarrassment to be caught in your yoga top, if anything it's a chance to show off a well thought out outfit and gym fashion ideas. New stylish designs mean you want to keep your gym clothing on for longer, and fashion says you can!
Sportswear for women has moved away from cotton and movement restricting materials and become founded on freedom of movement and the four way stretch. The freedom of movement in gym clothing is part of what has made it so popular for daywear as users can go about their daily lives without the restriction of tight or uncomfortable materials such as denim.
Sundried create fashion infused sportswear perfect for wearing to the gym, training for a triathlon or just getting active outdoors.
These days, yoga isn't just an exercise regime, it's a lifestyle. If you're a member of a yoga studio or a regular at your gym's yoga class, chances are you know the other members well and they know you too. We show you how to impress your fellow yogis with 3 of the best yoga outfits and how to wear them.
Yoga pants are the new jeans as they're comfortable, flexible, and can be worn for almost any occasion. Wearing black yoga pants is an understated but super stylish look and you can wear them with any type of top.
One of the best yoga outfits, though, is cropped yoga leggings with a crop top sports bra. This look is perfect for warmer weather or hot yoga classes. Quickly throw over a denim jack et for going to and from the yoga studio and to create a yoga outfit that you could then wear out to lunch or coffee with friends.
By opting to wear a sports bra in a crop top style, you can get away with not wearing a gym vest or yoga top over the top which will allow for better freedom of movement as you pose and twist in class.
Loose yoga tops
When it comes to stylish yoga clothes, loose yoga tops reign supreme. Layered over a colourful sports bra and monochrome gym vest, a loose yoga top will give a cool, casual look and really give a sense of trendy shabby chic. By choosing a loose flowing yoga top that has a wide v-neck, you can wear it off the shoulder for an even cooler, more relaxed look.
Wear your loose flowing yoga top with black leggings for an understated and stylish look. You could also wear it with gym shorts for hotter sessions and sweatier flows. There are lots of yoga tops for women on the market, so make sure you choose one which suits you and your needs.
Yoga leggings are a staple of your yoga apparel and can be worn with almost any outfit. They are flexible and comfortable making them perfect for practising yoga and feeling uninhibited as nature intended. One of the most simple yoga outfits out there is the sports bra and yoga leggings combo.
Choose black leggings and a colourful sports bra in a bold colour like red to really stand out from the crowd and create an impression. If you look good, you'll feel good!
Yoga clothing for men
Yoga clothing isn't only for women! More and more men are getting into the practise of yoga and rightly so. Yoga is an ancient art that has stood the test of time and is one of the best ways to manage stress with exercise. Lots of brands now have yoga clothing for men on offer with comfortable shorts, mens leggings, and vests.