The Best Sustainable Athletic Apparel, Accessory, & Footwear Brands To Enhance Your Summer 2022 Wardrobe
Running can help make our bodies stronger and healthier, by filling our lungs with fresh air, strengthening our legs and powering us with more energy to tackle our day. Not only do runners benefit from the physical sport of running, but also from the world we run on. In return, runners can work together to make our planet a healthier place by making changes to include sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in our daily lives. Running companies have taken note and have made some big strides to help our planet by including sustainable practices we can all be proud to be a part of. Celebrate Earth Day the runner way with a fun outdoor run and learn about some sustainable running practices from some of our favorite brands.
For Birkenstock, caring for the environment is not new news, but paramount to their foundation as a brand. From its beginning Birkenstock mainly uses materials that come from natural resources; materials like cork, natural latex, jute, leather, wool felt, copper and brass among them. Both cork and natural latex are materials obtained from trees and a renewable resource, meaning they can be collected from the same tree several times throughout its lifetime without harming the tree. The cork and Natural latex serve as a source of elasticity and cushioning in many shoe models. Birkenstock is also one of the first shoe manufacturers in the world to use water-soluble and solvent-free adhesives almost completely throughout its product production. In recent years they have even significantly reduced the number of adhesives that contain solvents making sure the air we breathe is as clean and pure as possible.
Features are creating the number one sock with the number one materials and winning at the sustainability game! Feetures uses yarn made out of recycled plastic, called Repreve, to make their performance socks. Repreve is made from 100% recycled materials, mainly plastic bottles, and created to divert plastic waste from oceans and landfills. One pair of Feetures socks equals two plastic bottles. To create Repreve water bottles are collected, cleaned, and choped up into tiny plastic “chips” which are then melted and stretched out to create a filament that forms wevable fibers. The filament is then run through a spinning and texturing process to finally create the soft fabric we have come to love in Feetures. Aside from the beneficial effects that this recycled fiber has on the Earth, this fiber also makes Feetures socks more comfortable, durable, and protective. With the world producing more than 380 tons of plastic annually, companies like Feetures help reduce this footprint on our Earth.
Specializing in outdoor recreational running shoes, Newton knows the importance of keeping our planet healthy and finds ways to take its sustainability practices to another level. Creating a line of shoes made entirely from recycled or biodegradable materials, without sacrificing performance, Newton proves its committment to the Earth we run on. The Gravity 10, Motion 10 and Distance 10 use 4 water bottles (each) worth of recycled plastic collected from landfills within the laces and upper mesh of each shoe. The soles feature EcoPure, a biodegradable plastic additive that is designed to help reduce the amount of waste and plastics in the environment. And in case that wasn’t enough Newton made sure the boxes of these are entirely compostable as well. Proving further its commitment to the sustainability initiative, Newton also powers their office and warehouse space with wind energy entirely and recycles or composts 95% of all the waste they generate.
Brooks is making scary good waves in the sustainability game with the creation of their first carbon-neutral shoe the Ghost 14. Understanding the importance of urgent and universal action to fight climate change Brooks has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emission by 2040 to help keep the oxygen we breathe sweet. Going in for a big impact in their commitment, Brooks has made some big strides with one of its most loved and high-volume styles, the Ghost 14. Now featuring an upper textile containing a minimum of 30%, and up to 100%, recycled polyester in details such as the tongue lining, toe box reinforcement and more. Brooks then compensates for the remaining carbon emission with other carbon offsets projects that avoid, remove or reduce carbon from the atmosphere, to make a positive impact on climate change. Prioritizing projects that align with climate sciences with clear social and environmental impact Brooks has focused on improving air quality and advancing health and well-being for all. The Ghost 14 may be the first carbon-neutral shoe for our friends at Brooks and the first to make an impactful environmental change in the industry, but it is hardly the last, our friends at Brooks are just getting started.
Janji is on a mission to become a fully responsible apparel brand and the most sustainable version of itself. Making sustainable and ethical efforts all throughout their production process but as well in the culture of their brand. From the materials used in the apparel to the packaging and tagging of products, Janji is making the best effort in finding environmentally responsible options. Since 2017 Janji has made a change in their mailing bags to ones made from 100% post-consumer recycled content, entirely biodegradable and compostable as well as printed with water-based ink. Hangtags featured on products are printed on FSC certified paper and have almost entirely eliminated the use of plastic tag attachments for products. Following this green initiative through to their office culture Janji encourages its employees to commute to work by foot or bike when possible which also serves as part of their product testing process resulting in real feedback on each piece. Holding themselves accountable to continually improve in all aspects of the brand and move forward with conscious and sustainable choices along with social and ethical practices, Janji is making big waves to help keep our planet healthy and clean.
Spending more of their time in the great outdoors than indoors ON understands better than most the importance of taking care of the environment and sustainable practices. On’s sustainability mission is simple, “design high-performance, lasting products with the smallest environmental impact possible”. Among their key sustainable practices ON is ensuring circularity by creating products that can be reused or recycled to help create less waste, using only sustainable materials that come from ethical sources and highlighting the importance of production methods by building solid friendships with the people who make their products. On is making an impactful difference by concentrating on sustainable aspects throughout their entire process.
It’s no secret that in recent years single-use plastic has become a problem worldwide, and none greater than that of single-use water bottles. While the consciousness of recycling has greatly increased, only about 12% of the 60 million plastic water bottles used worldwide are actually recycled. Avoiding single-use products, such as water bottles, and switching them for reusable ones like the many options offered by Nathan is a simple yet very impactful sustainable change in keeping our planet clean and healthy. Nathan promotes the eco-friendly lifestyle of reusable hydration solutions in a variety of products from bottles, vests, flasks, waist packs, and handhelds designed specifically for your active lifestyle. So, no matter what your hydration needs are, whether you’re a runner needing quick hydration as you run, or needing hydration easily available throughout your workday, Nathan has a perfect reusable hydration solution for you.
Running For A Better Earth
Adopting sustainable practices and being environmentally conscious into our everyday life is very much like reaching our next running goal. It takes time, practice and sometimes getting used to a new process but with even a little effort not only does it become doable but greatly satisfying. This Earth Day we want to thank the community and running brands that are making these big and small sustainable efforts to make our planet a better place. After all, we only have one planet we can run on! Check out all of our sustainable products at Fit2Run.com or in-store at your nearest Fit2Run retail location.