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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

Is your fitness gear ethical? Find out with our NEW Activewear ratings

The Good Shopping Guide has just released its brand new Activewear Ethical Comparison Ratings Table which reveals the most ethical and sustainable Activewear brands to wear on your next run, hike or trip to the gym. The research assessed 22 brands, including popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Gymshark, Sweaty Betty and Aybl.

The scores out of 100 are based on an assessment of the companies’ practices towards the Environment, Animals and People. This assessment looks at several ethical criteria, including a brands’ Environmental Report and Code of Conduct, as well as whether they have received any Animal Welfare, Human Rights or Other criticisms. You can read more about the issues covered in each of these categories on our Methodology page.

The Activewear sector comes with many of the ethical issues present in the rest of the Fashion industry. Garment workers manufacturing your gym leggings and sports bras risk being exploited through poor wages, long hours and harsh working conditions. Additionally, poor quality clothing made with cheap synthetic materials may not last long and will ultimately end up in landfill.

It is therefore crucial for Activewear brands to ensure they are taking steps to ensure workers in their supply chains are being treated fairly by drawing up a robust Supplier Codes of Conduct and sourcing from reputable factories. The Activewear industry must also prioritise sustainable materials and minimise waste wherever possible. This research shows you which brands are doing the right thing and which are falling behind.

Unfortunately, many other Activewear brands fell short of meeting our ethical benchmark. The 5 lowest scoring brands were Under Armour, Adidas, Sweaty Betty, Nike and Reebok.  These brands were all found to have been subject to at least one accusation of human rights abuses within their supply chains. Notably, Adidas and Nike received a bottom rating in the Human Rights+ category, which is only given to brands implicated in several serious human rights concerns. It is important to be aware of this so you can choose to avoid brands involved in the unfair treatment of workers.

On the bright side, we were pleased to see many brands achieve an excellent score within the research, with the top 5 being BAM, TALA, Gym King, Gymshark and Patagonia. These brands demonstrated a clear commitment to being a force for good through extensive sustainability and human rights policies. For instance, these brands all received a top rating in the Environmental Report criterion, which assesses whether companies show awareness of their environmental impact and take steps to come up with solutions to minimise it.

To see the full results and find out the score of your favourite Activewear brands, see our full Activewear Ethical Comparison Table.

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