Vegan gym clothes… what are they and why does sourcing vegan products more generally matter? Surely veganism is more about diet than fashion? And if you are a vegan, what alternatives are there to the usual apparel you find on the high street? How do you ensure the ethical activewear you choose is aligned with your values, and yet still has all the comfort, style and performance you would expect from the clothes you wear to the gym? In this article, we aim to explain more about veganism, your clothing choices and where to buy a gym kit that fits your principles and your lifestyle.
Why The Right Sportswear Matters To Vegans
Firstly, what is veganism? In simple terms, a vegan is someone who chooses to avoid all animal products in order to protect the animal kingdom from exploitation. When you mention this, most unenlightened people assume that veganism is purely about diet – and it’s true that this is one of the prime focuses of this lifestyle choice. In essence, vegans choose not to consume dairy products, eggs or any other animal-derived product, making the diet stricter than that of a vegetarian, who avoids meat in general. But true vegans are aware that our use of animals in the products we buy on a daily basis goes beyond diet alone. Vegans also avoid cosmetics, household products and clothing that comes from animal products.
Some types of clothing, like leather and suede, obviously involve animals in their production, but others can be harder to spot. The production of silk and wool, for instance, both involve animals; and the industries that manufacture these materials are rife with animal cruelty. Vegan gym clothes are therefore items of clothing that are guaranteed not to exploit animals in any way in their making. If you aim to go vegan, then you are looking for vegan sportswear that uses natural, plant-based materials, such as cotton, hemp or linen. Synthetic fabrics can also be more animal friendly than silk, wool and leather, but there is a balance to be struck: these kinds of materials are not great in terms of their performance when you’re exercising. If you’re looking to extract the best possible performance, physical therapy and a good training regime come first, but your choice of clothing matters as well.
What Kinds Of Materials Is Vegan Activewear Made From And Why?
Synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and acrylic can be more animal friendly than some natural alternatives. But if you care enough about animal welfare to go vegan in the first place, it’s more than likely that you also care about the environment too. And that, to a large extent, means avoiding man-made and synthetic materials where possible. These types of fabric are easier to produce in mass quantities and often cheaper than animal-derived materials too, so very appealing to manufacturers and the fast fashion industry as a whole. But at what cost? The production of synthetic materials is damaging the environment massively. The chemicals used in production, the carbon emissions that add up both during processing and when clothes are being distributed worldwide and the waste generated throughout the lifecycle of a single fashion item is staggering. And that’s all bad news for the planet.
So one of the advantages of looking for vegan activewear is that not only does it help prevent animal cruelty, but it’s made in a way that causes less harm to the environment. The companies that take the time and trouble to source natural fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp and newer alternatives like Tencel and make vegan athletic wear and other clothing ranges tend to be far more environmentally responsible than multi-national corporations that churn out fast fashion. And responsible companies uphold values that run throughout their structure, decision making and activities, so you’re making an informed choice when you spend your money with them and investing in the future of the world.