We’re a long way from the basic black leggings...
… And also from sneering at people who wore joggers all weekend because now, with our more active lifestyles and our tendency to try to fit a million and one things into our day, we’re all about clothes that are versatile, comfortable and seriously practical BUT that still make us look and feel blimmin fantastic too. Whether it’s the supermarket, a coffee date, brunch or a yoga class, the freedom of not having to take a change of clothes is invaluable. Less faff, more free time. We’re embracing leisurewear with our arms wide open. OK so it demands an entirely new section of our wardrobes, but it bridges the gap between those super slouchy tracksuit bottoms that don’t leave the house and the skinny jeans we love but actually find quite restricting. Plus the new breed of stretchy, comfort clothing often comes with an eco stamp too. Sustainable fabrics, environmentally friendly – we get to tick off doing our bit for the planet whilst looking top of our game too. Bright and beautiful or chic and discreet, these are the brands we’re road testing right now…
Low rise Lycra is not our friend, which is why Girlfriend Collective’s Compressive Leggings get our vote. Extra high so they sit snugly (not uncomfortably), tops that go over the top look flattering and it means there’s no skin accidentally on show when you move into your Downward Dog. And get this – they’re made from 25 recycled water bottles. No wonder they’re already a cult in the US! £63, thesportsedit.com, the plum shade is our go-to.
Carrot Banana Peach
Rather than choose your style, the most fun bit about shopping with these guys is choosing what material you’d like your active wear to be made out of. Aloe, soybean, bamboo – whatever you decide it will be organic, super soft and lightweight. We’ve been making the most of the Bamboo Hooded Zipped Cardigan that’s more like a hoodie (no wool here). With a mesh inner layer that stops sweatiness we’re especially fond of the colour-coded hood – super chic. £55, carrotbananapeach.com
OK so this one needs saving up for but we can totally justify our love for Back Label’s Racer Back top that costs 147 euros. For a start, it has an internal bra (saving money already). It’s also made using incredible ingredients – milk protein, seaweed, bamboo, sea island cotton, eucalyptus fibre – the added minerals and proteins mean it has a neutral pH and is kind to your skin so if you do get clammy, you won’t suffer from any red rashes or irritations. Worth it’s weight in gold really. A real investment purchase. Backlabel.com
Whether you’re on your hands and knees with the kids, in a workout or in the garden, you don’t want to risk getting your expensive active wear mucky. Which is why we’re saluting the high street brands that are taking on a more eco (and affordable) approach. Like H&M and it’s Conscious collection. It’s not 100% sustainable – yet – but the polyester is partly recycled and the Sports Tight Shaping Waist are some of the comfiest we’ve tried. £17.99, hm.co.uk
The long standing favourite with pieces for tennis, yoga, swimming, running and more. Long sleeved yoga tops, check, loose fit, check, looks good with jeans and leggings, check. Uses eco friendly all-natural fibres in their bamboo fabric meaning there’s plenty of super soft and breathable workout wear. Our ideal go-to for what way you’re planning to move your body (or even if it’s just something for that trip to the coffee shop or if you’re heading to brunch for avocado on toast!) sweatybetty.com