Vegan Gym Clothes - An Introduction To The Issues
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 the veganism, your clothing choices and where to buy 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. So what are your options for vegan sports wear?
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 are 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.
How Is Vegan Gym Wear Produced And Why Is It More Beneficial Than The Alternatives?
Above, we mentioned one of the new breed of fabrics, Tencel. This is fast becoming a big name in ethical clothing, and can make strong claims to be one of the better fabrics used for manufacturing vegan gym wear. It’s extremely light, it’s versatile and it’s a strong contender when it comes to being used for casual wear worldwide. Tencel (which is a brand name for a particular kind of material called lyocell) is a fibre that’s composed of cellulose, a natural plant product. It’s made with dissolved wood pulp and so is ultimately biodegradable when its useful life is completed. Moreover, it’s much less energy intensive to produce than other natural materials such as cotton, and far less water is used in production too, so Tencel is kinder to the planet in that respect. What’s more, the manufacturers of Tencel take steps to source the wood pulp from sustainably managed sources; in other words, from plantations that are certified and responsibly managed. So there’s no doubt that it’s better for the environment than many other alternatives. But what about its use for vegan gym clothes? Here, again, Tencel excels. It’s a breathable material that also absorbs 50% more moisture than options like cotton, so when you’re working out in the gym, you won’t suffer from overheating or the uncomfortable side effects of excess perspiration. And because it is a more breathable fabric, it also helps prevent unpleasant odours and the build-up of bacteria too. If you’ve never heard of Tencel and are wondering where to find it, take a look at the range of activewear from Orontay Ltd.