By Elena Picci

Your Guide To Sustainable Sweatpants

#Stayhome is our new way of living.
Who was ready to spend all this time at home?
Do you have those sweatpants that should be for exercise but are used for the exact opposite?
If you haven’t one already, this iconic item might be your next purchase and we would like to help you find a sustainable version of sweatpants.

‘’Regina, You’re wearing Sweatpants. It’s Monday.’’  (Mean Girls)

Regina would have loved the quarantine. All we want at the moment is a pair of sweatpants to chill in 24/7!

#Stayhome is our new way of living as the virus continues to spread across the world.
And let’s be honest,who was ready to spend that amount of time locked at home?

Have sweatpants become your quarantine uniform?

For many, the answer is yes.
Net-a-porter online e-commerce reported a 40% increase in sweatpant sales since the lockdown (WWD).

If you don’t own a pair, this cozy quarantine uniform might be your next purchase and we can help you find a sustainable option.

As you know, the Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping the fashion industry.

Millions of garment workers have lost their jobs and continue to face financial insecurity as more and more orders are cancelled. (The New York Times)

In this time of reduced spending and financial uncertainty, your purchases will determine which companies are able to weather the storm of COVID-19.
If you have the resources to shop, now is the time to purchase sustainably.

Here are a few tips on how to find cozy sweatpants and support the sustainable fashion movement during this crisis.

Image credit from left to right: Chiara Ferragni; Pangaia

Find your sustainable sweatpants
#1: Go for environmental-friendly materials

Sweatpants should be comfortable for you and the planet.

The coziness of sweatpants and the impact that they have on the environment depends on what they’re made of.
Luckily, the materials from the most famous sweatpants out there have already been studied. Unfortunately, most contain a particular toxic material: Polyester.

Yes, it is the most commonly used synthetic fabric as it is very cheap to produce!

No, it is not good for the planet or your body as it is made of plastic and traps sweat against your skin.

Every time you wash a polyester garment, microfibres are released into local waterways, causing immense damage to marine life and vital ecosystem (The Independent).
Further, wearing polyester for an extended period of time can be bad for our skin, causing irritations, itching, redness, eczema and so on. (Brightside; The Independent; Vox )

If you’re looking for sweatpants to wear 24/7 during your quarantine, you might want to avoid polyester.

Even if cotton sweatpants are taxing on the environment as conventional cotton requires a lot of water and pesticides to grow. (The Independent) But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up on comfort to find sustainable sweats.

Here are some sustainable materials to look out for:

  • 100% organic cotton
  • Organic cotton blended with Tencel
  • Recycled cotton mixed with organic cotton

Organic cotton uses 90% less water than conventional cotton and less pesticides. (Vogue)

Always look for certified natural materials, innovative materials or recycled ones to ensure your comfort won’t compromise the planet.

Here are 3 sustainable materials your skin will thank you for wearing

Image credit: Filippa K

Find your sustainable sweatpants
#2: Go for socially responsible brands

Right now in the health industry, protective equipment and hand sanitizer are scarce.

In the fashion industry, workers are losing their jobs or not being paid due to cancelled orders and declining sales. What if your next purchase could help both industries?

Some textile manufacturers are:

#Transforming their clothes production to help the health industry, by making masks and other medical textiles.

Pangaia, a company started only 1 year ago, is producing personal protective equipment to help thousands of medical workers.

#Standing up for the workers in their supply chain, ensuring they keep their jobs despite reduced sales.

ArmedAngels has decided to not cancel their orders to their suppliers during the crisis. However, since they are a small company facing their own financial hardship during this pandemic, they made a public statement seeking support from their customers.

‘’Dear suppliers, we know you rely on us.
Dear customers, we rely on you.’’ 

Their statement shows just how much impact consumers can have when it comes to determining which businesses will be around after the pandemic.

#Making donations to help society.

LVMH, the parent company of Stella Mccartney, is estimating 10 – 20% sales reductions this quarter. Despite these loses, LMVH has pledged to give $2.3 million toward the Coronavirus relief cause (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

Image credit: Pangaia

Find your sustainable sweatpants
#3: Create a better world

The most sustainable option is to buy only what you need.

But during this crisis, it also important to support sustainable businesses so that they can survive the pandemic.

It is possible to help society and the environment while shopping.
Create awareness around you.
Buy from small businesses that rely on us.
Your love for fashion and the planet need not be mutually exclusive.
Don’t feel like doing the research?

Find sustainable basics on Renoon

How will Covid-19 shape the Fashion Industry?
What if, one day, sustainable clothes were not an option anymore.
When things go back to “normal”, which companies will still be around?

The choice is ours.

Why not start with a sustainable pair of sweatpants?