6 of the best environmentally-friendly running gear brands you might not have heard of

Is your running kit ruining the planet? If we ever needed a wake-up call on how we’re ruining the planet, just look at the recent stats that say 60% of our oceans are made up of plastic.

Related: Plogging – the new running trend that is saving the planet 

Whilst these problems lie far beyond running, it’s time to start thinking more about sustainability and how we can all make small changes to benefit the environment. Firstly, as consumers we should be buying less, and buying smarter. To celebrate World Environmental Day, we’ve found some ethical brands that are doing their best when it comes to sustainability, the environment and ethical production:


1. BAM 

Super, super soft and kind to skin, BAM clothing is made from bamboo cotton, which is moisture wicking, breathable and antibacterial, whilst being good for the environment. In fact, bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, grows naturally, is 100% biodegradable and only needs rain water to grow. The clothing itself is soft, chafe free and kind on sweaty long runs.

Our pick: Enduro Bamboo Shorts – blue leaf print, £28.00, bambooclothing.co.uk 

The softest running shorts you’ll ever try, they are stretchy, they don’t chafe and they refuse to go see through.


2. Sundried

Beautiful, high-performance running kit, made from used coffee grounds and plastic bottles, but built to last. As a company, they believe in reducing their carbon footprint, and the clothes they create are made in a way that reduces CO2 emissions. The clothes themselves look beautiful, are high quality and dry quickly.

Our picks: Sundried Clariden Men’s Training Vest, £35, sundried.com 

A 100% recycled fabrics sweat-wicking vest, designed for your lunchtime run, your football training session and your gym class.

Our picks: Sundried Les Rouies Women’s Training Vest, £35, sundried.com 

Made from 100% recycled materials, with sweat wicking technology, the racer back allows you to run freely, whilst looking flattering.


3. Adidas

You'll almost definitley have heard of these running giants, but Adidas are leading the way when it comes to environmentally friendly running gear. Earlier this year, Adidas brought out their Ultraboost running shoes, with a Parley upper, made from recycled plastic from the sea. Now comes their latest, and rather beautiful looking, ‘wanderlust’ collection, made from recycled fabrics.

Our picks: Believe this high-rise Wanderlust Tights, £84.95, Adidas.co.uk 

Designed to keep you cool and comfortable, these tights are made from adidas’ Climalite moisture-wicking fabric, with a high-rise waist for a comfortable fit.

Ultraboost Parley Shoes, £149.95, adidas.com

Environmentally friendly running shoes

Combining the comfort of the Ultraboost, with the feel-good factor of saving the planet, these Parley running shoes look, and feel, great. The knit upper is made from the brand's Parley material, featuring yarn spun from plastic that's reclaimed from the shoreline before it enters our oceans. Each shoe saves approximately 11 plastic bottles from entering the oceans, and for those who want even more information on the life your shoe has had before Adidas created it, use the NFC tag in the heel of the right shoe to learn more about the Parley movement and the plan to end plastic pollution. Kind of like plogging on every single run, these popular neutral running shoes definitely have the feel-good factor.

Related: First look: The new Adidas Solarboost 


4. Patagonia

Not only does Patagonia pledge at least 1% of sales or 10% of pre-tax profits to environmental groups, they’re constantly auditing the materials they use and the methods they use to make their products to ensure they’re doing their best for the environment.

Our picks: Men’s Strider Pro Running Shorts, from £49.00, patagonia.com

Designed for the seasoned runner who loves the great outdoors, these shorts are made from flash-drying, ultralight material. With a zipped pocket at the back, an external drawcord for comfort and mesh panels for breathability, you’re saving the planet and getting a great bit of kit.


5. Teko

Eco-performance socks you can trust, you might not have heard of Teko, but they’ve been doing their bit for the environment for a while now. They make their running and cycling products from regenerated commercial fishing nets, use responsibly farmed, chlorine-free merino wool and recycled polyester, made from used drinks bottles that are collected in Turin. Bravo.

Our picks: Teko Adrenalin Running Socks – Light Cushion – Carbon/Firefly, £10.95, tekoforlife.co.uk 

Sweat wicking fabrics and Evapor8 fibre keeps you cool, plus the cushioning under the whole foot and round the heel makes these a comfy and eco-friendly choice for your next run.


6. Vivobarefoot 

Pioneering brand Vivobarefoot have released the latest shoe in their sustainable range, made from 70% plant-based materials. The Primus Bio range uses a plant based polymer in its sole and upper - a natural bi-product of the field corn food industry. The company's founders are firm believers that barefoot shoe-making equates to sustainability - Vivobarefoot has alread pioneered shoes made of repurposed algae, and recycled plastic, with 17 bottles going into each pair. Last year, the brand recycled 2 million plastic bottles from landfills and turned them into shoes.

Asher Clark, Design Director at Vivobarefoot said: "Put simply, we believe that the perfect shoe is perfect for feet, with minimal environmental impact on the planet. Sustainability is a journey and the Primus Bio champions the future of sustainable materials which I believe will be largely bio based. This is an exciting step in the right direction away from the single-use petroleum-based alternatives commonly used in sports shoes." 

Fans of the Primus Bio will have to wait till 2019 to get their hands on these pioneering shoes, but the other recycled algae and plastic ranges are out now.