How kind to the planet is your workout? Most of us probably don’t get the time to consider it – after all, the primary objective of anyone’s exercise is to improve your physical and mental health. However, if you’re seeking a more conscious consumption-oriented lifestyle, the first thing to address are those regular habits – such as your weekly workouts – where some simple but significant swaps can make all the difference to your carbon footprint when conquering a cardio session.
Firstly, if your gym contract is up for renewal, you might want to suss out the green credentials of your future gym of choice. A slew of eco-friendly fitness destinations have opened across the UK in recent years; one such being Terra Hale gym group in London where everything inside the gym from the yoga matts, to the gym furnishings and even the door handles, is recycled. Another kind-to-the-environment tip is consider your journey to and from the gym with your carbon footprint in mind – can you take public transport? Or even better – walk, which carries the added benefit of that added calorie burn, too.
If a green gym is out of your reach financially or geographically (or both), there are sustainable swaps that can be made closer to home, that cost next to nothing. If you’re yet to invest in a reusable water bottle to fill up at the gym tap to hydrate throughout your session – it’s never too late to kick your plastic bottle habit.
The most fun sustainable swap to shop for is undoubtedly gym kit. We have just discovered a brilliant new planet-friendly activewear brand called gngr bees, that makes some of best workout wear, sustainability aside.
Founded by entrepreneur Nathalia Grisard in 2019, this label has a profound story at its fruition: Nathalia had a lightbulb moment following a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with a family of humpback whales in Tonga. A few months post trip, Nathalia was horrified to discover from the news that a humpback whale had washed ashore dead, having ingested a lot of plastic. Feeling compelled to begin a sustainability movement through fitness, Nathalia’s label gngr bees activewear was born which uses everyday reclaimed materials such as plastic bottles, fishing nets, cement sacks, deadstock and ocean bound plastics to craft its collections.
The brand combines two of Nathalia’s passions: the joy of movement and a love for the planet. And a portion of profits goes back into gngr bees foundation which supports a plethora of charitable partners including Born Free, Booteek (a social enterprise supporting underprivileged women in Sri Lanka) and Beach Token (crypto currency that allocates funds to communities around the world that promote ocean and beach clean-ups).
Happily, there is no compromise on style, comfort or wearability with the gngr bees collection: this is some of the best feeling – and looking – workout wear I have had the fortune of sweating into.
As a tall girl of 5’11, I really struggle to find longer leg-length leggings that stay up and inadvertently flash my pants through pilates class. This is why gngr bee’s silt bodysuit has been nothing short of a revelation for me: crafted from soft, stretchy rPET fabric (recycled polyester from plastic bottles), this unitard is plenty long enough in the body and the leg, stretching with my body for a bendy pilates session, whilst sparing my knicker revealing blushes.
I love wearing mine layered with the silt cropped t-shirt – I’d wear this outfit just about anywhere; gngr bees collections sit somewhere between activewear and luxe loungewear that we all became so addicted to in lockdown.
What I loved about these pieces was the generous true-to-size fit (why are gym leggings so often one size too small?) and the attention to detail: from the pockets in the leggings to the sweet, embroidered bee logo, and super-supportive bra design, this is workout wear designed by someone who really understands the demands of good kit.
Incorporate some of these swaps into your fitness routine, and your workout can be kind to your health and the planet. Sweating out your stresses has never felt so good.