The health of the environment is at the front of our minds every time we head outside, and this month, we decided to highlight the brands and products that are making a difference in the environment—those who are utilizing new technologies and new materials to either reuse recycled products, reduce their carbon footprint or keep more waste from entering the environment. By supporting these brands, you’re supporting a cleaner planet.
Cotopaxi Crux Shorts ($65), Teca Vest ($70) And Teca Windbreaker ($80)
For Cotopaxi, the best way to help Mother Earth is to make high-quality products that will never be thrown away. That’s why all of their products are guaranteed to last for 61 years, or the average lifespan of a person living in the developing world. Which is good, because you’ll want to wear their bright, comfy gear on every run.
SugarSky Headbands, $22
Add a punch of color to your outfit—or draw attention away from your hair on non-shower days—with the made-in-the-USA SugarSky Headbands , which utilize 79 percent recycled water bottles in the material (the rest is spandex). Stretchy, moisture-wicking and printed with eco-friendly ink, they also protect from sun exposure, with a UV rating of 35+.
Renew Cork Yoga Mat, $119
Whether we’re exercising our inner yogi or stretching out after a long workout, every runner could use a padded mat to make cool-downs more comfortable. The Renew: Cork Yoga Mat is made entirely of cotton and cork, with the health of Portugal’s cork trees kept top of mind throughout the harvesting process. The mat naturally rids itself of bacteria and odor while providing a no-slip grip for users—which is exactly what sweaty athletes need.
Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra, $49
Patagonia is one of the most vocal activists for environmental issues. Environmental responsibility is present throughout the entire supply chain, from responsibly sourced materials to green infrastructure. Every product the brand sells, including the Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra, has a “footprint,” a remarkably transparent list of the labor practices, working conditions and environmental impact that went into making the product.
DeFeet D-Evo Running Socks, $13
By collaborating with North Carolina–based Repreve, a manufacturer of a fully recycled fiber made from plastic waste, DeFeet utilizes the brand’s material in its D-Evo running socks (Tabby pictured). With a generously padded heel and toe, it still has a relatively thin feel and wicks away moisture.
Icebreaker Cool-Lite Comet Shorts, $80
Featuring a wide, stretchy waistband and reflective strips along the side seams, Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite Comet Shorts provide breathability and safety in one lightweight package. Made with 34 percent Tencel (a fabric made from wood pulp that’s durable, soft and absorbent), these shorts have the stretch and breathability runners look for when searching for warm-weather clothing and the versatility to meet athletes’ gym, road and trail-running needs.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8, $150
Nothing beats that new-shoe smell—that is, until you learn that scent may be hazardous materials off-gassing. New Balance has eliminated heavy metals, solvents, phthalates and certain dyes in its manufacturing process to ensure all its shoes, including the popular Fresh Foam collection (Fresh Foam 1080v8 pictured), have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Adidas UltraBoost Parley LTD, $200
The sleek-looking Adidas UltraBoost Parley LTD features a design reminiscent of ocean waves, which is fitting, as the knit upper is created with a material that utilizes yarn from recycled ocean plastic. Set atop the popular Boost midsole, we feel fast in this neutral, superlight shoe.
HydraPak SpeedCup, $20 For Four-Pack
With so many races attempting to keep their courses cleaner than ever before by expanding volunteer clean-up crews and eliminating plastic bottles, it makes sense to bring the same environmental consideration to your own training and racing game. HydraPak’s SpeedCup is a lightweight, compact way to do so: It folds easily into a pocket when not in use and can hold 6 fluid oz. when full. Durably made with thermoplastic polyurethane, the SpeedCup can withstand extreme temperatures to a point, meaning you’re free to pop it into the freezer to make a chilly recovery drink or into the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.