Well hey there all my fitness loving fashionistas!! Let’s have a chat about the fabrics in workout clothing, because you are what you eat, as much as, you are what you wear, right? Most of us don’t think this way, but in reality when you take a moment it’s a very true fact. Your skin is the most exposed organ of your body, so what goes on your skin goes in the body. You wouldn’t take a shower or soak in some good ol’ petroleum bath would you? Well actually that’s exactly what you’re doing while you’re working out in synthetic fiber based clothes. Think about it most synthetic fibers are treated with immense amounts of toxic chemicals, before, during, and after the process of making them. Which I get a lot of you ladies are thinking, “ehh they wash that stuff out its cool,” but not so much. While you’re hitting the gym hard, sweating have you ever out of nowhere smelt a little gasoline for a brief second from a new top? Or do you get new workout gear and they just have an odd odor to them? That gasoline smell is really petroleum, and that odd scent yeah those are toxic chemicals that haven’t been completely washed away from the garment during the making process.

You’ve gone through all this trouble to hit the gym, eat super healthy (everything you buy is locally sourced from the organic farmers market), and yet what you’re wearing is probably the most unhealthy thing for you. The main argument I here from people is the fit, or look of workout clothing from synthetic fibers. Truth is though that awesome sung fit that you get from your polyester/spandex yoga pants, is actually really bad for you. Most work out clothes that are made from synthetic fibers actually increase your body temperature while you workout creating muscle fatigue. This is because petrochemical fibers actually suffocating your skin while you work out. Don’t believe me try it yourself. Go workout in an outfit completely made of synthetic fibers and then the next day do completely natural fibers, and you’ll see the difference. Natural fibers like cotton, linen, and hemp naturally breathe well and absorb water, where most synthetic fibers are made with some sort of water resistant chemical wash treatment. Why would you want your clothes to resist your sweat, you want to cleanse your body of toxins when you work out not give them some are for a moment of fresh air and reabsorb them, along with some formaldehyde while you’re at it (yes your perspiration proof athletic wear is treated with the same stuff used to preserve dead bodies), that brand new nylon running shirt doesn’t seem so hot anymore now does it?

So what do you wear to work out then?

Organic cotton:organic cotton

Now I put organic cotton because I mean lets be real you might as well go big or go home if you’re going to switch up your wardrobe. Cotton is super breathable, and has a high absorbency rate. Devils advocate you do have to wash it like right after the gym because since it doesn’t have any of the bacteria fighting chemicals on it it’ll smell after a hard workout.


One of the oldest and strongest plant based fibers out there. Linen breathes well,  has an insanely high absorbency rate and dries super fast as well. Linen yoga pants anyone?


So I know you’re like, “wait you want me to wear weed”? No, hemp is actually a completely different plant than marijuana. Again like linen and cotton its super breathable, but way stronger than cotton. So this is actually the perfect fiber for those of you who do more contact sports.

You would be amazed at what people can do with fabrics now, any of these natural fibers can be made to look and feel just as good as your favorite snug fitting, water proof, polyester/spandex super awesome gym shorts. I promise you. The most important question is now, where can you find this stuff. Well anywhere and everywhere, but I’ll help you get started.

Greenapple active:Green-Apple-Ess-Cami-Bra-Boys-detail

Love their stuff, now it is a bamboo based company, but they have plenty of organic cotton options as well.

Queen of hearts:Dharma Pant

This style is more for all you yogis, but the breathable lightweight feel of the pants is amazing plus they’re just fun.

PrAna:Tempest Tank

An amazing line that stands behind its views and causes PrAna has something for every activity. From climbing, training, to hiking, there is a nice selection of well made organic clothing.

Inner waves:Luana  Pants coco brown 1

A completely organically based company with clothing to fit you properly and realistically.

Ibex:Woolies 150 crew

I love this company! Everything is made out of ethically sourced wool, now I know what you’re thinking. “Hmmm yeah wool is to help me stay warm, right?” The answer s well yes, but wool can do so much more, as this company has proven. Wool is one of those fabrics that can be made to keeps you warm, or drape like silk. I love fabric what can I say.

LVR:Pocket tank and Foldover lightweight capri

Is a USA made company that has super soft clothing that fits just right but not too tight. I wear their stuff constantly, and well I work for the company so trust me everything is awesome. I wouldn’t work there if it weren’t

Realistically should you drop everything off at the Salvation Army this very second, and get an entire new wardrobe (well if you can afford to do that, come I come with you?). No I mean I’m just now learning about all this stuff myself, but now when you do shop for new workout gear you can do it with a little more knowledge and do some proper research on the chemicals that clothing is made of and all those fun and interesting chemical treatments and washes that claim that they’ll make working out better. Happy shopping fashionistas.


About Yogafashionista

I'm the kind of fashionista that has a strong belief that in order to look good you've got to feel good too! I try to balance my passions, of yoga, social responsibility and fashion in everything that I do in my life. During the summer of 2010, I took my yoga practice to the next step and went through the 200 hour yoga teacher training at CorePower Yoga. While working on a degree in Fashion Merchandising and Design from California State University, Long Beach. Now my goal is to show the world that you don't have to look frumpy at the gym to take it seriously, but you don't need to be the diva in full on make-up either. Follow our blog and let me help you find and embrace your own true, natural beauty.

2 responses »

  1. Ettitude says:

    Organic cotton fabrics are really great for human and the nature. People should promote green products to make earth a better place to live.

    Yogafashionista, It would be great if you add links to the brands/stores that you’ve mentioned in your article above. Like me, your blog readers might be facing a little inconvenience in finding the stores you’ve mentioned in this article.


    • Hi kate if you click on the pictures on this article they have all been linked back to the appropriate websites. I hope that helps you find some cute organic clothing. If you have anymore questions please don’t hesitate to ask we’re here to help

      Love and Light,

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