These active lifestyle pieces are made from natural materials like bamboo fabrics, wool, hemp, and more.
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Just like ingredients on a food label, fabrics in our workout wear can be downright confusing. From synthetic blends to proprietary fabrics unique to one brand or another, it's sometimes hard to tell what to look for in activewear pieces and what's not worth it. Fortunately, there's a case for going back to the basics. Natural fabrics have proven their ability to perform over the years, and they're popping up in more and more leggings, zip-ups, base layers, and sneaks.
"We are seeing an increasing number of global brands add wool to their activewear offering, across the entire supply chain," says Stuart McCullough, managing director of The Woolmark Company. "From lightweight garments suited to yoga, seamless t-shirts for high-intensity sports such as running or cycling, and innovative products including wool footwear, wool has a great story to tell."
But wool's not the only fabric to look out for. Bamboo, hemp, and other materials can also keep you warm, comfortable, and supported during a workout. The next time you're on the hunt for new workout clothes, consider these options made from natural fabrics.
Photo: SunKids / Shutterstock
Ortovox Sports Bra
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If your first layer is sub-par, everything else you wear will have to work overtime. Fortunately, this sports bra is 100 percent pure merino wool—which means sweat has to put up a serious fight to make its way to your shirt. Wear it while skiing or during outdoor workouts this winter to help keep you dry and odor-free.
Tasc Performance NOLA Legging
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These high-performance UPF 50+ leggings are made from the brand's signature MOSOtech fabric, a blend of organic cotton, bamboo viscose, and Lycra. Translation: They're sustainable, move with you, and actually wick away moisture and regulate temperature—even during your sweatiest HIIT class.
Adidas Ultraboost Running Sneaker
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You likely already love Adidas sneaks for their signature "boost" technology that provides just the right amount of support and give. But a Primeknit upper on the shoes is also made with wool yarn, upping the levels of warmth the kicks provide. That's key for those long, cold, sometimes snowy runs.
prAna Zip-Up Jacket
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Jungmaven Hemp Tee
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A $90 t-shirt might seem like a serious splurge—until you consider the fabric you're investing in. Hemp is lightweight, moisture-wicking, fast-drying, and UV protectant, which means this top is a solid pick for any of your outdoor workouts. Plus, Jungmaven's tees are stylish enough that you're probably going to want to wear 'em outside of your workouts, too.
Patagonia Ahnya Pants
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Lounge-around sweats you can also sweat in: In addition to being made with 57 percent organic cotton (read: super soft), these drawstring pants have a touch of spandex, which makes them great for a workout or a recovery sesh.
Outdoor Voices Plié Wrap
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You'll look super chic and feel dry, clean (this merino jersey material is naturally antimicrobial), and warm (hello heat-regulating technology). Whether or not you're *actually* headed to a ballet class? That's another story.
Photo: Outdoor Voices
Tracksmith Downeaster Jacket
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This is the type of pullover you're going to want when you're sweating your way through a cold-weather workout. Unlike its synthetic counterparts on the market, merino wool naturally wicks any amount of sweat away—keeping you dry and warm no matter what. Plus, it covers your neck, a spot that's likely to get super chilly.
Thursday Finest Socks
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These socks are made from moisture-wicking merino wool, so unlike traditional cotton no-show socks, they won't stretch out or fall off your feet when wet. They're customizable with your own message and colors as well as the sizing—unlike most socks, they actually come in a left and right in your exact shoe size for the perfect fit.
Photo: Thursday Finest