ATHLOS: SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL ACTIVEWEAR
Updated: Apr 29
What they make: Sports and outdoor wear for men and women, period underwear
Athlos was founded in 2015, by sport, adventure and fitness enthusiast Pravin Dhake, to fill a void he felt in the market, while looking for great athletic wear. Along with co-founder and creative director Shruti Kamath, he aims to provide performance wear that is stylish, sustainable, and suitable for both, outdoor and indoor physical activity. With a limited, minimalist yet versatile collection, Athlos is a brand built with long-term sustainability in mind.
PRETTY FOR THE PLANET
Athlos uses Econyl, bamboo, merino, eucalyptus fibre and Supima cotton to make their garments. Soft, swift and light, Econyl is made of ocean and landfill waste, by Jersey Lomalina, a mill in Italy. We love that they’re producing garments that are keeping waste out of the ocean, but the carbon footprint of importing Econyl all the way from Italy is a cause for concern, as is the issue of microplastics. But given that most sportswear is made of polyester, has to be washed after every wear, and will release microplastics, Econyl offers a more circular alternative to virgin polyester, or even recycled polyester. Bamboo is another eco-friendly material, but China, where Athlos sources their bamboo fabric from, isn’t really known for its environmental regulations, which would raise a bit of a red flag with regard to the processes involved in the production of the fabric.
Merino wool, as a fibre, is easy on the skin as well as on the environment, but the merino Athlos use is not certified, and there is no information on where and how they source it from—whether or not the sheep are mulesed and if they are bred in a low-impact manner.
Supima cotton is ethically-grown with a low environmental impact, and is known for its longevity. That’s a huge win, except that it is grown almost exclusively in the US. We’re looking at the transport footprint again, besides the fact that there is some percentage of polyester in the T-shirts made with Supima as well as those made with eucalyptus fibre. While that helps improve the durability of the product, it lowers its recyclability, and releases microfibres, too.
Athlos is doing some great work trying to source quality materials that are produced keeping the environment in mind, and that will last the test of time, staying in circulation for much longer, though their supply chains need to be clearer. The impact of importing the material as well as the fact that their products still do release microplastics into the ocean, mitigate the environmental efficiency some, but the fact that not only are they creating clothes that won’t end up in the landfill easily but also clothes that are actively keeping waste out of the landfill and oceans is a big win!
PRETTY FOR THE PEOPLE
Athlos claims they have a strict ‘no sweatshop’ policy. They also keep a close watch on their manufacturing facility to ensure quality and production. While they’ve been extremely discerning about where and how their products will be produced, there is very little information about those who produce it, or the existence of any employee-friendly practices.
PRETTY FOR YOU
Athlos presents an extensive range of products, ranging from running tees, shorts, leggings, racerbacks and sports bras, to hiking pants, warm base layers, polo T-shirts and even period underwear, workout towels and socks. Anything you need, more likely than not, you will find, with easy-to-figure sizing options. Designed to wick sweat without becoming heavy, sticky or stinky, each of these allows your skin to breathe well and is made from carefully-sourced, long-lasting material. Athlos thrives on feedback and has built a community of customers, so they can give you what you want. No wonder even their shorts and leggings have pockets you can actually use!