There’s nothing better than working out without the heavyweight of unsustainable clothing on your chest. And knowing that your bike shorts are made only with the best fabrics and most ethical production truly makes wearing them a much better experience.
Sifting through the greenwashing and unethical practices of the fashion industry can be very challenging and complicated. But with enough experience and information from structured guides like this one, you’ll be an eco-conscious expert in no time.
Here are some of our favorite brands where you can get a pair of the best sustainable bike shorts.
d+k Active - Australia
Founded in 2017, dk Active is an Australian brand that fills a gap in the market’s desire and need for ethical fashion.
Made for everybody, dk is a testament to how far you can go with a sustainable and inclusive mindset towards your business.
From the name itself, dk mostly stocks activewear. They have an excellent collection of tights, leggings, tanks, tees, outwear, and, yes, bike shorts and pants!
Their color options are very neutral, many leaning towards nude and earthy shades you can pair with virtually any other color. They also have some darker colors like navy and gray, which are excellent if you’re going for a more cool-toned look. For more fun variations, they even have prints available!
dk activewear goes up to a size XXL, and they also have sizes 18-24 available in their collection.
If you’re on the search for soft and comfortable workout apparel, dk is definitely the first place to check. Their bike shorts and pants are ultra buttery and feel like a second layer of skin when you wear them—indeed the perfect fabric to start your journey towards a more active lifestyle.
The brand uses different components for its activewear, including recycled nylon, organic cotton, modal, bamboo, and lycra. For the best sustainable bike shorts, we would recommend choosing one made from natural or recycled components.
The star of their material collection is regenerated nylon—which comes from nylon that’s landfill-bound or ocean rescued. While nylon is not a natural material and is by no means the most eco friendly fabric on its own, sourcing it recycled is one of the best ways to make it more sustainable and ethical.
dk also uses GOTS certified organic cotton, indicating transparency and ethical sourcing throughout the supply chain.
Sustainability & Ethics
dk takes sustainable production seriously. They only use sustainable materials for their packaging, such as plant-based biodegradable satchels you can include in your compost bin.
All their products are made in Australia, and they proudly bear the Australian Made, Australian Grown logo on their products.
dk aims to be an ethical brand from the first to the last stitch of each garment. They have rigorous requirements for their suppliers and follow a strict Code of Practice throughout their company operations.
Overall, dk activewear makes excellent sustainable bike shorts that don’t compromise quality or style. We highly recommend taking a look at their collection.
Groceries Apparel - US
100% “Made in The Future,” Groceries Apparel is a Los Angeles-based sustainable clothing company with a local and vertically-integrated manufacturing process that promotes quality, efficiency, and more earth-friendly production.
Groceries Apparel has a lovely collection of eye-catching prints and fun color options. Primarily an activewear brand, their collection focuses on apparel you can move comfortably in. They also have some cute tops and bottoms that can double as casual or streetwear.
One of the highlights of their collection is the patterned print they make using non-toxic vege dyes. Each pattern is unique, and, depending on the underlying color, can look a lot like elegant marble or pretty radioactive spills.
But if prints aren’t up your alley, you can always go for neutral colors like black, beige, and rose.
Groceries is also size-inclusive, and they stock eight sizes from XS to a 4XL—ensuring that everybody, regardless of body type or size, feels welcome.
The brand uses several different sustainable and recycled fabrics in their collection. They use organic cotton, hemp, recycled plastic, even deadstock fabric. Deadstock fabric can be a controversial material, as we explore more deeply here, but can still be an excellent resource—especially in the hands of an eco friendly company like Groceries Apparel.
Groceries’ Kazuko shorts are made from a combination of organic cotton and spandex, resulting in a piece that’s soft but has sufficient elasticity and support. For a deep dive into spandex as fabric, you can check out our guide here.
But the showstopping material is the brand’s use of vegetable dyes to color their clothing. They exclusively use only non-toxic dyes, and some products are even made specifically with vegetable dyes.
Innovative and sustainable, Groceries uses madder root, carrots, pomegranate, flowers, among other natural dyes. Now we can really see why they’re called Groceries Apparel in the first place!
Sustainability & Ethics
The brand’s products are made in their Los Angeles factory, where they are proud to hire over 40 full-time employees, many of which have been with the company for more than eight years.
Their dedication to keeping the workplace ethical by paying fair wages shines in how they have managed to retain their workforce for the majority of their life as a brand.
Moreover, they also have vertically-integrated operations, allowing them to monitor production more closely and ensure ethical behavior throughout the supply chain.
They also own their own dyeing studio, which is pretty rare for apparel brands. There, they dye their own products and create fantastic patterns for their collection. You can read more and check out their studio and factory here.
Organic Basics - Denmark
Organic Basics is a Copenhagen-based clothing brand known for its organic and ethical essentials. They are perhaps most notable for their inclusive undergarments collection.
Although Organic Basics may (arguably) be most popular for their comfy undies, their clothing collection carries way more than that. They have tees, hoodies, sweaters, activewear, and plenty more.
What we love most about Organic Basics is that true to their name, much of their collection is composed of basic closet essentials. These basics allow you to mix, match, and get creative with versatile colors and timeliness cuts.
Whenever shopping for ethical bike shorts, it’s always good to keep in mind that the most sustainable product is one you can use for the longest possible time. Thus, their high-quality production and all-around design make for the perfect staple for your sustainable closet.
Their biker shorts come in various colors, including black, rose, blue, burgundy, and olive. These are very grounded colors that are great for a more toned-down look.
The shorts themselves are seamless and provide optimum comfort and moisture management whenever you’re doing physically strenuous activities. There’s also a hidden pocket if you ever need some extra space to store little knickknacks.
If you’re using these shorts as a casual pair of bottoms, matching them up with a statement piece is also a good idea.
Organic Basics uses a host of sustainable fabrics to make their products. Their line of materials includes recycled nylon, recycled cashmere, recycled wool, organic cotton, Tencel lyocell, and a few others.
Note that they are not a vegan brand because they use cashmere and wool. If you’d like to know more about vegan fabrics, feel free to read up here. That said, OB still has an excellent set of animal-friendly products for all vegan readers out there.
For bike shorts, in particular, OB uses recycled nylon. Nylon is a stretchy fabric on its own, so it makes for the perfect material to use on performance clothing like bike shorts. They also do seamless knitting so that the shorts can be worn comfortably regardless of what you’re doing.
OB’s recycled nylon uses 80% less water and 90% fewer carbon emissions compared to the virgin version of the fabric. This is a significantly lower impact than what you can reasonably expect from any nylon piece.
Sustainability & Ethics
Organic Basics’ dedication to transparency and ethics is unparalleled. On their website, you will find a section dedicated to each of the factories they collaborate with. The information there includes certifications, benefits, number of employees, production capacity, impact index, and other relevant information.
They work only with the best and most trusted factories. Each one they work with must align with their standards on sustainable production and ethics. Hence, many of their factories hold numerous certifications.
For instance, they have a GOTS-certified factory on their roster as well as OEKO-TEX 100, GRS, ISO, and many, many more. With OB, you can trust that your biker shorts were made under safe working conditions with employees that are given living wages and proportionate benefits. Of course, there is absolutely no child labor involved in any part of their manufacturing.
Overall, this company scores excellently in terms of how open and transparent they are about what they do behind the scenes, which truly solidifies their care for the environment and the people.
Girlfriend Collective - US
All GC clothes are made with ethical and with eco friendly components, designed to last long and empower the body you’re living in.
The GC collection has a wide range of colors, designs, and styles for everyday wear. You can use their sustainable bike shorts for yoga, spin class, or even for running errands during the afternoon.
They use compressive fabric for their bike shorts to ensure optimum performance without any part riding up during your workout.
Shorts are available in dark colors like black and navy blue as well as lighter ones like white and periwinkle.
What we love most about Girlfriend Collective is how they show real bodies on their website. And with the broadest range of sizes we’ve seen (XXS-4XL), this isn’t surprising at all.
The fashion industry is riddled with models that exhibit a specific size and body type—and it’s not that those body types are bad; it’s simply that those bodies alone do not encompass the vast range of sizes and shapes women’s bodies show.
Whenever you’re browsing through their collection, you’ll definitely feel a sense of empowerment and love in your own skin that is rarely present in most other brands out there.
Girlfriend Collective makes their products out of recycled bottles. With each of their ethical bike shorts you purchase, you are diverting approximately 17 recycled bottles from landfills more than 12 lbs of carbon emissions.
The result is recycled polyester or RPET. Each pair of bike shorts is made of 79% RPET and 29% Spandex.
The numbers and ratios may vary depending on what type of product you purchase, but each piece is always made with the environment in mind.
If you want to know more about the different sustainable fibers GC uses, they have an in-depth explanation of their whole process right here.
Sustainability & Ethics
We are happy to report that Girlfriend Collective does not lag behind in ethics. Their textiles are manufactured in Taiwan, while their main production arm is located in Vietnam.
And yes, outsourcing generally has a bad ring to it from an ethics standpoint since workers are likely to be underpaid and work in less than ideal conditions.
However, GC works with a factory that is SA8000-certified, which you can think of as the factory version of the Fair Trade designation.
Boody - Australia
Boody was born from a drive and passion for a simpler closet with more sustainable fabrics and has been dedicated to creating everyday basics made with earth and animal-friendly fabrics.
Based in Sydney, Australia, this clothing brand proudly has certifications from organizations like Ecocert, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), OEKO-TEX, and PETA for their vegan credentials.
Boody’s collection of sustainable bike shorts comes in different lengths and colors and their products are available in five sizes, from XS to XL.
In the future, we hope they expand their size range to accommodate different body types and sizes.
Boody’s bike shorts have two side pockets and a hidden pocket on the waistband, perfect for your keys when you go on a run. The side pockets are pretty long and provide more than enough space for your phone(with its corresponding eco friendly phone case) or earbuds—a handy feature for when you’re biking!
With curved paneling on the side leg and flat seams, these shorts hit the sweet spot between ultimate comfort and durability.
Although these high-waisted and mid-thigh shorts are best worn for low-impact physical activities, you can still try to use them when doing your favorite HIIT workout.
Boody’s shorts are made using a combination of bamboo viscose and organically-derived cotton. The bamboo adds breathability and flexibility to the product, while the cotton acts as a conduit for comfort.
At Puratium, we’re adamant about using only the best materials for what we wear. Generally speaking, we are not big fans of viscose, especially when made without any effort towards responsible production.
However, like everything else in the earth-friendly industry, it’s still a case-to-case basis. We took a look at Boody’s viscose processing, and it seems like they’re doing all they can to ensure that the process is as eco friendly as possible.
For one, they only use organic bamboo. The plant they use is grown without any pesticides and fertilizer and uses very little water. Moreover, their soaking process is done closed-loop! All the liquids used are recycled, and the solvent used for processing is recaptured and removed.
Soaking typically involves toxic chemicals that can be harmful to the environment, so it’s good that Boody acknowledges and addresses this by recapturing their solvents. You can read more about how they make their bamboo fabric here.
Sustainability & Ethics
Since the company’s inception in 2016, Boody has avoided close to 5m km worth of driving emissions, 40 million days worth of LED bulb energy, and saved more than 500 million liters of water.
They package using post-recycled materials from FSC-certified suppliers so you’re certain that each product purchased is truly made sustainably from item to packaging.
Boody also makes sure that their factories are ISO 14001 and 9001 certified. f you want to know the specifics about their certifications, you may contact them here.
Apart from independent certification, the company also has a Code of Conduct they require each supplier to follow. Their code has provisions on fair wages, decent working conditions, reasonable working hours, and entails absolutely no forced or child labor.
prAna - US
This California-based company started in a small garage in Carlsbad in the 1990s and has continued to produce stylish and sustainable activewear until today.
prAna’s bike shorts come in several different colors and even have a cool camo option. The shorts have a UV Protection Factor of 50 and have a wide waistband for extra waist support.
It also has a triangle gusset for added comfort whenever you move and work out. You can use these bike shorts for yoga at home, running, or even biking with friends.
We’re happy to share that, yes, these shorts do have pockets! You can easily tuck in your keys or phone whenever you wear these shorts out of the house.
The shorts are only available in sizes for women but prAna also has a sizeable collection of performance bottoms for men.
For these bike shorts, prAna uses a combination of recycled nylon, recycled polyester, and Lycra elastane. The material used depends on the color and style.
Take note that these components are not biodegradable. Under typical circumstances, we would not recommend polyester, but activewear is the most frequent exception. These clothes need to have certain features like being moisture-wicking and stretchable.
Many of the features are only possible through synthetic fibers.
The good part is that prAna uses recycled content for their shorts! Although post-consumer recycling isn’t the answer to our environmental problems, it certainly beats using virgin material.
The nylon prAna uses cuts down the energy usage and carbon emissions by 50% compared to virgin nylon. Meanwhile, their polyester is made from post-consumer plastic diverted from landfills and oceans.
You can read more about prAna’s fabrics here.
Sustainability and Ethics
prAna believes in progress, not perfection. And throughout the years, they have made continuous improvements to their processes with the ultimate goal of cultivating better systems.
They believe that sustainability and style have to live together in harmony, and they have always advocated for positive change. Some of the things they stand for are animal welfare, fair production, circularity, and climate action.
In 2010, prAna partnered with Fair Trade USA and they have since been able to convert 11 factories to Fair Trade Certified. This partnership helps more than 26,000 workers through premiums and benefits. This also means that employees are paid living wages and work under healthy working conditions.
They are also transparent about their supply chain, ensuring that each part of the supply chain aligns with the company’s core values. They have factory partners in Taiwan, India, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Know more about their supply chain here.
Overall, prAna’s constant commitment to ethical production is admirable, and if you’re on the search for the perfect set of bike or yoga shorts, give this brand a try.
And there you have it! We hope you enjoyed this list and that it helps you on your hunt for the perfect pair of eco friendly and sustainable bike shorts.
We understand that navigating fashion and fitness as an eco-conscious individual can be tricky, there’s no doubt about that. But what we’re doing here—promoting positive changes to our lifestyle while also encouraging systemic improvements—is crucial in our fight towards a more sustainable future.