Brands launch eco-friendly sporting goods and athletic wear

As health and wellness continue to play an important role in the lives of youth—seven in 10 young adults say their wellness activities are an integral part of their personal identity—brands are evolving to reflect Gen Y’s values. One such shift is the marriage of athletics and eco-consciousness, as companies create sporting goods and attire that are better for the earth.


Youth have become increasingly fond of riding bikes as part of an active and eco-friendly lifestyle, even moving into apartments that accommodate cycling. In an effort to make bike safety more convenient for young people on the go, university student Isis Shiffler designed a collapsible, recyclable bike helmet. Though made of paper, the helmet’s radial honeycomb design provides the same level of protection as a traditional helmet and is rain resistant for up to three hours. Shiffler won the 2016 International James Dyson Design Award and plans to sell the helmets in vending machines near bike-sharing stations.


Outdoor Voices produces athletic wear and athleisure that is both stylish and functional, made up of interchangeable minimalist pieces. Touting its clothing as technical apparel for recreation, the brand promotes an active, healthy lifestyle around the idea of “doing things” by moving and having fun with friends rather than competing. Its new Rec Poly line is also healthy for the environment, with pieces crafted from 100% recycled bottles. While the lightweight pieces are designed to be eco-friendly, they still stand up to tough workouts thanks to enhancements like four-way stretch and sweat-wicking and fast-drying technology.


Expending personal energy on workouts can now create electric energy thanks to Eco-Powr equipment. The workout bikes and elliptical machines are plugged into the wall, where the exerciser’s energy is converted into electricity that goes directly into the facility’s power grid. According to a survey conducted by Yahoo Sports, 62.4% of people prefer working out in an eco-friendly facility, and having such equipment available provides an incentive to sign up for a gym membership. Youth are especially cognizant of voting with their wallets and spending money on brands that are socially conscious.