Some days my yoga pants are more for the sofa than for sweating, but that’s no reason not to indulge in the hottest activewear brands out there. And in laid back, outdoorsy Australia, several designers have made it their meaning in life to come up with a range of sustainable, unique, high performance activewear outfits that would be perfectly at home on the bods of anyone doing their downward dogs on a California beach or in a Manhattan studio or, in my case, mostly in my imagination.
Check out my top ten activewear brands.
1. Pink Punk Active
From tattoo-inspired skulls to hot pink flamingoes, the plethora of patterns available on super-comfy Pink Punk Active’s crops, tanks, tights, and swim-wear might bring on some drooling. Made to order in Australia, these anything-but-boring outfits can also purchased in mini-me sizes so you and your offspring can pay outdoors in style.
2. Choclo Project
Founder Roland Wimbush found inspiration in optimistic drawings done by children in a South American orphanage that he visited in 2008. Using graphics made from the kids’ art, Choclo Project created a range of shorts, capris, leggings and other activewear that boast unique patterns and colors.
But the company isn’t taking advantage of these mini-Picassos. Instead, they funnel money back into classrooms, art materials and workshops for poor and homeless children in order to “nourish their creativity, teach them new artistic techniques and build their confidence” That’s what I call a win-win.
3. Wilderness Wear
I might joke about my aversion to being active, but the truth is that I love to get out walking in the woods and wild places. Based in Melbourne, Wilderness Wear is run by a bunch of like-minded enthusiasts who hit the trails regularly wearing their own merino base layers, mid layers and hiking socks. Plus, their made-in-Australia outfits meet internationally recognized ecological standards.
4. Dragonfly Active
One-hundred percent Australian made, Dragonfly Active’s moisture wicking, breathable singlets, pants, brans and more are a terrific choice for high-performance athletes. Crafted from regenerated polyamide yarn, the ethically-made sportswear also gets top points for earth-consciousness.
5. L’urv Sportswear
If you’re as much a fashionista as a sporty spice, L’urv is the label for you. Australia’s boutique, high-fashion activewear brands, L’urv produces superior products that hit the latest trends like color-blocking, cut-outs and minimalist color along with practical yet gorgeous clothes like running shorts with pockets.
Described by popular fashion blogger Rachel Zoe as a “label to lust after,” the Melbourne-based company uses premium materials that will out stretch out your wallet. If sportslux is your look, this is your one-stop shop.
6. Dharma Bums
Yoga teacher and fashion designer Debbie Lawson founded Dharma Bums out of desire for a brand that appealed to the happiness and harmony sought by yoga practitioners. Based in Sydney, the company creates an ever-evolving collection, including mesh-paneled and brightly-colored leggings and sports bras as well as soft-bamboo fabric tank tops with slogans like Trust the Yoga.
7. Nimble Activewear
What better place for a sportswear company than beautiful Bondi Beach? Founded by designers Katia Santilli and Vera Yan, Nimble designs and creates all their clothing within Australia. Their breathable, stylish activewear features mesh and unique prints from gorgeous florals to abstracts. Best of all: the price tag is as comfortable as the clothes.
8. Lorna Jane
The grand dame of Australian activewear designers, Lorna Jane Clarkson began her business back when aerobics was what yoga is today. Founded in 1989, the company was the first to popularize the term ‘activewear’ and began with the intention of empowering women.
From sports bras that offer a range of support to sizing from XXS to XL in their gorgeous, technical activewear to online hi-def boutique workshops, I’d say the company is meeting their mandate.
9. The Upside Sport
Model, designer and fashionista Jodhi Meares started The Upside Sport with the desire to launch a brand that could take her between boardroom and gym. Offering a range of garments for both men and women, from hoodies to anoraks to body-sculpting tights,The Upside helps fashion-oriented athletes create that perfect sportslux look.