Earth Day 2021: From Fit Kit to Protein, Here Are 22 Ways to Turn Your Wellness Game Green

The Editors
·8-min read

You haven’t checked in for a flight in what feels like a decade, and you only checkout the plant-based options on Deliveroo. But, between those disposable face masks woven with polypropylene and toasty evenings beneath a patio heater, our collective lockdown habits have done the planet few favours.

So, this Earth Day – a time to celebrate environmental protection – it feels like a good time to restore your eco-efforts to pre-pandemic levels when you’d never leave the house without your KeepCup.

Is the wellness world becoming greener?

While it’s true that wellness and sustainability haven’t always been the most compatible of bedfellows (think: new trainers every season), the mood has shifted. And the reason the industry's competitive mindset is no longer at odds with conservation? You. ‘Consumers are increasingly critical of brands that are unable to share information about provenance and company values,’ says Roxy Rocks-Engelman, a sustainability consultant working with the food and clothing industries. ‘It’s evolved far beyond afterthought to satisfy a tick box.’

Which means eco-aware wellness companies are funnelling money and resources into innovation – crafting offerings designed for longevity, not landfill. ‘The result is a better-quality product,’ adds Rocks-Engelman.

It makes sense: if a brand is unwilling to exploit the planet, it’s unlikely to flog you sub-par leggings that will fall to bits two months into your new fitness routine.

Because the gear you’re using should be able to keep pace with your lifestyle, here’s our ultimate list of kit that’s got WH’s green light.

1. M LifeEco Resistance Band

For those in the market for versatile, portable kit, the humble band is hard to, ahem, resist. But sustainable options can be hard to come by, with many relying on the use of emissions-heavy petrochemicals and phthalates, which are used to make products soft and more flexible. Happily, M Life’s band is made of recyclable TPE rubber and free of such nasties. Its muted mint hue looks a damn sight nicer in your home workout than garish primary colour or barbie-pink options, too.

2. Smile Jamaica Wireless 2 Headphones

While headphones have a habit of disappearing when you need them, their-recyclable wires and pods, mostly made from virgin plastic, can actually linger for hundreds
of years. This wireless pair is made with Rewind, a fabric made using post-consumer plastic waste, while the wooden in-earpieces are ForestSteward Council (FSC)certified (trust us, it’sa win). They’re also sweat-proof, quick-charge and comfy –so they’ll keep you motivated through the toughest sessions.

3. Finisterrenueuwland 3E Yulex Wetsuit

Keen to lap up the benefits of cold water swimming,but not convinced about the ‘cold water’ bit? This wetsuit is made for water temperatures of 14°C to18°C – or the Cornish sea in April – with the outside crafted from Yulex natural rubber (the performance of which matches the neoprene used in regular wetsuits) and a recycled polyester lining. The suit is ‘double-needle blind-stitched, meaning less wear and tear for a longer lifespan of making a splash.

4. AllBirds Tree Dasher Trainers

If performance is your main concern when deciding on a new pair of trainers, Allbirds can hook you up. The brand spent a year testing out its Tree Dashers to ensure maximum stability, support and a streamlined fit. And thanks to the use of natural materials such as eucalyptus and merino wool, and the company offsetting emissions by investing in CO2-absorbing projects,each pair is carbon neutral. Meaning the only footprints you'll leave is a muddy one after an off-road run.

5. Sandqvist Marta Gym Bag

Forget duffle or drawstring, this lightweight backpack– made from recycled nylon – is aesthetically sharp and prioritises function. There’s a front slip pocket for your yoga mat and an internal compartment for your laptop. When it's been well-loved, you can return it for a repair to extend its life, or hand it in for recycling in exchange for a voucher giving you 20% off your next bag. Truly built to last.

6. Sanvt Sustainable Sweatshirt

Breaking up with fast fashion has never looked so appealing. This minimalist brand focuses on producing high-quality essentials that won't fall apart within weeks, and has committed to using long-lasting biodegradable materials(rather than synthetics,which release microplastics into the water system).

Each sweater is handmade in Portugal, where the factory is run with a closed loop system (sustainable supply chains that reuse materials), preventing pollutants from escaping into nature. It’s also teamed up with Climate Partner to reforest the Bavarian mountain area. And relax.

7. Contur Smooth Move Leggings

Leggings have become the thejust-out-of-shot workwear garment of choice – and the trend is showing little sign of abating. But the majority aren't biodegradable: they’re often made from a mix of polyester, spandex and nylon that will clog up landfill for decades.

Avoid adding to it by picking up a pair from Contur: made from Econyl, they're manufactured in the UK, as opposed to overseas, reducing each pair’s carbon-emitting journey to your doorstep. Their Smooth Move style meets the two WH staffer requirements: being comfortably high-waisted and able to pass the squat test with aplomb.

8. Veja Condor 2 Running Trainers

Between the gel wrappers discarded mid-race and the relentless wash cycle of sports bras, running hasn’t always been the most eco of activities.

Enter, Veja’snew offering. An upgrade on its first ‘post-petroleum running shoe’ released in 2019, the Condor 2 is a never-so-slightly lighter trainer and all about upping the climate credentials. Made from 57% bio-based (think banana oil and sugarcane) or recycled materials, building on the first’s 53%, the new design is a stylish way to feel more planet-friendly on your daily plod.

9. Ponch Anorak

Gone are the days of donning disposable plastic to weather
a log flume at Thorpe Park. In 2021, the poncho is all grown up– and definitely not for one-time use. Made from approximately50 recycled bottles, Ponch’s breathable, water-resistant pullover packs up neatly into its own front pocket, makingit easy to bring alongon hikes, bike rides or even to your favourite festival. (Remember those?) With an adjustable capped hood and artsy print, this offers function and form rolled into one.

10. Dashel Cycle Helmet

Bike buying was right up there with sourdough baking and Zoom-enabled quizzing as a prime lockdown one cliché. And for your bod, the environment and your wallet, it’s one habit too good to quit. Dashel’s stylish helmets are handmade sustainably in the UK, with a liner and a shell that can be recycled. Fit for purpose.

11. With Every Atom Natural Rubber Mat

The days of giving the studio-issue mat a quick wipe down at the end of a class feel like a distant memory, and we suspect a BYO approach is here to stay.

So for those in the business of saluting the sun on the regular, a yoga mat is a wise investment, with Every Atom mats are made from a biodegradable tree rubber base before being heat-sealed – not glued – so they’re free of plastic-derived phthalate chemicals, which some prefer to avoid after research (mostly in animals) linked them to the development of chronic diseases and cancers. Oh, and they’re extra-long and wide, allowing lots of room for your downward dogs.

12. Tiba + Marlmiko Bumbag

Perfect for slinging over a sweatshirt on your weekly weekend walk. Perfect, too, for your longed-for – and potentially less wholesome – re-entry into society. This bumbag is more practical than most, combining slick design with wipe-clean waterproof nylon and multiple pockets to peruse.

Better yet, a proportion of the profits from each bag sold goes towards three different carbon-reduction projects, which are working to reduce global CO2 emissions, improve biodiversity and cut agricultural waste around the world. Eco points in the bag.

13. RumbleGym

London’s new fitness hangout offsets its carbon footprint by planting trees.It’s also partnered with other brands provide cruelty-free toiletries (Cowshed) and vegan protein (Form). rumble-gym.com

14. Ashtead 10K

This 10k takes place at AshteadCommon every September and hook runners up with recyclable numbers, wooden medals and local prizes. trionium.com/ashtead10k

15. Terra Hale

All three of Terra Hale’s Londongyms are free of single-use plastic, built using recycled materials and offer organic cleansing products. The spin classes run on human kinetic energy. terrahale.com

16. Good Gym

Good Gym operates community-based sweat sessions, including planting trees, gardening and helping out at food banks, which it incorporates into outdoor exercise. goodgym.org

17. Steel Warriors

Steel Warriors is a UK-based charity that melts down knives taken off the streets and uses the metal to build free outdoor community gyms. steelwarriors.co.uk

18. Super U

Super U’s Lean Protein serves up 20g of protein go and is free from sweeteners or flavourings. It’s made in the UK and, for each order, a tree is planted.

19. Motion Nutrition

Motion protein powder is organic, ethically sourced and unpronounceable nonsense-free. The packaging is recycled and the flavours are delicious.

20. Vega

Vega has optimised everything from its office to its ingredients to be as sustainable as possible. Its protein powders are vegan and free from added sugar.

21. Vivo Life

Winner of 2020’s VegfestAwards, Vivo Life is carbon neutral, thanks to its vegan protein and pledge to plant one tree per order.

22. Form

Form Performance Protein has compostable packaging with no plastic scoop. You own a spoon.

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