Sustainable active wear review – Part 2

Girl sitting in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Girl sitting in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Girl sitting in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Girl standing in front of an arch mirror wearing Boody racer back sports crop top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Girl sitting in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Image of pointed feet in mirror. Sustainable activewear review, sustainable brands, minimalist fashion, minimal wardrobe, capsule wardrobe.
Girl sitting in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands
Girl standing in front of a mirror wearing Boody active wear tank top and Dharma Bums black 7/8 scallop leggings. Sustainable activewear review, minimalist active wear, sustainable brands

Apologises for the slight delay in part 2 of this blog post series where I review a few sustainable active wear brands I’ve recently bought from (you can find part 1 here). I meant to post it over the weekend but sometimes even the best laid plans run off schedule. I hope you can forgive the few days delay.

Today, I’ll be review Boody and Dharma Bums. As mentioned in part 1, I have been very kindly been given a t-shirt, bodysuit and PJ set from Boody as gifts/pr products and have been given a 15% off discount code, BRIDIE LEAH (just in case you were interested in trying this brand). However, it’s a brand I really love and have personally bought pieces from, including the active wear the subject of this review. Any opinions of this review are my own.

Boody
Design

One of the things that Boody excels at is creating high quality sustainable basics and their active wear is no exception. Their brand focuses on a collection of classic wardrobe staples. So, while you will not find a huge variety of patterns, colours and styles, their designs are timeless and well made. Both of the active wear pieces that I tried, the Racerback Sports Bra and the RacerBack Tank, were super comfortable and go well with the rest of my active wear capsule. I bought these pieces in black but the sports bra is also available in olive or black with a silver stripe and the racerback tank is also available in olive, white and grey.

One of the things I like about Boody is that its products, including its active wear, are predominately made from Bamboo which is naturally organic (some products are made from an organic bamboo, organic cotton and elastane blend). The benefit of natural fabrics is that are more breathable and biodegrade as compared to their synthetic counterparts. 

While many sustainable active wear brands incorporate natural fibres into their collections I’ve noticed leggings or sports crops are often made out of recycled fabrics/plastic bottles. This is also an amazing, sustainable option as it as it recycles waste which would otherwise end up in landfill (although it’s good to wash them in a guppy bag – something I actually need to buy – to prevent micro fibre pollution when washing).  However, if you are interested in breathable active wear predominately made from natural fibres (they contain some elastane) Boody can help you out there. 

Fit

I’ve tried a number of pieces from Boody now. I usually wear an XS and all of their pieces have been true to size.

Cost

Boody has very cost effective prices. The sports bra and running tank each cost me $39.95 and their leggings (which I haven’t tried) come in at $69.95. Price can sometimes be a barrier when it comes to purchasing sustainable products. However, I’ve been impressed by how comparable cost-wise these four sustainable brands have been to their regular counterparts.

Sustainability

Boody is rated “Good” on the brand rating app Good on You. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this rating and information was last updated in November 2019, as opposed to Good on You’s review of Dharma Bums which was updated in March 2021, and brands can change and grow significantly in a two year period (on that note I went back and checked Good on You’s rating of DK Active which was also last updated in August 2019 so something to bear in mind when reading my review of that brand in part 1) . Like DK Active and Dharma Bums, it is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified which means that its fabrics are free from harmful chemicals. 

As mentioned above, its products are predominately made from organic bamboo which is a fast growing, sustainable source and their Bamboo is EcoCert certified and harvested from FSC certified fields. They are also PETA-Approved vegan.

While, Good on You states “there is no evidence [Boody] reduces its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions” but reduces water consumption, no evidence does not mean that they don’t take steps to do this.  While I couldn’t seen anything about specifically about carbon emissions on Boody’s website they do quantify their “positive impact” ( being the driving emissions, LED bulb energy, drinking water and area of land farmed without pesticides saved) both overall here and on a per product basis.  They also give back 1% of each product sold to sustainable not-for-profits.

They also have some great ethical initiatives. According to Good on You, their factories are certified by the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production  (a not-for-profit of “global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing”). They provide workers with a living wage and responsible hours and have a Code of Conduct available on their website.

Their packaging comprises of post-consumer waste cardboard,  vegetable inks, biodegradable bags. They reduce the garment’s fabric waste through a special cutting technique.

Summary

As mentioned above, Boody has generously gifted some of their items and have given me a discount code to share. However, they are also a brand I genuinely like and would recommend. I think you would like this brand if you’re looking for active wear which is:

    • Design: Simple, classic designs, comfort and breathable natural fabrics. 
    • Fit: True to size
    • Cost: Low to mid price range
    • Sustainability and ethics: An ethical brand that treats workers fairly, has a code of conduct available on their website for added transparency, a brand which stocks sustainable and organic fabrics, a brand which has a range of great sustainability initiatives  (including biodegradable packaging and donating 1% to the planet), promotes inclusivity, are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and vegan. 

They may not be for you if you are looking for a range of patterns, colours and designs (in which case I suggest checking out DK Active, Dharma Bums or Adidas).

Sources: 

    1. Boody About Us page, Certifications page,  Sustainability page, Code of Conduct, 1% for the Planet page
    2. Good on You
    3. Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production
Dharma Bums
Design

I bought Dharma Bum’s 7/8 scollop leggings in black. As I mentioned in part 1 of this review, I chose pieces based around a neutral colour palette that I could easily mix and match and I loved how the scalloped edge added an understated, but pretty design feature to a pair of classic black leggings. Unfortunately, it seems that this design is no longer available but this brands creates other black leggings with similar laser detailing (for example, I love the beautiful design of their dark stair foil leggings here). Dharma Bums also creates some beautiful patterned designs which are dyed in an eco friendly manner.

The fabric around the waistline of these leggings was great – thick and substantial enough to hug my waistline without being constricting. The fabric in the legging part was more light weight than I initially expected. However, after wearing them a few times the tights I don’t feel that the fabric is flimsy and they felt comfortable and nice to wear. I’ve only worn them a few times and so can’t comment on durability but Dharma Bum’s website states that their clothes have been designed “to last the distance” and a light weight fabric doesn’t necessarily mean its less durable. However, this might be something to keep in mind if you prefer thicker fabric for your active wear tights.

Fit

My usual size, XS, was a good fit.  I was also impressed by Dharma Bums’ size inclusive range which ran from an XXS to an XXL.

Cost

I paid $80 full priced for this pair (I think some of their pairs are currently on sale) which I thought was pretty reasonable for active wear tights when compared to other active wear brands.

Sustainability

Dharma Bums is a sustainable active wear brand based in Sydney and is rated “Great” (the highest rating) on Good On You.

They have some great sustainability initiatives. They use cotton, lending modal (made from beechwood) and fabrics made from recycled water bottles in their products. Their leggings, in particular, are made from recycled water bottles which as I mentioned above is a fantastic way of re-using single use plastics. I love how the dyes and process for their designs are eco friendly.

I ordered these items from The Iconic rather than directly from Dharma Bums and so the outer layer of packaging came in The Iconic’s postal bag which was recyclable but not compostable. However, the inside layer – the Dharma Bums’ packaging – was a compostable/biodegradable bag. Like Boody and DK Active their range is vegan. Not only are they OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified but are also OEKO-TEX Made in Green certified which means that a item is tested in accordance with the Standard 100 certification and allows you to trace where the garment was made through a unique number allowing for added transparency.

Their clothes are also produced ethically in factories which meet the Business Social Compliance Initiative’s (BSCI) auditing and reporting framework. According to Good on You they audit and trace “most of their supply chain” and in the final production phase workers are provided a living wage.

Summary

This was my first experiencing purchasing from Dharma Bums and I’m definitely keen to try out a few of their other pieces. I also particularly love the sustainability initiatives that they are taking and the fact that it’s a local Sydney business. I think you’ll love their products if you’re looking for:

    • Design: cute designs in a range of patterns and colours or plain tights with subtle detailing.
    • Cost: active wear in the mid price range.
    • Fit: The one piece I bought from them was true to size and they seem to be a size inclusive brand which goes from an xxs to an xxl.
    • Sustainability and ethics: An ethical brand, a brand which stocks sustainable fabrics, practices eco friendly dying processes and has implemented sustainability initiatives, a brand that promotes inclusivity, are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified and OEKO-TEX Made in Green certified and vegan.

Sources: 

    1. Dharma Bums, Ethics page, Sustainability page, Recycling page
    2. Good on You
    3. OEKO-TEK Made in Green

Stay tuned this weekend for part 3 where I review Adidas.

I’d love to know whether you’ve tried any of these brands? Do you have any favourite active wear brands or sustainable active wear brands? 

Wearing: Boody racerback tank, racerback sports bra (both in black) and Dharma Bums leggings (similar, here).

Photos: oh the joys of self timer.

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