Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, the activewear you choose can hugely impact your workout experience. This is why, when buying activewear, there are certain key things to look out for to ensure you get the most out of your purchase. The five most important of these are breathability, flexibility, durability, quality and sustainability. By keeping these factors in mind, you can find the perfect activewear to support your active lifestyle.
Have you ever felt like your sweat is trapped underneath your clothing, making you even sweatier? This is where breathability is important for activewear: the more breathable a fabric is, the more it’s able to absorb and release that moisture outwards and away from the body.
Look for items made from cotton, polyester and nylon, such as Copenhagen Cartel’s ECONYL® recycled nylon fabric for ultimate breathability.
You don’t want your clothes to slide off your body as you work out, so soft, stretchy materials that retain their shaping effect when you move, and features such as a high waist and thicker waistband, are the best choices for flexibility.
‘I’m very impressed with this brand, not just from a sustainability point of view, but also from a wearability point of view,’ said Cape Talk presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen about the flexibility of her Copenhagen Cartel leggings. ‘The material is squat-proof, providing perfect muscular compression.’
If you don’t want your activewear to fade and lose its shape after a few washes, you’ll want to ensure it’s durable. This depends to a large extent on the materials chosen for the item, such as the ECONYL® recycled fabric Copenhagen Cartel uses in its activewear.
In a similar vein to durability, the quality of an item will determine how well it will last and serve you in your workouts. Will it retain its integrity after loads of wear and washing? Is your activewear going to withstand excessive sweat and movement? Here, you’ll want to ensure that the activewear you buy is made of high-quality materials, has an adequate thickness that isn’t see-through and is made with care.
Finding the perfect activewear doesn’t have to come at a cost to the planet. Many brands source their materials sustainably, leaning away from traditional synthetic materials that are water, energy and carbon intensive. Sustainability is at the core of the Copenhagen Cartel brand: through its use of recycled plastic, the brand is combatting ocean pollution by reducing the amount of plastic in our seas, thereby helping to preserve and save our precious marine life.
Functionality and versatility
An additional benefit of activewear, and one that is often overlooked, is its diverse functionality. If you find an activewear piece that’s both beautiful to look at and of high quality, you can wear it for more than just workouts. Stylish activewear is perfect for your day-to-day activities, enjoying a meal at a restaurant or even for a night out, paired with a leather jacket and heels.
And, as Liezel van der Westhuizen says, ‘What better conversation starter is there than, “Hey, I’m wearing old fishing nets, and look how great I look in them!”?’
Ticking all these boxes (and more) is Copenhagen Cartel, a Danish sustainable activewear and swimwear brand that has recently expanded its international reach into South Africa, with a store in Cape Town and another opening soon in Johannesburg.