Sustainable swaps for fitness

Welcome to the next instalment in our greener living series. Every month, hush’s Ethical and Sustainability Coordinator (AKA Sustainable Steph) will be suggesting some simple, everyday swaps we can all make to be kinder to the planet

We’ve swapped plastic straws for metal ones, bought a reusable coffee cup in a cute design and, heck, some of us have even started our own compost heaps (dig for environmental victory and all that). Now, it’s time for us to turn our sustainable attention to greening up our workout routines.

We all know how good exercise is for both your physical and mental health. Whether you’re a 10k runner or a Sunday yogi, getting your body moving in a way that you enjoy is so important. But, while we’re focusing on getting fit and healthy, how often do we really think about the environmental impact of our workout routines?

Luckily, Sustainable Steph is on hand to share what’s in in her kit bag to keep those Pilates classes planet friendly. From doing a (kind of) perfect downward dog on an eco-friendly yoga mat to crawling towards a reusable water bottle after a particularly brutal spin session, here are her suggestions.

Cork Space yoga mat

“This is my dream yoga mat. It’s made from natural rubber and cork, both of which are biodegradable materials. The amazing thing about cork is the tree doesn’t have to be cut down to harvest it. Instead, the tree bark is stripped and then it grows back ready for the next harvest.”

Guppyfriend

“Unfortunately, we aren’t at a place yet where washing machines come with built-in microplastic filters – and a lot of workout clothes contain microplastics! So, until then, I’m washing all my synthetic workout gear in a Guppyfriend bag to prevent the pesky particles from getting into waterways.”

Primal Suds body wash

“Sometimes my favourite part of a workout is the shower afterwards – particularly after a sweaty HIIT class! I like to reward myself for all that hard work with a super indulgent body wash bar. My favourite is the Bare Coconut bar from Primal Suds –  and, of course, they’re all plastic free.”

One Green Bottle

“I think we’ve got the memo that single-use plastic is bad news, so a reusable water bottle is definitely the way to go. This one by One Green Bottle has a built-in straw, making it perfect for easily quenching your thirst during a hard session!”

Protein bars

“To reduce plastic waste while increasing your protein intake (those muscles won’t grow themselves!), why not try batch-making your own protein bars and freezing them? I love this recipe from Almost Zero Waste because it’s so easy. And if you’re in a bit of a rush and need to grab something on the go, step away from the plastic and opt for paper wrapped Yes! Bars, instead. The combination of dark chocolate and sea salt is one of my all-time favourites!”

Planet friendly deodorant

“It’s hard to find a natural deodorant that performs under pressure, but Fearne Cotton agrees with me that this one from Natural Deodorant Co. does the trick! Instead of a roll-on or block, it’s a balm that you apply before working out and it keeps you feeling fresh and dry. The fragrance is absolutely lovely, too.”

Animal print crop top and matching leggings

“I love our new activewear collection because not only is it designed in signature hush prints (hello, animal patterns and stars!) but the fabric is made from recycled nylon waste, which comes from discarded fishing nets. Cleaning the oceans while looking fab and getting healthy? Yes please!”

All illustrations by hush's own Michael Long