By: Makayla Archer
Growing up as an athlete was always tasking. Your body is constantly asking more from you, and you’re doing the best you can to treat it with patience and kindness. You train for hours on end to get one play right. It’s a constant go-go-go with little time to recover.
My training playbook looks like a morning lift, ice bath, shower, food, physical therapy, school, work, yoga, sleep, and repeat with slight changes day to day. It’s a lot on paper and it’s a lot in real life, but as time goes on, you get used to the routine of it all.
Throughout high school and now in college, my biggest struggle when it comes to my training routine is not the demand I’m putting on my body, but the amount of waste I generate because of my training.
Clothing, lifting shoes, pre-workout, post-workout supplements, training gloves, compressive sleeves, sweatbands, chalk, vitamins, protein powder, resistance bands, ice bags, water bottles, KT Tape, and the list goes on and on.
There are so many items and products that are needed to ensure success as an athlete. In the athletic world, there are many sustainable options on the market now, but because of the small size of the target market, sustainable athletes, finding those options can be harder than necessary.
I’m here to let you know the products that I’ve found that have greatly minimized the waste I produce while also saving my bank account.
My two favorite athleticwear brands at the moment are Girlfriend Collective and Organic Basics.
Girlfriend Collective is my go-to when it comes to sports bras and compressive leggings. Not only are they EXTREMELY transparent about their supply chain and fabric composition, but they go above and beyond with every point of production. As a fair-trade and slow fashion company, they pride themselves on their ability to produce quality products while prioritizing the good of the Earth and its people. Slow fashion focuses on minimizing the number of products the company produces rather than overproducing in short cycles.
Organic Basics is my favorite place to get socks and workout tees. They are GOTS-certified, which is a textile production certification that limits the use of toxic bleaches, dyes and other chemical inputs during the production process of textiles. They also give back to charity with every purchase. While Organic Basics offers products with a higher price point, I can attest that their products legitimately last so- freaking- long. For a girl that works out on the daily and goes hard every time… I would say spending the extra couple dollars will be absolutely worth it.
There are a ton of brands to choose from when it comes to supps, but I would suggest buying powders or capsules and BUY THEM IN BULK. Avoid anything that comes pre-made as a drink to prevent wasting single-use plastics. DEVA has been my brand of choice as of recent. All their products are vegan and cruelty-free.
I will always be an advocate for Nalgene. Although the bottles are made with hard plastic, I’ve had my blue and green Nalgene going on 7 years now and she has yet to fail me. All bottles are produced in the United States and are BPA-Free. They also recently started producing all their bottles with 50% recycled materials. It is super easy to track how much water you’re consuming when you use this bottle. Plus, you can add your favorite travel stickers on the outside to make it a little more personal to you.
I think that ice bags are probably the biggest point of waste for most athletes. I use an Elitehood Ice Cold Pack. You can put both hot and cold water/ice in the bag before using, and I’ve had mine for 4 years now, so the product definitely lasts. You can get a set on Amazon for $15.99 and never worry about the single-use plastic waste again.
Although these are only a few sustainable solutions to an athlete’s routine, these simple fixes can really minimize the amount of waste you’re producing throughout your training. Plus, who doesn’t love saving money, too?
Cover photo courtesy of Makayla Archer