Athleta: New Line of Conscious Garments

For Athleta, Gap Inc.'s women's fitness apparel brand, the new year meant a heightened commitment to sustainability. A new partnership with Fair Trade USA brought us a new line of garments that create social good and protect the planet. 

Fair Trade Certified garments

The socially responsible initiative is just like Patagonia's Fair Trade Certified program (see blog post). Athleta is now contracting with Fair Trade Certified Factories and paying an additional premium for each garment they produce. The premiums go into a collective bank account of the workers from each factory. Together, they decide how to use the funding. The program just launched in 2017, so it's too early to tell how the funding will be used. Nonetheless, the program aims to improve livelihoods and morale.

The first line of Fair Trade Certified garments consists of more than 20 tights and tops. When shopping online, look for a small Fair Trade logo on the bottom right of the products, just like the one on the cover photo.

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Recycled & Sustainable Fabrics

Athleta also made an important decision about the fabrics and materials that go into the garments. Recycled and sustainable fabrics that protect the planet's natural resources will be used more often. So far, Athleta offers 75 items made from recycled polyester and organic cotton.

Recycled polyester is sourced from plastic rather than petroleum, so it reduces waste and the use of natural resources. Similarly, organic cotton is good for us and the earth. Organic cotton is not treated with pesticides, which protect our skin and reduce land pollution.

No matter how small these changes are within the Gap Inc. empire, it's a meaningful move forward. When large-scale brands make decisions like these, there's even greater pressure for competitors to do the same and keep up. I'm excited for what will come next for Athleta, and most importantly, for the family of other Gap Inc. brands. 

Photos: IG @athleta

Anairis Hinojosa