Guys cycling in mountains in ethical cycling clothing

Epic biking: 10 best brands for ethical cycling clothing UK

A great way to get around, to stay in shape and a fun, quite addictive, pastime, it is no wonder that cycling is so popular. A much more environmentally friendly transport option than driving, cycling is often a favourite of the conscious consumer. Finding ethical cycling clothing in the UK can make this an even more sustainable mode of transportation.

The conventional cycling clothing market relies heavily on synthetic fabrics. These fabrics are often designed to be moisture wicking to keep the wearer feeling cool and comfortable.

However, while these fabrics may be good for performance wear, they are not good for the environment. Contributing to the 70 million barrels of oil used to make synthetic clothing each year and a culprit of microplastic shedding, conventional cycling clothing is not nearly as sustainable as the pastime it helps promote.

Sustainable Fabric for ethical cycling

As it’s performance wear, sustainable cycling clothing still needs to meet performance requirements. This complicates the fabric options available to ethical brands. Organic cotton, for example, a common component in the sustainable fashion market, doesn’t have the same moisture wicking properties as its synthetic counterparts.

As such, synthetics are still commonly used in the sustainable cycling sector, however, these are recycled and innovative fabrics. Rather than being made from virgin oil, these materials can be made from recycled plastic bottles, fishing nets and other waste. This doesn’t solve the microplastic problem, but it does still have an effect on the overall environmental impact of a garment.

Read our article on recycled polyester for more information. And to learn more about microplastics and what you can do to reduce them, check out our article here.

Merino wool is also common in the sustainable cycling clothing market. Merino wool is naturally odour resistant, breathable and has absorption qualities. Being a natural product, it also doesn’t shed microplastics, however, if buying a merino wool garment shoppers should check the label’s certifications and supply chains to ensure it was sourced from ethical farms.

Girl cycling down hill in UK in ethical cycling clothing
Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

Best UK Ethical Cycling Clothing Brands

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So, to make your next ride a sustainable one, these are some of the best cycling clothing brands around that are looking out for people and the planet.

Price Guide:
£: styles averaging under £50
££: styles averaging between £50 and £100
£££: styles averaging over £100

For the majority of brands, base-layers are under £50, while jerseys and bib shorts are over £65

1.

Silou

Based: UK                       Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Europe
Range: Activewear and spin clothing
Price: £
Sustainability creds: 1% for the Planet member, Oeko-Tex Certified fabrics

Silou’s dedicated spin range is where fashion and performance wear meet. With styles in olive green and dawn pink, Silou is making a morning bike ride or spin class a fashionable affair.

The brand uses seasonless designs and sustainable fabrics to produce eco-friendly products and embraces an attitude of giving back, as shown with its 1% for the Planet membership. 

2.

Vaude 

Based: Germany                      Ships to: Internationally
Range: Cycling clothing and equipment
Price: £
Sustainability creds: Sustainable materials, climate neutral, recycled materials, partnered with Fair Wear

Vaude has ethical cycling clothing for whether you are wanting to cycle the mountains or the morning commute. Offering climate neutral products featuring recycled materials and an enviable amount of pockets, Vaude cycling kit is sure to become an instant favourite.

This is a brand that is bringing the spirit of the mountains to every cycling adventure. Vaude is available to UK shoppers through a number of stockists and through Amazon where there are some more affordable options too.

3.

Futurum

Based: Netherlands                       Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Europe  
Range: Mens and women’s cycling clothing
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: Plastic-free packaging, natural and recycled materials

With strategic reinforcements and high quality materials, Futurum products are built to last. The brand’s range of cycling clothing uses a high proportion of merino wool that it states is sourced with animal welfare in mind. Naturally biodegradable, merino wool product minimises the microplastic shedding of Futurum clothing.

With a sustainable outlook, even the packaging Futurum uses is plastic-free.

Cyclist in beautiful countryside
Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

4.

Presca

Based: UK                        Ships to: Internationally
Made in: UK and Europe
Range: Men’s and women’s cycling clothing and sportswear
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: Offsetting initiatives, sustainable packaging, recycled fabrics, 1% for the Planet Member

Coming in sleek monochrome tones or warm, bright yellows, Presca cycling clothing is built to be repairable and durable, making it a dependable investment. The brand incorporates recycled fabrics and fibres in all of its products and offsets through Greenstory and Eden Reforestation Projects.

With features such as breathable side panels and ample pockets, this cycling gear has everything you need for an epic ride.

5.

Grity

Based: UK                       Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Europe
Range: Men’s and women’s cycling clothing
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: Sustainable packaging, use of recycled materials, renewable energy factories

Adorned with polka dots or vibrant red hues designed to bring attention to the warming of the planet, cycling kit from Grity’s brings a splash of colour and a worthwhile message to your next cycling adventure. 

With moisture wicking fabric, reinforced pockets and made from recycled materials in a renewable energy powered factory, Grity’s cycling gear is not only eye-catching but sustainable as well.

6.

Howies

Based: UK                     Ships to: Internationally
Range: Cycling and outdoor clothing
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: PFC Free (a compound commonly used in waterproofing that impacts the environment), Oeko-Tex Certified materials, sustainable fabrics

Howies has been making low-impact, high-quality clothing since the 90s. These veterans of the industry have perfected their gear to create award-winning products utilising organic, natural and recycled fabrics.

With a range of base layers that provide maximum comfort and select cycling jacket styles, you can’t go wrong with a Howie’s product.

Cyccling in the UK in ethical cycling clothing
Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

7.

Matchy

Based: France                      Ships to: Internationally
Range: Men’s and women’s cycling clothing
Price: ££
Sustainability creds: Bluesign Certified, GRS Certified, Oeko-Tex Certified, SCS Certified.

From base layers sporting slogans to bibs in fashionable colours, Matchy has cycling clothing with style. The brand uses sustainable packaging, recycled materials and even plants a tree in the Amazon for every order placed on the site.

Operating with an attitude to reuse, reduce and recycle, Matchy is always striving to make the world a cleaner place.

8.

Patagonia

Based: USA                       Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Global supply chains
Range: Adventure clothing
Price: £££
Sustainability creds: 1% for the Planet Member, Fair Trade products, B Corp certified, Bluesign Certified

The home of adventure wear, Patagonia’s cycling range doesn’t disappoint. While not exclusively a mountain bike clothing brand, Patagonia does have a dedicated mountain biking range. Patagonia’s clever clothing is sure to keep you warm, comfortable and ready for any adventure.

One of the original sustainable adventure wear companies, Patagonia works with environmental activism projects and is part of 1% for the Planet.

9.

Universal Colours 

Based: UK                     Ships to: Internationally
Made in: China, Taiwan and Europe
Range: Men’s and women’s cycling styles
Price: £££
Sustainability creds: Bluesign certified factory, 1% for the Planet, use of recycled and sustainable materials

As the name may suggest, Universal Colours is bringing a colourful approach to the cycling clothes market. From spring green jerseys to the brand’s ‘spectrum’ range featuring multi-coloured styles, Universal Colours is sure to brighten up any ride.

Through its membership of 1% for the Planet the brand demonstrates an attitude of giving back and works with a Bluesign accredited factory.

Cycling outdoors
Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash

10.

Isadore

Based: Slovakia                        Ships to: Internationally
Made in: Slovakia, USA, Czech Republic, Portugal, Italy, Lithuania
Range: Men’s and women’s cycling clothing
Price: £££
Sustainability creds: Bluesign Certified Fabrics, OEKO-TEX certified fabrics

Isadore creates high-performance cycling wear with the attitude of finding calm solutions to the climate crisis. It has everything from jerseys to gloves available and offers clothing designed for every weather condition.

The brand takes an active approach to sustainable production, using recycled and natural materials and offering consumers an in-depth look at its sustainable policies and supply chain.

Cycling Through a Sustainable World

As cycling is a sport that largely takes place outdoors, it makes sense that it should be an activity that works to protect nature. While clothing must meet certain performance-based requirements, advances in recycled textiles are making sustainable performance wear all the more possible.

Brands bringing ethical cycling clothing to the UK are helping to support a nature-first attitude and ensuring that the cyclists of tomorrow have a world that is just as beautiful to enjoy as today.

If you don’t only love cycling and would like some recommendations for ethical running shoes or activewear, check out our articles!

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