If there’s a look that’s defined 2020 so far, it’s the sweatsuit. At first, it was something of a humbling, democratic unifier: In March, we were all curled up on the couch, too overwhelmed by anxiety and news alerts to reach for anything but the frayed sweatshirts and stretched-out pants we’ve owned for who knows how long. The concept of a “work-from-home wardrobe” had yet to crystallize.
By April and May, things looked a lot different. With remote work and social distancing in effect for a few more months (or, for some, closer to a year), apparel spending picked up—particularly on that couch-friendly loungewear. We convinced ourselves that we needed some new leggings, and maybe a matching sweatshirt-jogger set, or maybe five sets. They were an easy sell because they checked every box in our consumer conscience: practical, comfortable, and, in many cases, quite affordable. Or not—the range in price and prestige is eye-popping when it comes to sweats. You can buy a full tie-dyed set on Amazon for $30 or a Loro Piana cashmere zip-up for just under $2,000.
In between, there are roughly one zillion options, and it’s safe to say many of them weren’t made with integrity. If, in the spring, we saw sweatshirts as outliers in our closets, one-off cheap thrills to help us survive quarantine, their permanence in our wardrobe suggests we should be as thoughtful about them as anything else we buy. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you there are plenty of cozy, well-made options in the sea of questionable poly-blends—and we’ve outlined the best ones here.
Maggie Marilyn’s new Somewhere sport line is made of organic cotton on a traceable supply chain, for instance; Pangaia’s sweats are made with recycled cotton and eco-friendly dyes; Entireworld uses recycled polyester stretch; and Girlfriend Collective’s joggers and pullovers are made from post-consumer plastic bottles. When you’ve thoroughly worn them out, you can even send them back to be recycled through its take-back program, ReGirlfriend. Shop these and more of the best sustainable sweats, below.