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A lot of the materials you’ll find in your Gymshark clothes are synthetic, like nylon, polyester and elastane. These are great for gym wear, because they’re breathable, quick-drying and stretchy. But, they do have an impact on our planet. Synthetic means that these materials are made from fossil fuels, which result in high carbon emissions and will eventually run out.

We also use natural fibres grown from renewable sources, like cotton. But, although its renewable, cotton impacts the environment in other ways. It needs large amounts of water, uses harmful chemicals, and uses up a lot of land.

In fact, when you look at the textiles sector’s overall carbon emissions, over 70% of them are due to the production and manufacturing process of the raw materials.

So, to make our products more sustainable, we’re working to use materials that don’t totally rely on fossil fuels, replacing new resources with ones that are more renewable, recycled, and organic.

We’ve committed to increase our use of recycled fibres and synthetic fibres that are manufactured from renewable raw materials, to reduce our use of new synthetic fibres, and to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. These commitments are all part of our work with WRAP’s Textiles 2030 initiative, where we’re focusing on increasing our products’ sustainability to take action on climate change.

Want to know more? Let’s take a closer look at our materials.

Rail of elevate leggings


We’ve joined the Textile Exchange 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge, where we’ve committed to using 100% recycled polyester in our products by 2025.

To do this, we’ll be using post-consumer recycled polyester, which comes from waste PET bottles. These are sorted, washed, crushed into pellets and then made into new polyester yarns.

Our first choice would be to get recycled polyester from textile waste, but the tech for this is still pretty limited and hard to get hold of. In the future though, we’re aiming to switch to this kind of recycled polyester. This will help us achieve a closed-loop system, diverting clothes from becoming waste and turning them back into new clothes. And how will we get the polyester from the textile waste?

Well, it’ll probably be done through chemical recycling, using chemicals to separate the polyester from the other materials. Then, it’ll be turned back into its original state so it’s ready to make new clothes again.

Pair of Vital 2.0 seamless leggings


Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to source recycled nylon than recycled polyester. But, we’re working to increase our use of preferred nylon.

And what’s that?

For Gymshark, preferred nylon means recycled nylon (pre-consumer or post-consumer) or nylon that comes from renewable raw materials, a definition that’s in line with the Textile Exchange Preferred Fibres. Post-consumer recycled nylon comes from a chemical recycling process, recovering fish nets or carpets for example.

Gymshark athlete modelling rest day collection


According to WWF, cotton is the most widespread profitable non-food crop in the world and it provides 7% of employment in developing countries. However, when we look at sustainability, there are quite a few risks and challenges to do with its growth and production.

From an environmental point of view, cotton uses a lot of water for growth. It also needs lots of chemicals like pesticides, which creates health risks and issues around their use and management.

And, from an ethical point of view, there can be issues around forced labour, child labour and human rights.

To address these problems:

  • We work closely with our materials suppliers and expect them to continue tracking the origin of the cotton that’s used in our products.
  • We are running a pilot with the US Cotton Trust Protocol to expand and research other ways to trace the origin of cotton.
  • We require a clear chain of custody and we don’t allow cotton to be sourced from countries at high risk of forced labour issues.

We’re aiming to reduce the social and environmental impact of cotton growth and production by sourcing these preferred cotton fibres, which are both included in the Textile Exchange Sustainable Cotton Matrix.


Gymshark is a member of Better Cotton and has been sourcing Better Cotton as a preferred fibre since 2020. They work with farmers around the world and provide training on best practices for cotton growth and production. And, in order to be licensed to sell Better Cotton, the growers must meet the Better Cotton minimum social and environmental requirements.


The US Cotton Trust Protocol is voluntary for US cotton growers, and looks at 6 key sustainability metrics at farm level: land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency. It focuses on continual improvement and promoting best management practices and is setting a new standard for more sustainably grown cotton.

We have started a pilot with the US Cotton Trust to increase transparency using blockchain technology. This kind of tech makes it difficult to change any of the data once it’s been recorded, which means it’s ideal for maintaining transparency when tracing the origin of the cotton we use.

Elevate sports bras


Elastane is a key fibre in gym wear, because it’s light, durable and super stretchy. It’s added in small amounts to a fabric to give clothes enough stretch. However, it also makes clothes hard to recycle because it’s difficult to separate elastane from the main material. We’re going to look at other options and alternative materials as part of our commitment to textiles 2030, including the use of bio-based and biodegradable elastane, this would all help increase the recyclability of our products.

textile exchange

Vital 2.0 seamless sports bras

Helping the textile industry create a more sustainable future

Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that’s helping brands, retailers, manufactures, farmers, and others to drive positive action on climate change. They provide tools, resources, and initiatives to help members find the next step in their sustainability journey.

As well as collecting and publishing critical industry data and insights on materials, Textile Exchange has also developed leading industry standards that help the industry make changes for a more sustainable future.


We joined Textile Exchange as part of our goal to wear more, waste less. We know we need to collaborate so we can help to transform the textile industry, together. We started reporting against our use of materials and our sustainability strategy in 2021.

We also take part in the Textile Exchange Material Change Index. In 2021 we received a Level 4 (Leading) in Cotton, and a Level 3 (Maturing) in Polyester and Nylon. Not sure what that means? You can find all the info on our scores here.

Finally, along with other brands, we joined the 2025 Recycled Polyester Challenge, where we’ve committed to use 100% recycled polyester by 2025.