Long gone are the years we used to hit the gym in a baggy old t-shirt and leggings that had seen better days. Most recently, we have been in an era of slick and sleek high-tech sportswear that both compresses and lifts us where it matters, and which can double as loungewear, leisurewear, and quite possibly clubwear!
With 2024 just around the corner, we are moving into an innovative and scientifically advanced era of futuristic high-tech sportswear as more and more brands turn towards both technology and nature to help create sports clothes which are more functional and sustainable than ever. Here are four of my favourite high-tech sportswear brands to put on your radar:
UYN: Biomaterials for maximum performance
If UYN (pronounced win) is a brand you are not familiar with, it stands for Unleash Your Nature, and the Italian sportswear brand is proudly paving the way with its futuristic biotech collection, which shuns synthetic materials in favour of organic based fibres featuring extraordinary active properties.
The biomaterials used in their sportswear collection are far superior than synthetics in terms of sweat absorption, strength, and odour reduction. UYN eschews uncomfortable and restrictive seams to give you total freedom of movement. Coolvents are built into t-shirts to help you stay cool while you warm up, along with heatmemory fabrics to help you stay warm during rest periods. UYN even has its own research centre in Italy where every single item is rigorously tried and tested to ensure you can reach your maximum performance while wearing them.
Up.: Sportswear that you can wear for longer
UP. is an activewear brand on a mission to keep you feeling dry and smelling fresh while you work up a sweat. Their slogan is ‘Wear More. Wash Less’ as it is better for both the environment and your utility bills.
UP. utilises drirelease fabrics to efficiently pull moisture and perspiration away from your skin and push it to the exterior of the fabric where it can evaporate quickly. They also have a Zero-Odour Range, which is designed to be worn multiple times between washes, thanks to their Polygiene StayFresh technology that actively combats the growth of nasty bacteria. The Zero-Odour Range comes with the added assurance that once bacteria come into contact with the fabric, they are permanently neutralised.
Wellicious: Compostable and circular sportswear
For anyone who cares about the planet as much as their sportswear, look no further than sustainable and circular yoga-wear brand, Wellicious. The entire Wellicious collection is made using organic, circular, Cradle to Cradle Certified materials and environmentally friendly production processes.
Wellicious products are made using an innovative future-fit biodegradable elastane fibre, which decomposes without releasing any harmful substances into the environment (which is a breakthrough for the sustainable fashion industry!).
Impressively, when you are finished with a Wellicious item and it is ready to be returned to the earth (thereby closing its materials’ loop), you can send it back to Wellicious in exchange for a 10% discount on your next purchase. In doing so, they will ensure the biodegrading process is optimised with the help of a scientific team so that no trace of your item is left behind, and the products decompose into biological nutrients, becoming biomass and food for other organisms.
Adidas: Reactive support sportswear
Adidas recently launched its Adizero Control collection, which includes sportswear pieces containing RHEON technology, to help you reduce wasted energy and maximise your running performance.
The futuristic RHEON material ensures that energy is not lost by positioning your muscles into the most efficient position, so more energy is directed into performance. Like running on wet sand, it only hardens under impact, then returns to being soft and pliable.
The collection is perfect if you want to level-up your performance with clothing that helps you harness the full potential of your muscle movements.
Born in Hong Kong and based in London, Sarah Highfield is a leading international yoga teacher and writer. Follow her on Instagram: @SarahHighfield
Looking for more advice on sportswear? Read more about the best ways to wash your gym kit here.