With athletic, yoga and activewear brands popping up all over the place, I have decided it was time to do a little research and compile my top 5 best activewear brands for Girls/Juniors, based on rising popularity as well as style, overall quality, value (not to read “Cheap”) and yes, company integrity. Perhaps that’s one of the last things most consumers think about when choosing a product but when it comes to the whole mind, body spirit apparel market, I think it’s fitting. Don’t you?
According to the NPD Group reports, while comfort/fit/quality seems to be less important than that of adults’ activewear, that could be viewed as an opportunity for sports specialty retailers and brands to educate Moms that “hey, your kids need high quality apparel for athletic activities, too! (which means, no Target or Wal-Mart Athletic wear) Before you start sending me hate mails about expensive clothing and how kids grow out of it too fast, consider that the fabrics of GOOD activewear not only stretch, allowing plenty of wear time before they are too small, but are higher quality (which means, they hold up after more than 2 washings). There’s a reason a pair of legging from Wal-Mart,Target or Old Navy are only $9.99. Cheap (sweatshop) labor and cheap materials. In fact, in some developing countries, an estimated 250 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work.
On a personal level, I am partial to USA made apparel, eco-friendly, start-ups, independent designers and brands that are looking at a bigger picture, rather than just profits. I have, however, considered all opinions and I am a lover of great design and current trends, so..I compiled this list based on many average consumer factors and overall design quality. So, here I list the Top 5 Best Activewear brands for Girls, Tweens and Teens.
1. Nike – Nike is hands down the most popular activewear for teens, ranking in at 70% of all activewear brands purchased. We all know, love and trust Nike. It has been around since 1964 and has been in the forefront of design and innovation. They do have giving back programs also, such as their community outreach with The Nike Foundation and sustainability. Since 2010, NIKE, Inc. has transformed the equivalent of more than two billion plastic bottles into high-performance gear.
2. Forever 21 slays again with on-point styles and super affordable prices for teens on a budget! In fact, the F21 activewear collection is so #goals, I should devote an entire post just for them.
Pictured: Active Stripe Pants, Forever21
3. Lululemon/Ivivva is truly one of the most popular brands on the market today in activewear – for Moms and now Tweens with the Ivivva line. Lululemon does have The Metta Movement, which gives funds to their stores, area managers and brand ambassadors to launch or support projects that contribute to social and environmental health.
4. Under Armour Girls – The girls Under Armour collection is great because it’s filled with fitness as well as outdoor staples for cold weather. It’s the activewear that really performs, and it doesn’t hurt that they offer an array of nice solid colors for trend conscious girls. Great prices from a great company that’s giving back
5. Adidas – I hadn’t been to the Adidas website for some time, but I was pretty impressed with the selection of kids styles. The girls collection was highly functional with feminine elements such as comfy and sporty dresses, ruffles and generous uses of pink.
BONUS! More brands to try:
Roxy – a popular favorite among teens, Roxy kids seamlessly merges the functionality of activewear with the style of everyday street wear. Best suited for teens and pre-teens, although I will be anxious to see what they have coming for Spring in the Girls/Kids collection!
Material Girl Macy’s carries the Material Girls line by Lordes. I won’t say girls are gobbling it up, per say, but it’s certainly popular and a fresh take to activewear with some cool streetwear styles added.
Limeapple – Limeapple not only offers super cute styles for girls, but they are also starting an initiative called Kid2Kids Limeapple Love. As part of this initiative, Limeapple will be donating a clean hospital gown for each Limeapple Love product purchased. Their CEO, Debbie Naren, has already done this on a personal level – donating 600 gowns to hospitals in Rwanda – and now she is doing what she can to continue to promote this cause. The prices are spot on and shipping is Free!
Soybu Gracie – Based in Denver, Colorado Soybu has been creating exceptional and inspired performance apparel since 1998. The Gracie girls collection offers a nice assortment of fun colors and prints on eco-friendly fabrics.
Gaiam – Best suited for Junior and Women, Gaiam is one of the ultimate brands in my book for yoga and fitness. The colors and styles are gorgeous, and they offer organic as well! Their Petal Tank Top is one of my favorite styles that I could literally live in and wear every day!