Sports brands (like most brands, honestly) have traditionally been founded and run by men, so there’s something really inspiring and refreshing about finding an activewear brand you love that’s owned AND operated by a woman. From a 29-year-old CEO to an iconic Australian trainer and fitness/casual apparel designer, these ladies know how to create something special and functional for a woman’s body and needs — especially when it comes to breaking a sweat.
Here are some of our favorite workout-wear companies that scream “girl power.”
1. LORNA JANE
Founder and Chief Creative Officer Lorna Jane Clarkson started sewing her own workout clothes while working as a trainer in Australia — then literally coined the term “activewear” in 1989. Since then, she’s created an international empire of beautiful workout clothes with more than 200 stores around the world and is now an author of a cookbook and healthy living lifestyle book.
2. GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE
Girlfriend Collective set out to be sustainable, ethical, and transparent. Cofounder and Creative Director Ellie Dinh (with the help of husband and cofounder Quang Dinh) created a dreamy activewear line that is both stylish and functional. With textiles made from recycled water bottles, fair living wages and healthy working environments in factories, and an approach that puts quality over quantity, you’ll feel as good emotionally as you do physically when you’re wearing Girlfriend Collective. Especially knowing its team is entirely female (save Quang).
Andrea Weinberg’s brainchild Andi has made gym bags more stylish and durable than ever. According to her backstory, “Andi spent five years working with a small factory in Brooklyn making over 60 iterations of her concept for a light-weight, durable, active, travel, transformer bag that is the ANDI that we know today.” Her goal for the product? “A bag that honors and empowers your life in motion.”
4. SWEATTY BETTY
British brand Sweaty Betty is the beautiful result of founder and Creative Director Tamara Hill-Norton‘s dream to “produce beautiful clothes for women with active lifestyles.” She started the brand in 1998 with help from her husband, Simon, and has fused her love of travel into each inspired collection. A lover of barre and paddleboarding, she believes “life would be boring if it wasn’t a mix of green juice and cocktails.” Amen.
5. OUTDOOR VOICES
It’s not often you see a 29-year-old founder and CEO go after market share from megalith brands like Nike and Lululemon, but Tyler Haney is certainly giving them a run for their money. Outdoor Voices has received over $30 million in funding in just over four years since its founding date. Haney’s eye for design and savvy marketing have placed her among the ranks of other millennial favorites such as Glossier and Sweetgreen.
The Oiselle brand’s mantra is literally “By and for women athletes,” and it lives by a sisterhood — an empowering, inclusive female community. Founder and CEO Sally Bergesen created the Seattle-based brand in 2007 and started with running shorts. Since then, the company has exploded in the women’s fitness scene and delivers incredibly high-quality technical apparel that helps you look as good as you feel — whether you’re fine-tuning your splits or taking your first steps toward a 5K.
Canadian active brand Lolë has been ever-so-slightly under the radar, and it’s time you checked it out. Montreal-based cofounder Evelyn Trempe created this socially conscious brand that reps described to us as “a female-run, female-led, female-designed brand for women,” and “the Lolë Yellow Label Program empowers you to give a second life to gently worn outerwear while funding food banks in North America.”