If you're an athletic woman, you know what it's like to get home with a new piece of clothing, supposedly designed for active pursuits, and find that for some reason, it just doesn't work. Sports bras that don't support, straps that are too long or cut into your shoulders, sleeves that restrict you from getting your arms over your head — we've all been there, wondering, "Who the heck designed this shirt for yoga? Cause I can't even do a decent downward dog without getting shirt in my face!"

It's unfortunately true that there are designers out there — even at big companies — who don't seem to understand that people aren't just going to stand around looking athletic in their clothes, they are actually going to jump around, twist, and sweat in them (and wash them a lot). Find below four companies that sell clothing that really works — and they are all made from earth-friendlier materials too. I've found that often those designers who are most thoughtful about the planet keep in mind what their customers really need as well. 
Blue Canoe's V-band top solves two common problems; it leaves shoulders completely free for  unrestricted movement in the front and back (it's a racerback in the rear), and the halter top will also support larger-busted women well. Made from 90 percent recycled polyester from recycled bottles. 
Sometimes, you just need a bit of a sleeve, either to keep your shoulders out of the sun on a run, or just because you're feeling a little modest. Sometimes, short sleeves can be restrictive — but not this one. Prancing Leopard's Faial 2-in-1 top is designed by a woman who does yoga, and it gives full range of motion. Not to mention that it's reversible, meaning you can wear it backwards for a new look, and that it's made from a super soft, lightweight organic Turkish cotton, which dries quickly and feels smooth against the skin. 
I don't know if I have short shoulders or what, but camisole tops always seem to be too long in the strap. But this two-tone cami (LOVE the simple black and white detail) from I Am Beyond solves that issue with straps that adjust in the front, making it easy to get just the right support. Genius. 
Restore's active version of the classic motorcycle jacket is not only a stylish take on the usual yoga jacket, it's designed for movement, meaning that if you like to practice yoga, Qi Gong, or Pilates outside, you're covered, even when it's cool. Made in NYC's garment district from DREAM Repreve recycled nylon with a bit of Lycra for stretch, this piece is perfect for keeping your workout outside as temps drop.  

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Chic, sustainable tops for yoga and unrestricted movement
These four tops solve some of the major problems with activewear.