Many an advocate for the ‘shop local’ philosophy has found the buck stopping at athleticwear. Sure, you’ll get your shoes and sherwanis from small businesses in your neighborhood or a cool indie off Instagram. But when it comes to gym gear, you haven’t quite found a homegrown equivalent that can keep up with the intelligent performance of an Adidas or Puma. Enter the new breed of homegrown athleticwear, replete with the chops (and clothing tech) to put that theory to the test. From bioceramic-base tech to breathable, eco-first fabrics, there’s little you won’t find on Indian soil to rival global quality…

1. Baller Athletik

Ready for some high-tech jargon? This homegrown brand makes their tanks, tracks and the like with built-in Far Infrared tech based on bioceramics, which consist of a mineral matrix that absorbs the energy emitted by your body with machine-esque efficiency. Basically, the high-performance gear of this brand isn’t for the faint-hearted–think pro runners, compulsive gymmers, advanced kickboxers… There’s nothing to stop from wearing it on your home treadmill, but the apparel at Baller was made for sterner stuff. Gravitate to their raglan tees, muscle tanks and overlap shorts if you’re not here to f*ck around–you’ll find yourself cutting through the air like butter. This is assuming, of course, you’re also capable of cutting through the air like butter.

2. Athlos

It’s rare for a high-performance brand to also pass the sustainability bar, but Athlos is that purple carrot. Sired post an uncomfortable hike by founder Pravin Dhake, what began as a single-product collection grew to a range that spanned everything from raglan training tops and Merino base-layers to convertible pants and distance running apparel; all made and packaged sustainably. The apparel is engineered to help put on a powerful performance, and to extract the most from the minutes of your workout. Though they brandish the disclaimer that they aren’t a hundred percent sustainable (and who is), with gear made from eco-first fabrics like bamboo, eucalyptus, recycled ocean waste and packaged sans plastic, it seems they’re well on their way.

3. Kica Active

Though technically womenswear, there’s no dearth of genderfluid pieces in this 2017-born brand’s arsenal. What’s nice about the brand is that it makes good-looking, high-performance apparel–but it also has a lot of heart. You’ll find tips on how to choose shorts, how to find the right gear, fitness tips and shape-wise guides in their blog section, which aren’t just there to push their own products. It gives you the sense that the folks at Kica actually care about you finding the right things and staying fit; something most tell while this one shows.

4. HRX by Hrithik Roshan

Whether you’re a fan of the actor or not, there’s no real room for doubt that Hrithik Roshan knows fitness. With a body that’s been likened to a Greek God and a penchant for routine and rigour, the actor packs in his entire fitness personality in his brand of HRX gear, tailored to work for an active (but not necessarily professional-level) workout. The range is extensive and runs the gamut from athleisure (joggers, crew necks) to athleticwear (rapid-dry raglans, light running shoes). You’ll also find wireless headphones, masks, aviators, back packs, and a bunch of other merch. This is a brand that bodes well if you’re looking for a quality product without having to break out the big bucks.

5. Proyog

Another brand that can proudly emblazon ‘sustainable’ on its organic lapels. Though it would be fair to say that while possibly scoring top marks for sustainability, the apparel is more tailored to helping you get in a great low-impact or yoga workout. The activewear-first brand uses recyclable, biodegradable linens and organic cotton for its range of dhotis, yoga pants, vests and tees, with chemical-free dyes breathing life into its unpretentious designs. If you haven’t already guessed, yoga is the nexus around which all other Proyog matter swirls–but it doesn’t change the fact that the clothes will fare well just as well for an S&C session with burpees galore or a bout of stop-start jogging at your local park. The big sell? It feels great on your skin.


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