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Written by Jia Ying Chia |

While it may seem like the fashion industry went backwards to the nineties, we’re in 2024 and the trend of athletic and sportswear (athleisure if you will) has reached a kind of fever pitch. Yes, I know we’re all probably sick of references to the COVID-19 pandemic but it really did a number on us – and not just how we approached personal healthcare as a whole, but the way we get dressed. 

Names like Adidas and Lululemon have almost been surpassed by active and sportswear brands in stature and influence. Heck even China jumped on that gravy train long ago although we are now just seeing the influx of major brands into Brunei/Borneo like Peak and ANTA. Two years of going to work and taking meetings in our pyjamas and doing basically everything at home, has left a lasting desire for all-over comfort and multi-functionality.

Pro tip for making sure you roll out of bed ready to take on the day? Elevate your athleisure look with the right accessories or jewellery and mix more technical items like a stiff parka with contrasting textiles to dress up or down. We round up some of our favourite global brands that best embody comfort, function and style!



We couldn’t do an active wear article without mentioning the Japanese clothing giant but with such a massive inventory of products, sometimes it can be hard to figure out what pieces are the best investment for getting more out of your clothes.

The round neck t-shirts in their AIRism series are a great catch if you don’t need to wear a tie to the office; great under a blazer or suit jacket but cool enough to wear every day, the soft moisture-wicking fabric also makes sure you can survive the insane humidity of Borneo. 



Okay, you all know this one – but really, they just do elevated sporty so well. The simple yet effectively stylish effect of throwing a basic tee or block coloured sweater over your work shirt means you can look good for business in the day but switch up real fast to make it to the gym for a pre-dinner workout. Their range of lifestyle shoes make for easy, comfortable days and the Samba is one of our favourites for understated style in any occasion. 



With all the new activewear brands on the market, it can be hard to find the balance between quality and pricing. Enter Mulawear, said to be the number one Activewear brand in South Korea; backed by their signature Miraculous 6-Year Lifespan Leggings which are (really) built to last for up to six years.

But how you might ask? Mulawear uses innovative fabrics developed exclusively by Invista, one of the top textile companies in the world. A great catch if you’re after simple, long lasting gym or active wear that can go the distance with you. 



Closer to home, Terrae is taking on the sustainability issue while making killer outfits for your workouts and off-work days. The homegrown  Malaysian brand is focused on clothes for high impact activity with a low environmental impact, and are committed to a production cycle that’s as circular as possible.

In addition to using ECONYL® for their activewear (which saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil and avoid 57,100 tonnes of CO₂ emissions for every 10,000 tonnes of ECONYL® used!), Terrae has the finer details down with FSC certified and recyclable tags, as well as a 100% biodegradable and compostable plant-based garment bag.




The Northern Japanese brand is backed by founder Kaname Nagaoka, and perhaps is one of the finer examples of how technical aspects can be incorporated into functional fashion styles. Drawing largely on Tenkara fly fishing, South 2 West 8 has married so well the sleek necessity of details like deep pockets for storage of waterproof textiles, with his keen eye for urban-forward cuts and styling.

The brand’s most recent collection features tie-dye prints on traditional netted fishing vests, showing that staying true to outdoors roots doesn’t mean ignoring modern style, South2 West8’s collaborations with other major brands like Supreme, are equally as fun to wear. 



Check out Sunny Six Active for their ethically made activewear. Their first collection is made out of discarded fishing nets and Sunny Six are champions for also ensuring their business model is as low-waste and ethical as possible. They have partnered with Healthy Seas, a environmental non-profit and also give Php100 from every Sunny Six Active piece purchased back to the organisation. 



We love a #girllboss story and Maia Active are absolutely killing it with their avant-garde activewear brand! The Chinese brand is helmed by co-founders Ou Yirou and Wang Jaiyin, capturing the market for designing super cute activewear tailor-made for Asian women’s bodies. 


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