As a blogger, I’m often asked about my favorite running gear, sustainable brands, and low-waste swaps. I wanted to share the things I love and use regularly in one post, in case you’re looking for recommendations in any of those categories! I’ll update this post regularly, and it’ll show up on my blog homepage each time I make major additions/swaps.
Some of these items were PR products, which were gifted to me with no obligation to post. If they’re PR, I’ve marked them with an asterisk (*). If they were PR and then I went on to purchase more myself, I’ve marked them with a double asterisk (**).
This post also contains affiliate links and discount codes, meaning that I may earn a small commission on any purchases through these links and codes, at no extra cost to you.
I’ve been running in the Brooks Launch since 2017. They’re my favorite neutral shoe and they have just the right amount of cushion. I usually buy these lightly-used on eBay for a steep discount and for sustainability reasons.
The Allbirds Tree Flyers are the first pair of more sustainable running shoes I’ve tried that actually perform well. I was gifted my first pair and went on to buy a second pair at REI. They’re lightweight, breathable, and super cool-looking.
If you’d like to buy yourself a pair, you can do so on the Allbirds website. If you use my link ,you’ll also get a free pair of socks (while supplies last). Just add a pair of shoes and socks to your cart, and the discount will be applied at checkout.
Why 2 GPS watches? I’ve been testing so many loaner watches this year that I’ve been running with 2 at a time for the last several months. I don’t really know which one is my main one at this point haha.
I don’t own the COROS PACE 3, but it’s the best-value on the market, in my opinion. At $230, it has Dual Frequency tracking, touchscreen, triathlon mode, 24-day battery life, breadcrumb navigation. And it’s super light.
The Garmin Forerunner 255S is super comfortable to wear. It can connect to Spotify premium if you get the music version, it has more accurate tracking options, and it has incident detection. You can also make contactless payments with your watch.
I encourage you to check out my GPS watch comparisons if you’re looking for more in-depth guides.
If you want to go with a COROS watch, use my code COROS-Lily on the COROS website to get a free, extra watch band. Just add both the band and the watch to your cart before applying the code at checkout.
Shorts: Wolven Pocket Bike Short*
These bike shorts are made with recycled plastic bottles and have a comfy vegan suede finish.
I fell in love with pants for running this winter (my leggings were making me chafe in weird places). This small Boston brand gives 2% back to clean water, and uses recycled materials in many of their products (their goal is 100% primary recycled yarns by end of 2025).
I really like the Mercury Run Joggers for cold-weather running, as they’re cozy and comfortable.
Huma gels are made from natural ingredients and are super easy to get down since they’re not as thick as other gels. You can get gels with and without caffeine.
SiS (Science in Sport) is a UK brand that makes gels you can take without water. They’re very liquid-y and mild in flavor. They’re my new favorite, but keep in mind they are higher-volume than most gels, so they’re a little extra weight.
Electrolyte drink: Nuun
These effervescent electrolyte tablets are vegan, Kosher, and gluten-free. The fizzy, fruity drink is super refreshing after a run, and they’re low in sugar (they’re lightly sweetened with stevia).
(First-time customers can get 15% off with the code IMPERFECTIDEALIST15)
Tradlands is an American ethical clothing brand dedicated to menswear-inspired, timeless, and size-inclusive pieces. I’ve been gifted a few pieces from them and bought a couple myself.
My absolute favorite is their Shelter Cardigan, which is thick, slouchy, and so versatile. I also love their Nico Linen Dress and Chalet Tiered Dress, which are easy and flowy—perfect for summer, but also great for layering.
See my Tradlands review for more details.
Tentree is a Canadian brand that plants 10 trees per item purchased. When you receive the item, you can scan a QR code and see what kind of tree was planted, and where.
I’ve bought several items for myself and my brother, and I like that it’s on the more affordable side for a sustainable brand, as long as you shop their sales.
I personally like their activewear and how it’s a softer, more flexible, and more breathable material.
I won’t stop singing praises about Boody’s bamboo underwear. It has great coverage and is made with sturdy fabric that is both secure and breathable.
I was gifted a couple items from them in a TikTok collab, and honestly didn’t have the greatest experience negotiating rates with them, but I liked their undies so much that I spent my own money on them. (The full brief is my favorite, and you can learn more in my full Boody underwear review).
That said, I wouldn’t recommend their active pocket leggings (while they were super comfortable, they wore out in a year). Their socks are also so-so. While the bamboo fabric is very soft and sturdy, I feel like their socks are either too thick or too thin, depending on the styles I’ve tried.
I wear a version of this bi-disc necklace and these safety pin earrings all the time. I like how the bi-disc necklace feels very rooted in Asian culture while still complementing my everyday “American” style.
I wear this paperclip necklace often. I love how it adds an elegant an edgy touch to any outfit, and it hasn’t tarnished despite me wearing it while sweaty and in the water.
HiBAR is the easiest shampoo bar I’ve used because of its gripable shape.
The Earthling Co has the traditional circular shape, but I still like their bars because my hair feels super soft after using it.
To carry my shampoo and conditioner bars while traveling, I use this soap saver bag, which is ventilated and keeps the bars from getting mushy.
Bite toothpaste bits are on the foamier side, and they aren’t as chalky as some other toothpaste tabs (like those made by By Humankind*, which I tried and didn’t love). You can get tablets with or without fluoride.
I’ve also tried Hey Humans* toothpaste in aluminum tubes, and while the toothpaste itself was great, the tubes are very unwieldy and kind of dangerous; they can break open towards the end and have sharp edges.
For floss, I liked By Humankind’s compostable silk floss, but it’s quite pricey ($12) compared to conventional alternatives, and I would prefer to use a vegan version that’s still compostable. Because of that, and since I also don’t always have access to composting, I’m still using conventional floss.
Also, I still use conventional toothbrushes since the bamboo ones I’ve tried rubbed the sides of my mouth raw.
- VERSED Skin* Retinol Serum and Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream (use IMPERFECTIDEALIST10 for 10% off)
- The Body Shop Vitamin C Serum**
- Natura Siberica Awakening Day Face Cream and Soothing Night Face Cream
VERSED Skin is a vegan, cruelty-free skincare brand that tracks the carbon emissions of each product and gives recycling instructions for the packaging (which is often made with recycled materials). I like their retinol serum which is light and seems to help my acne scars go away quicker (I get monthly, small breakouts with my cycle). Their moisturizing gel-cream also keeps my skin happy in the winter.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Serum smells lovely, isn’t greasy, and it has bakuchiol, which is an alternative to retinol that stimulates collagen-producing receptors in the skin.
Finally, I bought a couple Natura Siberica lotions in France in 2019 and used them until late 2022. They’re nothing fancy and not particularly sustainable, but they work for me. It’s kind of hard to find the brand in the US, even if you shop online, but I was able to get what I needed on eBay.
Laundry detergent: TruEarth
Since I travel a lot and don’t want to carry liquid detergent or pods, laundry strips are my go-to as a lightweight, portable, and sustainable option. I’ve never had a good experience with TruEarth’s marketing team, but the product itself works well.
I’m testing out another brand of laundry strips and will report back once I have any feedback!
I started using a menstrual cup in 2019, and it’s been such a game-changer for my periods. I’m able to sleep and swim without worrying about leaking, and it’s much more comfortable than pads or tampons while running.
The DivaCup is very well-known and easy to buy in-stores, but it’s on the firmer side. I’ve used it for 3 years and it’s softened up, but I’ve since tried the Aisle cup, and it was softer out of the box while still being sturdy.
If you’re on the fence about trying a menstrual cup, here’s my Diva Cup review and some pros and cons of menstrual cups.
I also like Aisle’s size-inclusive and gender-neutral period underwear made from natural materials. The boxers are great for sleeping in, while the high-rise brief is great for everyday use.
Deodorant: Humble Brands vegan mountain lavender**
It took me years to find a simple-ingredient, plastic-free deodorant that actually worked for me. I was sent some Humble Brands products as PR, but I’ve since bought more for myself because it smells amazing and keeps my pits from stinking.
I’ve also tried Hey Humans* and Clean Age, which both smell good but don’t work super well for me (I get super smelly by the end of the day). For a more masculine scent, Bravo Sierra* offers vegan and aluminum-free deodorant, and my brother has liked it.
Let me know if you have any questions about these brands in the comments! Or, if you have a particular item you’d like recs for, let me know!