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Black-Owned Fitness Apparel Brands To Shop Before Your Next Sweat Session

Jan 30, 2022 12:00PM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
Black woman doing crunches, wearing a lime green and teal sports bra and black shorts

Trying to fit exercise into our daily lives can feel like a chore, which is why having something cute to wear while working out is oh-so- important. From those who live to do yoga each morning to those who just like to lounge around the house in athleisure, these standout nine Black-owned fitness apparel brands are expertly combining fashion with fitness and making some of the coolest activewear on the market.


Yema Khalif, who grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, founded the Yema apparel line after coming to the United States to study communications through the Road to Freedom scholarships program. Co-founder Hawi Awash was born in Ethiopia and was a refugee in Kenya before moving to Minnesota. 20% of your purchase money goes to educate orphaned children in Ethiopia and Kibera slums, Kenya.


Melt Fit

Based in Detroit, Melt Fit’s size-inclusive activewear is dedicated to fun prints and great fits in sizes up to 3XL. Celebrities like Gabrielle Union are a fan and the Melt Fit Essential Leggings made it to the annual list of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2021. The workout tights feature comfortable stretch, a supportive high waist, and pockets that are actually deep enough to hold your phone.


Aktive Fitness

Aktive Fitness is dedicated to helping women of color achieve a healthier lifestyle by creating accessible plans for keeping in shape. They also sell workout equipment. Aktive Fitness has fitness plans that range in difficulty, keeping in mind the various starting points of every individual, and meal plans.



The Glamourina activewear brand was created to represent culturally conscious women of all skin tones, body shapes, and physical attributes. Their African-inspired leggings were designed to motivate and empower women of color to live a healthy lifestyle. They feature a high-waisted design and super-fine mesh to endure intense workouts. With a size range of S-3XL, Glamourina positions itself as a woman-first brand.



Lukafit’s founder Mbali Ndlovu, aSouth African fitness enthusiast, started the brand to give women of color in all sizes — her clothes go up to 3X in leggings and 2X in sports bras — athleticwear that’s designed for them. Ndlovu wanted to create an empowering brand for women. The name Lukafit is partially derived from the Zulu word “juluka,” which means to sweat. The brand also includes squat-proof leggings that stay on your bottom through any workout and hug your curves. “Sweating releases “feel good” endorphins, detoxifies your body, and gives you a healthy glow, so we encourage folks to sweat a lot,” says Ndlovu on the website.


CultureFit Clothing

CultureFit is on a mission to create high-quality, high-performance, globalized activewear that looks and feels amazing. Fans of brightly colored activewear will love CultureFit's West African–print designs. Plus, they're all made from a water-wicking material that won't pill or tear. All fabrics are ethically sourced and made with moisture wicking technology. Apparel selections include bras, sweetheart neck tank tops, leggings, and pink Kente and blue Ankara and yoga mats.


Roam Loud

When she founded activewear line Roam Loud, Toyin Omisore sought to honor her Liberian grandmother’s legacy by capturing her bold spirit. The brand includes pieces for all types of activities — from high-waisted leggings for high-intensity workouts to relaxed-fit joggers (in a definitely bold lime-green print) for not-so-sweaty exercise or just hanging out. “As a Wanderer, we encourage you to live a life of freedom. No more boxes of expectations. Color outside the lines. Live on your own terms,” says Omisore.

 Solely Fit

A Haitian-Nigerian-American and South Florida native, Stefania Okolie has always been a storyteller at heart. After years as a reporter, Okolie took her storytelling skills and interest in design to create Solely Fit, an activewear brand designed to give women functional athleticwear that’s stylish, too. Activewear has always made Okolie feel confident and powerful, and each piece was intentionally designed with those elements in mind. Solely Fit is a powerful collection that brings Okolie’s vision of unifying bold and valiant women to life. Her current collection features bodysuits, leggings, bike shorts, and sports bras that are all made in the United States.



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 Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies. She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content. 

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