The world is fraught with copycats and fakes. Activewear is not exempt from this problem.
Brands copying other brands not only steal business, but they also create a world in which fast fashion thrives. And that is ultimately bad for the environment.
My goal is to bring to light the problems with design copying and to promote legitimate businesses through my blog.
I compiled a list of brands along with the brand that has copied their designs. This is only a fraction of what I’ve found. There are probably more activewear copycats all over the world.
I will not be linking the copycat brands to prevent traffic and potential business.
Copycat Activewear Culprits
#1 Electric and Rose VS Target Joylab
Electric & Rose makes cottony soft and sustainable tie dye activewear.
Target’s Joylab (right) is also sustainable, however, their tie dye set is made with seamless fabric. The prints and silhouettes are almost identical.
Target is no stranger to copying other company’s successful designs. I would just avoid Target apparel altogether.
#2 Carbon38 VS Vie Active
#3 lululemon VS 90 Degree Reflex
90 Degree Reflex’s High Waist Power Flex Tummy Control Leggings is made to fit exactly like lululemon WUP. The major difference is an elastic band in the 90 Degree Reflex leggings and that their fabric feels heavier and is more prone to pilling than lululemon Luon fabric.
People love 90 Degree Reflex because they’re cheap, comes in many colors and sold on Amazon.
#4 lululemon Align Pants VS CRZ Yoga Naked Feel Leggings
In March 2020, CRZ Yoga debuted their naked feel leggings which are an exact copycat of lululemon Align pants.
The fabric and silhouette are almost identical. The price difference is $30 versus $98.
#5 Inner Fire VS Lotus Leggings
Lotus Leggings (right) is notorious for stealing the hard work of others and printing them on substandard fabric and calling it their own. You’ll see more of them throughout this post.
Related: Inner Fire Review: Blossom Leggings
#6 WERKSHOP VS Lotus Leggings
WERKSHOP‘s owner and artist, Chriztina Marie, hand draws each of her designs. This process can take weeks or even months to perfect. Lotus Leggings steals not one but MANY of her unique designs.
I first found out about Lotus Leggings when Chriztina pointed them out in a Facebook group. Everyone commented on Lotus Legging’s Facebook page and they began hiding comments and deleting posts.
Chriztina wrote a post on what she’s had to go through with Lotus Leggings. She writes from a small business owner’s perspective and how it has impacted her livelihood.
#7 lululemon VS Queenie Ke
lululemon‘s Define Jacket dupe looks very similar all the way down the fabric.
#8 Outdoor Voices VS Bandier
The designs are similar but I’ve seen other brands with dupes resembling Outdoor Voices to the T.
#9 lululemon VS Forever21
lululemon‘s popular Free to Be Wild bra has been copied by many brands.
Forever21 copied the design but they’re not the only culprit copying lululemon‘s popular silhouette. The difference between the brands is $48 versus $15 and you also get what you pay for — terrible fabric quality.
#10 Noli Yoga VS Lotus Leggings
Noli Yoga has a Tree of Life leggings that was copied by Lotus Leggings (LotusXLite White Tree Leggings). The Lotus Leggings variation looks white-backed (printed on white fabric) and stretches to white, showing everything underneath when worn.
Lotus leggings are also $50 a pop and are made of fast fashion fabric. Essentially you’re paying for a low quality product at a high price. JUST BOYCOTT Lotus leggings!
Related: DO NOT SHOP Lotus Leggings
#11 Poprageous VS Lotus Leggings
Poprageous makes awesome spandex wear for women. Here are their awesome almond blossom leggings. Lotus Leggings copied them even down to the shoes worn by their model.
#12 lululemon VS Lotus Instyle
lululemon‘s Tech Mesh legging ($118) are made with high-quality mesh panels. You can usually tell the difference in quality between the two variations.
The cheaper brand ($25) uses low-quality mesh fabric that itches. The mesh panels also do not stretch as much as lululemon‘s high-quality technical mesh.
#13 Flexi Lexi VS Lotus Leggings
Flexi Lexi also fell victim to Lotus Leggings’ shenanigans! *shakes fist*
Flexi Lexi is based out of Thailand and is minority and women-owned. Lotus leggings has copied more than just this style of leggings by Flexi Lexi.
#14 ALO Yoga VS Lotus Leggings
ALO Yoga‘s blue butterfly leggings were duped by Lotus Leggings. You can tell in the images the fabric quality stretches to white.
ALO Yoga is also not an innocent company. They’ve been known to shaft yoga instructors and favor more athletic or circus instructors with huge followings. Their business model perpetuates a specific yoga body type that is not inclusive.
#15 Lularoe VS Lotus Leggings
Lularoe’s blue pineapple print leggings were also copied by Lotus Leggings.
Lularoe is an MLM with their own faults. Lotus Leggings just has no shame in stealing the best prints and profiting off theft.
#16 Chill by Will VS Forever21
#17 Athleta VS Forever21
Athleta’s Convergence sports bra was copied by Forever21. You can tell the difference in fabric quality and fit. Forever21 also runs small. I wear a small in Athleta and have to size up to a LARGE in Forever21. Way to boost my self-esteem.
You’re also better off buying at Athleta because they stand behind their product 100% and will honor returns if something does not perform well or fit perfectly.
#18 K-Deer VS Athleta
Eventually, Athleta pulled their stripe leggings from their shelves due to a combination of public outcry and other quality issues. I later spotted their striped leggings for sale at TJ Maxx.
Related: K-Deer Molly Stripe Leggings Review
Seeing these copycat activewear brands profiting off another’s hard work is very frustrating. Copycats ultimately steal potential business away from companies who have done all the hard work for them. For most buyers, it’s natural to go with a company offering a similar item for a cheaper price.
The best course of action is to direct your hard-earned dollars and support small businesses. It’s our duty to look into a brand’s ethos and understand whether they’re there to make a quick buck or if they’re actually present and connecting with their customers.
In the end, we should be responsible consumers and buy directly from brands who put all their effort into creating and growing their business honestly and ethically.
What other brands should we avoid? Take our quick survey and let’s take these awful companies down!