Did you know that 25% of all pesticides are used to produce non-organic cotton? Also, did you know that 8000 chemicals are used to manufacture textiles? How about that 47% of chemicals used to manufacture textiles are considered possible human carcinogens?
It’s no secret that pesticides contribute significantly to the worldwide drop in the honeybee population and it also directly leads to the death of 67 million birds annually.
The production of textiles can also cause irreversible damage to the environment. One thing that you’re probably not aware of though is that a full 2/3rds of a garments environmental impact occur AFTER production.
When you read these figures you can’t help but think about the damage of what you’re wearing is doing to the environment. What’s more, like us, it may also encourage you to look for alternative clothing sources which can help sustain and protect the planet. But, is this actually possible?
The answer to this question is YES. A great example is our eco-friendly printed running clothes.
WHAT MAKES FABRIC ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABLE?
Firstly, if you’re looking to use an eco-friendly and sustainable fabric you should know what impact it’s likely to have. The fabric you’re using should be produced using the least amount of pesticides and chemicals.
What’s more, it will also have the least impact on the environment – animals included.
It’s also important to know the different fabric options that are at your disposal. I mean, let’s be honest – there are a lot of fabrics to choose from. From cotton to microfibre clothing, the list of different materials can sometimes feel like it’s endless. Some of the choices are incredibly environmentally friendly, while others provide fantastic comfort for runners.
If you’re looking for the perfect mix between comfort and environmentally friendly, then it can become a bit of a chore. Luckily, we’re here to provide you with a list of different materials that can help you find the best sustainable, eco-friendly running tops that will help you achieve your goals – comfortably.
If your aim is to become a greener runner then, unfortunately, regular cotton is a poor choice. This is because pesticides are used within the production process and this produces large amounts of pollution – leading to environmental damage.
This is where organic cotton wins though as it’s produced without using the harmful chemicals. It’s non-toxic and biodegradable as well. What’s more, it’s also good for running as the material will absorb a lot of the moisture which you produce while you’re running.
The downside? Well, it’s not so good for running long distances.
Running Top score: 4/10
Eco-friendly score: 8/10
Yes, you heard me right, Bamboo. Bamboo is a material which is created from using the stalks of Bamboo grass. This grass is known for the incredibly fast speed which it grows and it creates a gorgeously soft and comfortable fabric which is thermodynamic, anti-microbial and also blocks out UV rays – making it perfect for runners.
Burnt Bamboo also makes the fabric more antimicrobial which means that it’s also “Stink-Proof” so you can happily run along without fear of putting other people off when you sweat.
Natural Bamboo is also produced without using chemicals so it offers a brilliant, eco-friendly clothing choice as well.
The downside? Too be honest, there isn’t really a downside when it comes to natural Bamboo. It’s eco-friendly, reusable and blocks out UV rays which means that it perfectly combines together to create the perfect eco-friendly running top.
Running Top score: 9/10
Eco-friendly score: 9/10
Polyester is a synthetic fabric which is commonly used throughout the world. The manufacturing process for Polyester involves the use of petrochemicals and it also uses a number of highly toxic chemicals which also means that it will not decompose naturally – resulting in a nightmare for the environment.
The upside to Polyester is that it’s excellent for running as it can be designed and made to effectively wick moisture and then dry exceptionally quick. This means that Polyester is a mixture of the best and the worst – worst for the environment, best for running.
However, if you begin to use recycled polyester then it provides a more eco-friendly option. What’s more, in recent times companies have been producing clothing that’s made out of recycled polyester, plastic bottles and even recycled running gear, which means that fewer resources are used and you’re also protecting the environment from something which doesn’t decompose naturally.
Running Top score: 10/10
Eco-friendly score: 8/10
Tencel is the name for a fibre which is also known as Lyocell. This is manufactured by the Lenzing AG Company. However you name it, Tencel or Lyocell is a sustainable fabric which is regenerated from wood cellulose. It has a similar feel to Bamboo, however, Tencel is known for being one of the most environmentally friendly regenerated fabrics due to the fibres being grown sustainably.
Tencel is obtained from eucalyptus trees which are grown on farms and not taken from old growth forests which are then treated with pesticides – making it truly organic and a natural, eco-friendly material.
Tencel fibres are also spun into yarns and then woven into textiles which are known for their soft, absorbent and strong properties, both when wet and dry. They’re also resistant to wrinkles and they drape well.
Running Top score: 8/10
Eco-friendly score: 9/10
There are many different fabrics out there which I haven’t included which could have made the list. But in reality, the 4 listed above are the creme de la creme when it comes to creating a sustainable, eco-friendly top.
While organic cotton isn’t the most comfortable when it comes to creating a running top, it does offer an excellent choice when it comes to the environment.
Using recycled materials is also a brilliant choice but the downside comes in the original creation of polyester – which is one of the most environmentally damaging materials.
For us, the winner has to be Bamboo. This is thanks to the natural properties such as being thermodynamic, anti-microbial and it’s ability to block out the harmful UV-rays while you’re running. In truth, though, it wins thanks to the brilliant ‘Stink-Proof’ properties of the material to ensure that it doesn’t just keep you dry and comfortable while you’re running, it also means that everyone else’s sense of smell remains comfortable as well.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
It’s common within the UK when you’re taking part in a marathon or a sporting event, to create customised clothing to highlight your cause, brand or company at the event. The downside to this though is that if you’re looking to remain green the printing process can also use chemicals and processes which are harmful to the environment.
This, like the material, can be overcome as well. To help protect our environment, we have some excellent eco-friendly printing techniques which use water-based inks and a friendlier printing process to ensure that you’re not ruining your eco-friendly approach by customising your clothing.
By using water-based inks, a lot of the chemicals which are produced through traditional printing methods are removed to create a fully eco-friendly running top.
So, if you’re looking to produce eco-friendly running tops for your next sporting event, contact us today and ask about our eco-friendly clothing range and our eco-friendly printing techniques and we can provide you with all of the information that you need to ensure that your next fundraising event isn’t just good for those in need – it’s also good for the environment as well.