Sustainable running gear review

So I have been a little MIA lately, but my challenge is still going.

The True Cost challenge was a great start for me. I’m sorry I was slack on the sharing end.

After my initial running gear audit, I had a look at the rest of my wardrobe and made a substantial donation to good will and put a few pieces for sale on Ebay and Facebook  Marketplace.

I successfully only purchased one item of clothing over the course of the month (my wedding dress). Personally, I think that’s pretty impressive. I am after all, a gainfully employed 32 year old female with no children!

Full disclosure though, I did receive a free shirt from Kusaga Athletic.

I was lucky enough to win a free Kusaga Run Tee from a competition in Run 4 Your Life Magazine.

I couldn’t believe my luck, especially since I had listed it as one of my brands to try in my last blog post.

It arrived express post a few days later, just in time to give it a test run at the Great Ocean Road Marathon.

I broke the number one race day rule of never wearing anything new on race day and gave it a go.

I was a bit worried at first because it was unseasonably warm at the start line. Great Ocean Road usually tortures runners with some insane “sea breezes” and sometimes even torrential rain.

Throughout the run, it was clear that my new top was a little bit big and the dark grey colour as opposed to black, highlighted sweat patches a little bit more than I would like.

But that being said it wicked away any moisture and cooled my skin when those breezes did eventually come through.

I didn’t experience any chaffing which is a first for me with race gear.

After the race, I promptly took of my new top and washed it when I got home. Just in the machine in cold water as I normally would.

I am stoked to say that there has been no after race smelly effects at all. Granted it’s usually the older tops that start smelling but I’ve been really impressed by this top.

I also wore it to the gym later in the week after my legs recovered.

I’ll definitely be looking for more sustainable options in the future when it comes to my running gear and my clothing in general. No more cheap K-mart fast fashion for me.

June’s challenge…. hmm I’ll have a look on Netflix tonight and let you know!

Think a little

 

 

The True Cost- Wardrobe Audit Part 1

Challenge: The True Cost

I’ve seen it now.

I can’t ignore it.

So what can I do about it?

I don’t subscribe to the theory that one person can’t make a difference. Commercial companies whether that be milk producers, juice bars or clothing brands are there to make money. So I vote with my dollar.

After watching ‘The True Cost” one of the first thoughts I had was “well this doesn’t apply to me, I don’t buy from those stores”.

But that’s a cop out.  I might not buy from H&M or own a shit load of clothing in general, but I have enough active wear to wear a different item every day for at least two weeks.

I also wear undies and socks.

I wear a uniform to work that is provided by my employer.

So what about everything else?

My initial plan was to do a full wardrobe audit but then I realized just how much stuff I actually have.

So I started with the active wear, actually just the short sleeved t-shirts and tanks in the active wear section.

Disclaimer: This also does not include the dirty laundry basket!

Here’s what I found out:

From 20 items

1x Made In Indonesia

1x Made in Vietnam

2x Made in Malaysia

6x Made in Thailand

1x Made in Bangladesh

9x Made in China

 

Not a single item Made in Australia.

75% of the ‘Made in China’ t-shirts were the “free” shirts that come with a marathon race entry. (Yes I still have them and yes I still wear them, waste not want not!)

100% were a polyester or polyester blended material.

 

My head started spinning.

 

Questions like “can I buy Made in Australia active wear?”, “Does ‘Made in China’ automatically equal bad factories, bad environmental policies?” and “Is polyester bad?” rumbled through my overwhelmed brain.

My solution, google, knowing full well that big companies lie and that you can literally find anything on the internet to support an argument.

Here’s just some of what I found out.

 

Polyester is a petroleum based material which is generally speak absolutely terrible for the environment. (Read all about it here)

But it’s not completely a lost cause. There are some pro’s and con’s.

  • It’s made from petroleum- NAY
  • It uses less water to produce than natural fibres- YAY
  • It can’t be dyed using natural or low impact dyes- NAY
  • It is recyclable!- YAY

 

So what can we do to make choices, well we can look around for recycled polyester active wear, we can purchase second hand when we can and we can research the companies we are giving our dollars to to establish how accountable and transparent they are being to their consumers about the factories they use.

Patagonia is the company that really sticks out when you research ethicially conscious active wear companies. They are transparent when it comes to the different  fibres they use and what is organic, what is recycled etc.

Granted you are going to pay a little bit more but I think it’s worth it to know where your garments come from.

Locally, I was stoked to find a couple of active wear companies that are pushing the limits and breaking barriers in the conscious active wear sphere.

Kusaga Athletic, based in Sydney, have created the World’s Greenest T-shirt, a t-shirt they claim uses the least amount of water of any other garment.

Vegan Athletic are a Melbourne based company who are making sustainable cycling gear.

I haven’t tried either of their products yet, but it’s super exciting that there are options out there if you are willing to look for them.

Looking forward to trying them out when I need new gear and really thinking about if I actually NEED it or just WANT it and the past and future life of that garment.

Think a little

Mel