Every single piece of clothing that we buy in our lifetime will have an environmental impact. Just like the food we purchase and the way we dispose of waste, the clothing that we choose has an effect on many parts of the world. While many of us consider this while buying our clothes, very few of us think of the impact our washing habits have. Laundry habits however, cause at least two thirds of the environmental impact for any single item of clothing during its life span.
Obviously, the best way to reduce a garment's environmental footprint is to wear it more and wash it less. However, while that may help your quest to be eco conscious, it wont make you particularly hygienic, or particularly popular, and especially as an active person who's working up a sweat day, simply reducing your washing average just isn't a valid option.
In hopes of keeping our eco footprint down, we recently met with 2XU, the clothing company that has partnered with new technology to keep workout clothing fresher and cleaner for longer, to see if they had found an answer so we can wear our sweaty clothing more than once and help the planet, without causing distress to those around us.
Polygiene treats clothing to make them suitable to be used several times before you need to wash them and allows material to be washed at lower, more environmentally friendly temperatures even following the sweatiest workout. As well as cutting back on the amount of energy and water you personally waste each week, fewer washes also increases the lifespan of your clothes, meaning you wear them for longer before binning them off.
"Brands like these that think of the environment and are beginning to come up with new and revolutionary ways to help, are the future"
The lovely ‘post work out smell’ you develop in your spinning class is created when odour causing bacteria settles in to the fabric. To work against this, Polygiene contains a silver salt that is naturally present in water and soil and stops the growth of this odour causing bacteria. Sounds complicated, but works.
2XU have teamed up with Polygiene to provide a clothing range that looks great, is punchy in performance and uses this awesome technology to drastically reduce the negative impact sportswear has on the environment. This Aussie brand is most renowned for sports compression. Covering a range of sports from running to high intensity interval training and even basketball it seems like a no-brainer that they would partner with a brand such as Polygiene to enhance the longevity of their high performance sports apparel.
Starting out on a cold January morning in Munich, we decided to put the kit through its paces to see if Polygeine's hypothetical technology was effective against our very real sweat after an hour of running.
As well as being sporty eco warrior -wear, the 2XU kit is some serious kit for high intensity sport. Sat just below the waist line, the 2XU MCS Reflect Compression tights are perfectly shaped and so positioned in such a manner that they hug your figure without squeezing it into any awkward or unflattering shapes and the 2XU Women’s Heritage Jacket is equally flattering, with a loose fit that makes it highly versatile and suitable for any sport. This trans-seasonal jacket can be worn as an outer layer as you would assume, but 2XU have also suggested wearing it alone as a lightweight shell.
The 2XU XVent short-sleeve top might not look effective enough to keep you warm, even with the Women’s Heritage Jacket over the top, but we were pleasantly surprised. The jacket appeared to work in such a way that it locked in the heat we generated whilst the quick wicking fabric on the back of the XVent short-sleeve top rapidly removed any sweat produced, regulating temperature and keeping us fresh.
Dashing from the morning workout straight into a stack of back to back meetings and stuffing the kit into our bag, it stayed there for the remainder of the day. After almost twelve hours of being locked in the bag we definitely thought that the kit would need to go straight into the wash, but all mustiness disappeared after a quick shake and a bit of air.
The amount of water and energy each of us use in a single week is shockingly bad for the planet, and our personal footprint is forever growing. Brands like these that think of the environment and are beginning to come up with new and revolutionary ways to help, are the future. We're totally convinced by 2XU's partnership and hope that more clothing brands begin to adopt this same technology in their designs. Here's to all brands using compassion, science and ingenuity in this way to make their impact on the world a bit more positive.