There are some great clothing colours around at the moment, with bright shoes and colourful tees it just makes you feel like summer is here.
So we all like to look good when we run, perhaps more importantly we like to feel good about what we are buying. Yes, spending a little more is a good thing. Long life of our new colourful kit is important, not just a few years, but how about a lifetime? By making a discerning purchase and spending a little more than the price points offered by mass market warehouse type stores you are not only doing your self a favour, but also future generations.
OK first off, they are all made from polyester. But, and it’s a big but there is polyester and there is polyester. The denier (thickness of the fibre) will be finer the more you pay, it will also be shaped and woven into a position to help move moisture away from the skin. The finer the denier also means it will dry quicker. Also, cheaper stuff gets a wicking spray which becomes non existent after about twelve washes and ends up in our rivers and seas. Really, do you want this?
Then there are things like the number of stitches per inch when pieces of fabric are joined, the more the better. Bar stitches across pockets, thumb loops and the like, also increase the strength of the seam. Then add into the mix the quality of the dyes used…will your next top still look new in four years time?
These are important questions. The more wear you get from your purchase then you are likely to be still enjoying said garment in years to come and therefore the impact on the environment and natural resources is greatly reduced. Surely a good thing?
Then there is the matter of how it is made. Wouldn’t it be great if all the wastage from cutting out the material was kept and recycled into next years clothing? Would it not be even better if the polyester was from a recycled source in the first place, say old bottle tops? Now that too would be good. Even better if the tee shirt retained all of the characteristics of quick drying and fast wicking from a super fine fibre. Now we’re talking.
There are standards out there. Fair Trade clothing already exists, but in the running world? How about Bluesign Approved? Both would show a real commitment to the environment and the workers who make our kit.
That’s a lot to ask for, isn’t it?
Not really, this is the very reason why I wear Patagonia and the Accelerate store has it in abundance. Not just because I love colour. Yet because of all of the above. How about you, are you prepared to go ‘Green’ with your running kit?
The picture above is of the Patagonia Forerunner Tee, this is what Patagonia have to say: “For high-output endeavors, our new fast-drying Short-Sleeved Fore Runner Zip-Neck delivers on-the-fly ventilation. Its fast-wicking 100% recycled polyester fabric is ultralight and highly breathable, while the deep front zipper (with chin guard for comfort) keeps you cool. Flatlock seams (offset at shoulder) provide no-chafe, next-to-skin comfort, and a locker loop lets you dry it out afterward. The set-in sleeve design gives comfort and enhanced mobility, and the short self-fabric collar wicks moisture and won’t bind. With 15-UPF sun protection, Polygiene® permanent odor control and reflective logos on left chest and center back neck. Fabric is bluesign™ approved.”