I’m road testing Sundried’s Eco Tech® women’s fitness top, ‘road’ being the operative word as I up my running game. The claim is that it’s perfect for all manner of sports and workouts, from running and cycling to the gym and yoga. As I’m averaging 18-20 miles each week along quiet country lanes and long stretches of the Taff Trail, I think I qualify.
My head is also turned by the length; it’s a slim fit but extra long, hiding all the bits us ladies tend not to like about ourselves and excellent for layering, now that we’re well into autumn. Then there’s the colour; exactly the gorgeous shade of baby blue I’m trying to wear less. Open my wardrobe and it’s nine tenths turquoise, sky and cobalt, with a bit of white and pink near the back. I keep pledging to buy warm reds and oranges but blue keeps finding me and singing hello.
As the name suggests, the Eco Tech fitness tee has strong environmental credentials. Since writing an eye-opening feature on sustainable cotton for a parenting mag 10 years ago, when my teens were tots, I’ve tried to find out where my clothes come from and who stitches them. This pioneering tee more than ticks the box; made from polyamide yarn, it’s the world’s first fabric to biodegrade, decomposing in landfill within three years. The design is part of Sundried’s mission to start reversing the damage being done by ‘fast fashion’ and to encourage consumers to choose quality clothing that lasts, instead of contributing, on a mass-produced scale, to landfill pollution. But is it any good?
On unpackaging, the top feels so silky that I just don’t believe the smoothness will survive the first wash. But it does – and then a lot more washing. I’ve washed it after every wear and the softness remains invitingly tactile. It also retains its shape beautifully, springing back to fit all the right places like memory foam.
And about that running. The blurb says the fabric lends itself perfectly to sport as it’s naturally sweat-wicking and stretchy, as well as offering advanced UV protection and anti-odour properties. Now, a girl just can’t run 10+ miles without sweating – well, this girl can’t – but the tee holds up well, any moisture quickly evaporating rather than clinging to my back, as is the way with standard cotton.
I suspect I’ll be wearing the tee in training for a good few half marathons to come, having already signed up for Merthyr next March, plus a few Tough Runners. It’s also stylish enough to wear day-to-day, with jeans and an open shirt, so I’m more than confident I’ll get the wear out of it – I have clothes older than my teens – but it’s lovely to know that, eventually, it will completely return to the earth, instead of polluting the environment for hundreds of years to come.
The Eco Tech® range, which includes t-shirts for men and women, is one of three sustainable ranges by Sundried. The Eco Charge range is made from 100% recycled coffee grounds, which tend to end up in landfill anyway, while Eco Core activewear is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. According to Sundried’s research, in the UK alone we get through 15m plastic bottles a day; a hideous statistic but one that’s being combated by each piece of Eco Core clothing being made from three recycled bottles.
The Eco Tech® women’s fitness top is also available in white and black and costs £30, with free delivery for all UK orders. If you’re keen to find out more about sustainable clothing for outdoor adventures, read up on the super-comfy SueMe Beech Shorties, made from recycled beech pulp, and the ever-popular BUFF head and neckwear, fashioned from recycled polyester microfibre made from clear plastic bottles!