In a world where the sports industry often promotes the constant pursuit of the latest gear, where athletic closets brim with impulse purchases, and where the allure of new equipment frequently overshadows the value of enduring quality, a paradigm shift is underway. It boils down to three phrases. Buy Less, Use More & Wash Less. All of them can facilitate a positive change on your footprint.
The guide is sectioned as follows:
- Buy Less - Why This Matters More in Sports
- Use More - Getting More Out of Your Wardrobe
- Wash Less - Sustainability and Durability in Focus
- Ethical and Emotional Aspects of Slow Fashion
- Brands Championing Slow Fashion in Sports
Full Disclosure: We are a company that specializes in selling Merino Wool golf polos. While we have a deep appreciation for sustainable production methods and mindsets, we try to keep this as objective as possible. The structure, methodology, and the actual comparison presented in this guide are based on our independent research and extensive experience.
Buy Less - Why This Matters More in Sports
Slow fashion is more than just a trend; it's a transformative approach to clothing that challenges the prevailing fast-paced fashion culture. The example of following every trend and just discarding non used clothes would be the polar opposite of what we propose below.
Quality Over Quantity:
Slow fashion in sports emphasizes the importance of investing in high-quality sports gear and apparel that endure the test of time. By buying less, but opting for top-notch equipment, you not only save money in the long run but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of sports consumption.
Sustainability With Less Buying:
The sports industry can be notorious for its carbon footprint, with frequent equipment turnovers and disposable fashion trends. Choosing to buy less means reducing the demand for mass-produced sports items and their associated environmental costs. Slow sports performance encourages you to make environmentally conscious decisions that align with the principles of sustainability.
Enhanced Performance Need:
Investing in carefully selected, durable sports gear can enhance your performance. Slow fashion in sports isn't just about reducing consumption; it's also about making strategic choices that lead to better results. When you buy less but opt for high-performance gear, you're likely to see an improvement in your overall feel performing your beloved sport.
Financial Efficiency With Less But Better Products:
Sports can be an expensive passion, but by adopting the principles of buying less and not following every trend out there, you can allocate your budget more efficiently. Fewer, well-chosen purchases can lead to long-term savings
Reducing Waste Without Over Consuming:
The disposal of sports gear and apparel contributes to the growing problem of waste in landfills. Especially since much sports gear often is synthetic.. By buying less and focusing on quality, you play a part in reducing the waste associated with discarded, outdated equipment.
Use More - Getting More Out of Your Wardrobe
In sports, where gear faces heavy wear, this section explores ways to extend sportswear life through material selection and care.
With the risk of sounding like a broken record: Material Quality is the cornerstone of durable sportswear. Choose high-performance fabrics designed for your sport, such as moisture-wicking, breathable, and abrasion-resistant materials, will not only impact the life length of your clothing, but also the willingness to use it more frequently.
Material Selection for Versatility:
Choose sportswear with versatile materials that can serve multiple purposes. For example, some athletic tops and bottoms are designed not only for performance but also for casual wear. By selecting sportswear that seamlessly transitions from the gym or field to everyday life, you reduce the need for additional clothing items.
Layering and Mix-and-Match:
Invest in sportswear that's easy to layer and mix-and-match. This allows you to create a variety of outfits with a minimal number of pieces. Versatility in your clothing selection means you can adapt to different weather conditions and sports activities without the need for excessive gear.
Proper Fit and Stretch:
Make sure your sportswear fits and offers sufficient stretch. Ill-fitting clothing can wear out prematurely, causing strain in unwanted areas and let’s be honest, the non stretchy clothing often ends up deep in the closet.
Repair and Alteration:
When minor damages or wear and tear occur, consider repairing or altering your sportswear rather than discarding it. Small fixes like mending seams or replacing zippers can breathe new life into your favorite pieces.
Wash Less - Sustainability and Durability in Focus
In the world of slow fashion, the principle of "wash less" is all about extending the life of your clothing while reducing your environmental footprint. Let’s dig a bit deeper.
The Impact of Over Washing:
Frequent and unnecessary washing of your sports apparel can have several effects:
- Fabric Wear and Tear: Repeated washing can lead to the breakdown of fibers in your sportswear, causing it to lose its shape, elasticity, and overall durability. This wear and tear are especially significant in materials like elastane and spandex, which are commonly used for stretching in sports clothing.
- Color Fading: Colors can fade faster with excessive washing, making your sports gear look worn out and less appealing over time.
- Environmental Impact: Each wash cycle consumes water, energy, and detergent. Using these resources excessively contributes to your environmental footprint.
- Shortened Lifespan: Overwashing accelerates the need for replacements, increasing the frequency at which you need to buy new sportswear.
Materials That Require Less Washing - Odor Resistance:
When it comes to materials that are best and worst for odor resistance in sports apparel, consider the following:
Best Materials for Odor Resistance:
- Merino Wool: Merino wool is renowned for its natural odor-resistant properties. It can wick moisture away from your skin, preventing the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
- Synthetic Blends with Odor Control Technology: Some synthetic materials, like polyester and nylon, are often coated in chemicals to combat odor. These technologies inhibit the growth of odor, allowing you to stay fresher for longer.
Materials to Avoid for Odor Resistance:
- Cotton: Cotton is comfortable but not the best choice for odor resistance. It tends to retain moisture and can promote the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
- Low-Quality Polyester: Inexpensive or low-quality polyester may lack odor control technology, which can lead to odor retention in your sportswear.
Selecting sportswear made from high-quality materials, with odor control technology, can significantly reduce the need for frequent washing. We obviously prefer the natural fibers that have such excellent moisture management properties and demand zero chemical coatings.
Ethical and Emotional Aspects of Slow Fashion
Slow fashion isn't merely about the physical garments you wear; it's a movement that resonates with values, ethics, and emotions. This section delves into the profound connections that slow fashion fosters, from the people behind the scenes to the stories embedded within each piece.
Unveiling the Ethical Side: Fair Labor and Transparency
At the heart of slow fashion lies a commitment to ethical production. This means embracing transparency in the supply chain and ensuring fair labor practices. Slow fashion advocates believe that every stitch should be a testament to the well-being of the individuals who craft the clothing. By supporting brands that prioritize fair wages, safe working conditions, and ethical sourcing, you become an advocate for positive change within the fashion industry.
Slow Fashion's Emotional Impact: The Stories Behind Every Garment
Every garment carries a story – a tale woven into its fabric. Slow fashion brings these stories to the forefront, encouraging you to consider the journey that each piece has embarked upon. From the hands that carefully sewed the seams to the moments you've shared while wearing it, every article of clothing becomes a vessel for memories. This emotional connection transforms your wardrobe from a mere collection of clothes into a tapestry of experiences.
Brands Championing Slow Fashion in Sports
While not exclusively a sports brand, Patagonia is a leader in sustainable and ethical practices. They produce a wide range of outdoor and activewear that is designed to last, with repair and recycling programs to extend the life of their products.
prAna focuses on using organic cotton, recycled materials, and sustainable production processes in their activewear collections. They emphasize ethical sourcing and aim to reduce their environmental impact.
Founded by professional surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown creates sustainable activewear using organic and recycled materials. They prioritize fair labor practices and transparency.
Icebreaker specializes in merino wool clothing for outdoor activities. They are committed to ethical production, animal welfare, and sustainability throughout their supply chain.
While not strictly a sports brand, tentree creates activewear using sustainable materials like Tencel, organic cotton, and recycled polyester. They also have a strong commitment to reforestation, planting ten trees for every item sold.
Reformation offers activewear made from eco-friendly materials and implements sustainable production processes. They focus on transparency and responsible sourcing.
Vaude is a German outdoor brand known for its sustainable practices, including fair labor conditions, environmentally friendly materials, and eco-friendly production processes.
While more focused on casual wear, Pact also offers activewear made from organic cotton and sustainable materials. They emphasize ethical practices and transparency.
For obvious reasons we take the opportunity to mention ourselves in this landscape of great brands. We focus solely on slow fashion sustainable products for outdoor sports. www.snoleo.com
Inspirations for creating this Guide
We read and follow all of the below blogs and websites. They are all inspirations for this guide. Please have a look for further education in the field of sustainability and fashion.
EcoCult is a comprehensive resource for sustainable fashion and lifestyle. ecocult.com
The Good Trade
The Good Trade offers a variety of content on ethical and sustainable living, including fashion. thegoodtrade.com
Sustainable Fashion Forum
Sustainable Fashion Forum is a platform dedicated to promoting sustainable and ethical fashion. Sustainablefashionforum.com
Fashion Revolution is a global movement advocating for transparency and ethics in the fashion industry. Fashionrevolution.org
Sustainable Jungle dives deep in how you go about minimizing waste, living sustainably and also include an appreciated podcast. Sustainablejungle.com