Published on February 21st, 2013 | by Scott Cooney
Athletic shirts that are uber green and high performance
If you’re a weekend warrior like I am, you likely have a handful of those high performance athletic shirts that wick moisture and keep you warm and dry. They’re great for running, hiking, ultimate frisbee (in other words, everything I do). But one thing they’re not great at: coming clean. These shirts resist laundry detergents like a southerner avoids salad (been working on my southernisms…I’ll keep working). The truth is, athletic shirts made from neo-poly-propy-tolu-hexa-lene are not only derived from petrochemicals and not biodegradable at the end of their useful life, they’re also STINKY! As in, you’d rather stick your nose in a wall socket and hope for the best, if given a choice of that or my ultimate frisbee shirt–even when it’s fresh out of the laundry. The truth is, this kind of athletic apparel isn’t amenable to the hydrophilic laundry detergents we all use, and to truly get them clean, you have to buy special, very expensive detergents, and wash them separately from everything else you own. Dumb, right?
So here’s how it happened that I found the answer to my stinky problem. Green Living Ideas is part of the Important Media network. We cover sustainability from every angle across our network, have well over a million unique monthly readers actively engaged in sustainability and health issues, and have one central contact form. As a result, we get pitched, as a company, about 52 times a day, on average, by folks looking for publicity for their products. There’s no way we can even respond to them all, but we’re always happy to hear from folks and see what kinds of cool sustainable innovations they’re working on. So it was, the answer to my prayers arrived in my inbox about a month ago. Singlo Sport, a company professing to have an organic athletic shirt that doesn’t retain odor the way petrochemical shirts do, asked if we’d like to receive a free sample to review on our network. I gladly accepted, and put the shirt to a couple of pretty stiff tests right away.
To give you some background, the shirt is made from 100% organic blend of bamboo fiber and cotton. The shirt comes with a tag that claims,
“…featuring the breakthrough SingloTex Anti-Odor Block Technology….This means that even in the most intense workouts and conditions you never again have to worry about embarrassing odors coming from your shirt.”
Pretty big claim. Never? I’m a skeptic, but always happy to do some green product testing.
In the first few times I used the shirt, I ran about 12 miles (3 separate runs…), hiked twice, and went to the gym once. I’m Italian. I sweat. A lot. So the shirt got a pretty thorough test. I tested the odor after the first workout and was impressed. I then laundered the shirt and went for a second test. Again…pretty solid. I washed it again and the next time I used it, I decided to push the envelope. Not only was it the longest of my three runs, I then didn’t wash it and wore it again the next day for another workout. By the end of the second straight day of working out, the shirt was not really holding up to the “never” claim. But that’s not really a fair test so I figure that’s a bit over the line. Who’s gross enough to work out in a shirt two days in a row and not wash it in regular use (and not being an overzealous product tester?)
So bottom line, I’m impressed. The shirt has a great athletic cut, moves well, doesn’t stink, and is SOOOO soft. I mean, it is really really soft. The kind of thing that if you were single, and were trying to impress that cute green girl, you could probably impress her with an invitation to feel how amazing the shirt feels against your bulging bicep. You know, if you have a bulging bicep, which I do not. But I’m not single, so I’m just saying.
I’m also really impressed with attention to detail, and Singlo Sport has that. They’ve greened their “packaging”. The tag I referred to earlier? it’s hung on the shirt with a piece of what looks like hemp or other natural fiber string, not a plastic piece. The label sewn into the shirt is the only piece of what looks like unnatural material, and it’s designed to be incredibly tiny, I presume to minimize its impact in the manufacture of thousands of shirts.
Check out Singlo Shirts online and maybe test one for yourself. Unless you own an awesome blog like GLI, you probably have to buy one for yourself, but I can absolutely give this a thumb’s up and say it’s worth every penny.
We were not paid to review this product, but we did receive a free sample!