Combatting fast fashion
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the planet’s carbon emissions, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping put together. Despite this shocking fact, there are some awesome brands that are working towards protecting our planet. Through using cutting-edge fabric design, eco-friendly production and recycling old gear, these brands are helping to make cycling kit sustainable. So if you're looking for your next jacket or bibs, check these out first.
Albion champions creating garments designed to endure harsh British conditions, with a mission to design long-lasting clothing whilst using no single-use plastic in production or operations. Their clothing is sourced from two factories in Great Britain and Italy. These factories have over forty years of experience, developing technical clothing for professional teams in both road cycling and downhill skiing.
Promoting ideas of sustainability through their partnership with Raeburn, Albion has committed to using sustainable fabric solutions, with it being a condition for all forthcoming and future product developments. Back in November Albion hosted an event at the Raeburn Studio, where you could make hand-made musettes out of old military parachutes. They also organised a drop-in repair service, free of charge, offering attendees the chance to repair or rejuvenate an existing item of cycling clothing. If you’re looking for sustainable gear look no further than Albion.
Based in West Wales, Howies has been designing and producing low-impact, high-quality clothing since 1995. Their award-winning men’s and women’s clothing is produced using organic, recycled or natural fabrics wherever possible. All t-shirts, jeans and sweats are made from Oeko-Tex certified organic cotton and their sport base layers are made using the highest quality Merino wool you can find.
Along with making top-notch clothing, Howies uses sustainable methods all the way through the production process. Your kit will even arrive plastic-free in a custom Howies paper bag. #TheLandfillIsTheEnemy
Isadore’s founders Martin and Peter Veltis are determined to work towards carbon-neutral production of their clothing. They keep it local by sourcing clothing from factories in their home town of Puchov in Slovakia. Through using OEKO-TEX® and bluesign® international standards, Isadore is committed to using sustainable fabrics to produce their clothing.
“There is an unpleasant paradox between how healthy and good for the environment cycling is, and how much pollution the cycling industry as a whole is responsible for,” Isadore co-founder Martin Velits believes.
If you’re passionate about buying eco-friendly clothing check out Isadore’s Alternative Line. The ability to recycle PET bottles now means that everything from your bibs to your jersey to your jacket can now be made of 100% recyclable materials. Thanks to these efforts, Isadore is getting closer to their long term goal of eliminating virgin plastic and petroleum-derived fabrics from their supply chain.
Matchy is a French clothing brand that blends French cycling heritage with cutting-edge, sustainable garment production. Their jerseys are made from Repreve fabric which is a fibre constructed from plastic bottles, meaning a Matchy jersey is made from 100% recycled material. On top of that there is no plastic in any of their packaging along with using super sleek tags made from recycled paper.
Along with being great for the environment, the clothing is perfect for cycling. The fabric has an extremely smooth feel in contact with skin, is exceptionally breathable and is resilient giving longevity to your garment. A Matchy jersey is the ultimate sustainable item of cycling kit.
Grity are a new sustainable sports apparel brand that are putting their love of the environment and cycling together. With roots in off-road cycling, cyclocross, gravel and MTB, they ensure their kit is made to the highest of standards, to withstand the conditions of off-road cycling.
Traditional cycle clothing, a.k.a lycra, is made of polyester, a form of plastic which puts added strain on the environment. Grity make their kit with recycled polyester, so you know that your kit is being made without creating new pollutants. When you buy yourself some kit from Grity, you can guarantee that the product will be eco-friendly, technical, but also look great too.
A long-time pioneer of eco-friendly clothing, Patagonia has brought cyclists and mountain bikers a range of technical clothing. Patagonia claims to have created the first 100% Fair Trade Certified sewn mountain bike apparel collection. Their wide range of kit includes jackets, bibs and jerseys, so there’s something in there for everyone.
Also, 1% of Patagonia’s profits go towards protecting the environment. Part of this includes funding grassroots groups who are working towards finding solutions to the environmental crisis. Their campaign to protect the places you ride is helping to keep the world’s best riding spots free from the damage caused by climate change.