REVIEW: Ethical ‘made from coffee’ running gear

The Sundried t-shirt, made from coffee grounds

Looking good, feeling comfortable and being visible to traffic have long been traditional considerations for joggers choosing their running gear.

But there appears to be a new concern for sporty types – being ethical.

A whole host of companies who lay claim to the title ‘ethical’ have created a market for those who want their sportswear to be sustainable, environmentally friendly, or produced by companies with a social conscience.

Even some of the world’s biggest sportswear brands have got in on the act in recent years.

Sundried are a relative newcomer to the market, and the UK-based company make some interesting boasts about their new range.

The Sundried Olperer t-shirt is made from 100 per cent recycled materials - namely coffee grounds, which are processed in a low-temperature, high-pressured environment to turn them into yarn.

Then the yarn is woven into naturally high-tech fabric.

They claim to have harnessed coffee’s odour controlling properties and to offer UV protection.

It’s a process that was developed by a Taiwanese firm nine years ago.

The first thing that can be said is that it’s a nice t-shirt, a smart design with a snug fit - something that, in itself, can be a motivator to get out and do a few extra miles so the spare tyre is a little less pronounced.

It doesn’t chafe, it is a soft fabric and Sundried say that the latest ‘sweat wicking’ technology is used to produce the clothing. That simply means that the fabric draws sweat away from the body to the surface of the fabric.

In reality, on the evidence of several runs and a couple of turbo bike sessions - which really put a fabric’s sweat-wicking abilities to the test - it does seem to cope really very well with moisture.

Some running tops become uncomfortable or unbearably heavy when they take on board a bucket-load of perspiration. This one doesn’t appear to.

It dries quickly and doesn’t emit the kind of scent that makes you want to hide from all human contact post-exercise.

Downsides? Some will see the price tag as prohibitive. It’s a £50 t-shirt.

Will people shell out that much to be able to go for an ethical job? Undoubtedly. There’s a market for this kind of product for a reason.

But others will say it’s a price that they just can’t justify, particularly when ‘budget’ supermarkets bring out very cheap alternatives on a regular basis.

Having experienced that end of the sportswear market myself, I can safely stand behind the following judgment – you get what you pay for.

For more information on Sundried, visit their website HERE

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