• How It's Made: Recycled Water Bottles To Clothes

    Sophie Personal Trainer Sundried Activewear Gym Apparel

    In the UK, we throw away billions of plastic bottles every year. Here are some facts about plastic that may shock you:

    • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
    • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
    • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing by about 4% each year.
    • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

    At Sundried, we use recycled plastic bottles and give them new life by turning them into gym apparel. It’s an incredible way for us to continue to share our ethical values and support our ethos of protecting the planet. But how do we do it?

    Cycling Sundried Trousers Gym Apparel Premium Activewear

    Stage 1: Recycled bottles are taken to a recycling centre where they are shredded so that any liquid is removed. They are then boxed up to be shipped to stage 2.

    Stage 2: The bottles are sorted into clear and coloured plastic, stickers, and bottle lids. They are put in a bath where the lids float to the top and can be cleared. Next, it's bath number two in chemicals which help to remove the stickers.

    Stage 3: After two chemical baths, the plastic bottles have now become a pile of soggy clear plastic shreds. So it’s time to dry it off. The plastic spends around 10 hours in what is effectively a slow cooker, rotating until it's dry and ready for the next step in its journey to become activewear.

    Stage 4: Next the mixture is sent through a rotating screw where it is heated to a whopping 270 degrees celsius, which melts the plastic, and it is then dropped into large strings which are collected into a container below.

    Stage 5: We now have large strings of thread, but it’s not strong enough for our activewear just yet. It is reheated and stretched to create stronger, binding fibres.

    Stage 6: So what do we do with these new stronger fibres? We tear them apart again. Once they are torn apart, we’re left with a fluffy raw substance.

    Stage 7: The fluff is sent off to another factory to be made into cloth. A machine lays the fibres into a rough cloth. This rough cloth is then spun into fibre and collected on giant bobbins.

    Stage 8: The thread is now ready to be transformed into one of our wonderful Sundried designs.

    So, what was once rubbish is now sweat-wicking, functional, and stylish activewear! It helps to conserve and protect the planet and contributes to combatting climate change.
    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Guide to Buying Running Tights

    Running Tights Guide

    Once you’ve run in a good pair of tights, you’ll never run in anything else.

    Running is one of the most widely accessible sports, with no opening or closing times, no pitch or court, no set destination. Running can be done almost anywhere and everywhere.

    It’s the marmite of sport. People either love nothing more than clearing their head with a good run, or they dread pounding the pavements and count the seconds until it’s over.

    If you are one of the latter people, this guide will help you pick the right tights to wear for your run. They won’t do the work for you, but the right kit can help you look and feel the part. If you’ve been running in the wrong kit, it may be why you’re not so keen!

    So, what should you look for when purchasing running tights?

    Running Tights Fit

    If your running tights don’t feel right when you’re trying them on in a fitting room, how do you think they’re going to hold up when once you put them through their paces running? Let me tell you… not well!

    Poorly constructed running tights have seams which don’t follow the muscle and this can lead to irritation and chaffing - which ain’t pretty! Opt for sports specific training tights which have flatlock seams designed to flow comfortably against your skin and support your normal muscle movement.

    Running tights are designed to be snug, but not so tight they restrict your circulation. Compression tights are worn like a second skin, but they should still feel comfortable and allow complete freedom of movement.

    Running Tights Length

    Most running tights will come in a set length, so it’s important to check the size guide before buying. Typically if a running tight is too long, due to their spandex / stretchy nature, you tend to be able to wear the tights with a gather at the bottom without any discomfort - I speak with experience as I’m barely over 5 ft.

    If a running tight fits short, you can end up with chilly ankles, so be sure to try before you buy. If your chosen brand’s length isn’t quite right for you, see what active socks they do. The right pair of socks can easily bridge the gap between your ankle and foot and will help keep you feet protected and blister free.

    Opaque Running Tights

    Now obviously, your tights are going to cover your legs… but are they actually going to cover your legs? When you’re stood still in the light of a changing room, your tights might seem to be opaque but when you’re out bending over stretching in the sunshine, are you going to be revealing all. This is one of the most important things to look for when purchasing any form of sports tight, as the already revealing nature of their figure hugging design hardly leaves much to the imagination as it is! Opt for tights which remain opaque even when stretched to avoid any embarrassment on the road.

    Running Tights Waistband

    Running tights waistband

    When running there’s plenty to focus on, from looking ahead of you, to breathing and of course, not falling over. The last thing you want to have to worry about is your tights falling down and having to whip your top layers up to yank them back up every few yards. It’s distracting, uncomfortable and let’s face it - incredibly annoying!

    Look for tights with a secure fastening system, for example our men's running tights have an elasticated waistband, which is further secured with a drawstring, for a personalised fit with added security and peace of mind that they absolutely will not fall down. Many gym tights have spandex waistbands, which although comfy and great for gym workouts, may slip during running. We recommend always opting for an adjustable waist when it comes to running.

    Running Visibility

    Depending on what time of day you get out running will depend on how important visibility is to you. As most people work, we’ll assume most of you are running in the early morning or evening and therefore won’t be blessed with the best hours of daylight. If this is the case, you need to make sure you're visible to cars and other road users to keep yourself safe. We recommend teaming a high- vis vest with some technical tights which offer reflective zones or panelling. This will help others to pick up your movement.

    Plan Your Pockets

    When you’re out on the road, you want to have as little as possible weighing you down, so a heavy backpack full of kit is a no-go. Opt for running tights with pockets which will keep your valuables snug and safe, without distracting from your run. Other than a water bottle all you really need are keys, a card or some cash and possibly a mobile phone. Our men's and womens running tights have a hidden zippered pocket large enough to hold your valuables discreetly.

    So you’ve got tight’s that are a comfortable fit, the right length, they’re not going to fall down or go see through, they’ll help keep you visible and store your valuables, what more should you look for?

    Running Tights Price

    This is where many people will get it wrong. They’ll opt for the cheapest tight, which may well do all of the above (or appear to), but in just a few months time they’ll need to replace them. Or the cheap tights won’t do one of the above features and you’ll end up replacing them anyway. Opt for quality over quantity and invest in a good pair of running tights. Well made running tights will last. If you’ve chosen to make the commitment to running, why not make the commitment to get the right kit to support to your new lifestyle choice, which in the long run will benefit your run, your health and your bank balance.

    We hope this will help you find a pair of running tights you can’t wait to slip into!

    Happy running.
    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • 5 Reasons Activewear Has Grown In The UK

     Activewear UK

    This year fashion and fitness have fused, silhouette hugging leggings and sweat wicking tops have dominated our shopping carts, both in the highstreet and online, but why?

    1.Community

    Social media has made fitness a community, you may follow and talk training with hundreds of people you’ve never actually met, but you connect over a shared passion. Fitness is very much the ‘in thing’ at the moment as we love to watch other people's progress, workouts and of course ‘belfies’. That’s a selfie of your bum to show your #glutegains, incase you didn’t know.

    There are tons of ways to connect through fitness, whether it's via social media, liking a person’s fit pics to following along to a live workout. Then there’s the in app based community worlds of Nikeplus, Strava and Myfitnesspal - to name a few, we’re constantly comparing our stats to others, battling for the best time, best burn or best results.

    Then there’s the communities who develop into tribes, pledging allegiance to particular fitness trends or classes such as Soulcycle, Barry’s Bootcamp and CrossFit.

    It seems whatever we’re doing fitness wise, someone is watching or tracking, if they’re not it’ll be saved for a later post on facebook. With eyes on us at all times, we’ve got to look good when working out and part of that is having fashionable, on trend activewear.

    2.Celebrities are endorsing fitness products

    Celebrities are turning to fitness and fitness is turning into celebrities. It seems a new workout dvd is released by a celebrity every month, each promising you results in less and less time - we’re down to 3 minutes now! Equally the world of fitness has turned our fitspo faves into celebrities themselves, with a reach of 450 thousand +, the following of fitness, be it fad or lifestyle, is huge.

    3. Athleisure

    The combining of athletic apparel for leisure and everyday wear has exploded the activewear market. From the gym to the office and from the office to happy hour, millennials more relaxed approach to fashion has transformed fitness clothing into a trend we can adopt and wear for almost anything. It’s led to trendier, more stylish designs and with the catwalk and celebrities following trend, it appears athleisure is here to stay.

    Athleisure has made activewear social. Whereas before, the excuse to not workout would simply be “I’m going out” meeting friends, now it’s become the norm to meet your friends for a fitness class or a workout and a coffee.

    4. Technology

    It’s not just the clothing that’s become huge in the last year, we’ve started concentrating on an overall picture of health and wellbeing. 1 in 6 people own a fitness tracker. We’re constantly tracking our every move, it’s trendy to book into fitness classes with your friends. Fitness has become a cult, whereas before it used to be embarrassing to go to the gym, now it’s something to brag about. Wearing the right clothing, tracking activity and doing the right workout is all very on trend.

    5. Health is Wealth

    The rise in activewear and focus on fitness wearables has come as part of a shift in culture to focus on health and wellbeing.

    Wellness is becoming a widespread epidemic as the movement from healthcare to well being grows. Our clothes, watches, wearables and phones are allowing us to be connected to our own personal wellness ecosystems 24/7 and brands are creating more and more activewear to keep us looking the part.

    The quest for wellness has become more popular with people have taking more active roles in seeking to improve their health outside of the gym from wearing a Fitbit to clean eating. It’s also become more popular and more normal to brag. We don’t think anything of people posting pictures in which are borderline pornographic in their undies if it’s accompanied by #progresspic or #legsday. Our health and wellness values have changed and looking good is as important as feeling good, if not more.
    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • Activewear UK

    Sundried Activewear UK

    2016 has been the year of active wear, rising in popularity to the point where athleisure has now secured it’s spot in the dictionary.

    A poll by Verdict retail completed in February 2016 found that:

    • 53.7% of consumers purchased activewear over the last 12 months, with the highest penetration among 25 to 44 years age group.
    • 43.3% of consumers prefer to wear activewear over other clothing.

    Athleisure is defined as casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use, and this is exactly what makes it so popular, it’s a fashion trend that easy to adopt and there’s something for almost every body type. The wide appeal of activewear has spread across consumers because they can manipulate one trend for almost every situation, from grabbing coffee, to training in a gym, grocery shopping and even at work in the office.

    Gym Apparel

    It is becoming more and more acceptable to wear your gym apparel for both physical activities and social events, particularly since retailers have invested in making ranges far more fashionable and trend-led. Just a few years ago I remember saving my eldest, tattiest T shirts for gym sessions. If I spilled dinner down a top, it would then go into the gym pile - after all, I was only going to sweat in it anyway, but nowadays I wouldn’t dream of it, what would people think!

    Fitness Apparel

    The past year has seen a significant rise not only in the popularity of gym wear, but of fitness wearables, from heart rate trackers to watches which measure your water intake. There’s been a shift of focus since the 2012 Olympics and the gym is only one part of the overall picture of health and fitness we’re striving for. Fitness clothing is designed to be worn outside of the gym, as we strive for a healthy lifestyle which continues away from barbells and treadmills and runs into our everyday lives.

    This prioritising of health and fitness has spread into the office as well, offering a more relaxed dress code which allows for lunchtime workouts, or a quick dash from work to the gym for an evening workout.

    We’re more conscious of the dangers of sitting, being constantly reminded that we’re not doing enough to move, and so it’s become more popular to dress so we’re ready to be active when the opportunity arrives.

    Are Gym Outfits The New Trainers?

    There was a time, where you wore trainers if you were training, or a laborer. Today, with fewer jobs requiring men to be suited and booted and the catwalks full of relaxed tailoring and sportswear, trainers are more popular than ever, from casual converse to Adidas Yeezy’s. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own at least one pair of trainers. Are gym outfits heading the same way? It’s becoming more and more acceptable to be seen in your gym gear outside of the gym, so perhaps our activewear will become the new trainers.

    Gym Gear

    The rise of activewear has been accompanied by a rise in fitness technology, with gadgets developed to monitor everything from your sleep to your water intake. Due to this constant consciousness of our physical state, we’re more likely to worry about wearing fitness wear which enables us to be more active throughout the day. One in 6 consumers currently wears wearable technology.

    The UK market for activewear is predicted to rise over the next 5 years to surpass 8 billion, according to new research by Key Note.
    Posted by Victoria Gardner
  • Men's Black Leggings

    As the winter months approach, it’s time to put your knees away.

    Trade your running shorts for their longer, warmer counterpart, men's black leggings.

    What do Sundried Leggings offer?

    Good question, here’s a breakdown of why our tights should hug your legs:

    Sundried Mens Leggings

    Because they give you superpowers:

    Well not quite, but with our reflective cuffs, you’ll be able to see in the dark and that’s halfway there.

    Because they do a whole load of fancy stuff:

    Like wick sweat, stretch to flatter your form and protect your skin from wind chill, whilst also having a useful back pocket.

    Because Sundried leggings make you look like a superhero:

    What do Batman, Superman and Captain America have in common? They are all men wearing leggings. It could be you. Wear your Sundried tights on your next run and don’t be surprised if people assume you're a superhero, easy confusion to make.

    Because we donate to charity:

    You’ll have more than just runner's high to make you feel good after buying with Sundried. Every Sundried purchase has a unique donate code to charity Water for Kids on it. Meaning you can feel twice as good about your run, as it’s helped to supply a child with water for the first time. Well done you.

    Sundried Mens Running Tights

    Because it may be the only hugs you get:

    It's freezing outside and you are cold. Do not expect your other half to willingly give you a hug. You are too cold. Take a hug from your leggings instead, they’ll never kick you out the bed.

    Because they’ll protect you where you need it most:

    We all like to show off a bit of leg in shorts, but when it comes to the winter months, flashing your pins on a run can mean risking freezing cold air shooting up your shorts into sensitive areas - which just don’t need that. Especially when it’s already cold. Keep your sensitive areas protected from the wind with fitted running leggings.

    Because it’s getting chilly:

    Stating the obvious, but, Sundried men’s leggings are designed using technical fabrics which help to regulate your body temperature, keeping you warm when you’re cold and cooler when you are warmer. As we approach the winter the Sundried leggings will help keep you warm, so all you need to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other.

    Now all you need to do to keep up your winter training is own a pair of Roteck leggings.

    Don't worry ladies, we have women's black leggings too.

    Posted by Victoria Gardner