Ethical clothing is sweeping the nation and there is an ever-growing demand for more sustainable ways to produce fabric. With a rise in ‘fast fashion’ over the last few years, the mounting production of cheap clothing has meant that important values have been lost and not only does the environment suffer, but so too do the workers.
Sundried are proud to support ethical, sustainable activewear production with our range of apparel made from coffee. You’ve probably heard of fabric made from recycled water bottles, but coffee is the latest development in responsible sourcing.
First developed by a Taiwanese company in 2008, the use of coffee grounds to make clothes has been on the rise ever since. The fabric produced has a number of benefits, especially for activewear and gym clothing. It is fast-drying, sweat-wicking, and de-odorising, all benefits which are hugely important for performance clothing. Not only that, it does not require the high-temperature treatment that other materials require which reduces CO2 emissions leading to a greener planet.
How do recycled coffee grounds become clothing?
The fabric is made from the waste product that is created when making coffee. The used coffee grounds usually just end up in a landfill, so this recycling process is truly ethical and responsible. The coffee grounds are processed in a low-temperature, high-pressured environment to make them into yarn which is then woven into naturally high-tech fabric.
The clothing that is produced from used coffee grounds has fantastic benefits, including odour control, sweat-wicking, and it dries over 200 times faster than cotton. It is also naturally anti-bacterial.
Responsibly-sourced materials are the future and ethical brands like Sundried are leading the way to a brighter time ahead for our planet. Did you know that most polyester blends are made from the chemical reaction that occurs between coal and petroleum? Hardly what you'd want to be wearing to the gym when you think about it! The manufacture of fitness clothing from recycled materials has a significantly lower CO2 emission and therefore is kinder to the environment.
There are so many different types of womens leggings that it can be hard to know where to start. That's why we've created this definitive guide to buying womens leggings so that you can find what works best for you and your needs.
Womens gym leggings
The leggings you buy will be dependant on your goals and current training style. When it comes to gym leggings, there's plenty of choice and you don't need to worry so much about performance, instead focusing on appearance and style.
The Sundried Infinity Leggings feature drop-in side pockets for practicality and convenience so you can take your phone with you when you run and access it easily without the need to stop. Sundried's seamless gym leggings are high waisted so they will cinch your waist and you can wear them with just a sports bra or crop top if you like. They are made with sweat-wicking fabrics so the harder you work at the gym, the more they perform. They don't feature pockets or reflective trim so they are best for gym workouts and are simple enough to be perfect for low impact exercise like walking or yoga.
What To Look For In Gym Leggings:
- Fashionable and stylish
Womens running leggings
When it comes to running leggings, you need a product that will perform at a high level and will stay comfortable as the miles tick over. There's nothing worse than heading out for a long run but having to turn back early because your leggings are driving you mad by slipping down or riding up. Your running leggings also need to have pockets for your valuables and reflective trim for running at night.
What To Look For In Running Leggings:
- Pockets for valuables
- Reflective trim for running in low light
- Adjustable drawstring waist so they don't slip down
- Technical qualities for performance
For more in depth information about buying running leggings, read our Guide To Buying Running Tights.
Everyone needs their staple pair of black leggings. The worst thing is buying a pair and then discovering they go see-through when you bend over due to cheap or thin material. That's why it's important to read reviews and to invest in a quality pair of black leggings made from premium materials.
The original Sundried Ruinette Tights are made from a more elastic material for more freedom of movement. The comfortable fabric won't restrict your movement but is thick enough to stay opaque no matter how much you move and bend. With a drawstring to the waist you can personalise the fit and there's a discreet pocket at the back for storing your valuables.
Capri leggings are a typed of cropped legging which are perfect for training in warmer weather. If you don't want to wear heavy, thick gym tights, you'll definitely want to invest in a good pair of cropped leggings. Most sportswear brands will have a cropped version of their long leggings, like the Sundried Ruinette Capris which take all the best features of the Ruiniette 2.0 Leggings and put them in a cropped legging. They come in black and blue so they will match most stylish exercise outfits and come with matching sports bras for a perfect gym outfit. Your Capri pants could finish mid-shin or just below the knee, so make sure you check that the length is what you are expecting.
High waisted leggings
We all love a good pair of high waisted sports leggings to flatter our figure and skim our curves where it matters. High waisted leggings are also perfect paired with a stylish sports bra or crop top for effortless style which can translate to casual everyday wear as well as gym attire. Make sure the leggings come as high as you want without being too high so as to restrict your movement.
Whether you're just updating your gym wardrobe or are in need of new sportswear, Sundried give you our top 10 activewear pieces from sports bras to mens leggings.
1. Sports Bra
A sports bra is an absolute must have for any type of workout. The racerback design of a sports bra prevents the straps slipping down while you move, while the supportive cups keep your chest in place and prevent any pain or discomfort. Sundried's range of sports bras are designed to lock down movement and reduce the impact on the shoulders by redistributing the weight across your back. The racer back is great for keeping you cool when you build up a sweat and they look great too!
2. Technical T-Shirt
You may think that any t-shirt will do for a gym workout, but you want to make sure that the gym top you wear has technical performance qualities to keep you comfortable while you train. Sweat-wicking materials draw moisture away from the body so that you stay drier and more comfortable during a tough session. A good technical gym top won't lose its shape as you move and will prevent chafing. Sundried's range of technical sports t-shirts are made from recycled materials which boast advanced technical qualities such as moisture wicking, UV protection, and even anti-odour.
3. Gym Leggings
Finding the right pair of gym leggings is crucial for a comfortable workout. If you're constantly having to pull them up you won't be able to focus on your performance so you'll want to find ones with an adjustable waistband. Sundried's range of gym leggings feature a high waist band which won't dig in or slip down as you jump, skip, and lift. They also feature slimming designs and seamless construction so that they're perfectly comfortable and you can wear them with confidence.
4. Training Socks
The right socks might not always be top of your list when it comes to activewear, but they are important. Blisters can really set your training back and long training sessions are dependant upon your feet being comfortable. Sports-specific training socks should be sweat-wicking with extra padding or protection in areas prone to blisters. Sundried's socks feature mesh ventilation panels to the top so that your feet can breathe and wick sweat to prevent chafing and blisters.
5. Comfortable Gym Shoes
The right gym shoes can make or break a training session. The last thing you want is to be tripping over shoes that are too big or suffering numb toes from shoes that are too small. Furthermore, your gym shoes need to have the right grip and performance qualities for your type of training. Do you do CrossFit? You'll want to invest in a proper pair of CrossFit shoes as there is a difference between CrossFit shoes and training shoes. Sundried offer a pair of barefoot gym shoes which are said to prevent injury and allow you to feel every movement, thereby enhancing your performance and training results.
6. Gym Vest
The right gym vest will make you feel confident and comfortable while working out in the gym. No matter the season, a gym will always be warmer than outdoors, so having a vest handy even in winter is important for regular gym-goers. You want a gym vest that enhances your physique and makes you feel confident while also being practical and technical. The Sundried men's gym vest is made with seamless construction for comfort and features a stylish arrow design to the chest which enhances your physique.
7. Fitness Tracker
Using a fitness tracker will help you achieve your goals with real statistics and useful information. By tracking your heart rate during a workout you can see if you are working hard enough and will be rewarded with calories burned at the end. Having an accurate measurement will aid in reaching your goals and can be something positive to focus on.
8. Gym Bag
With all your new gym gear you're going to need somewhere to put it! Regular bags may pick up a smell, but a gym bag is designed to be odour-resistant. We recommend you pack up your gym bag the night before, that way when it comes time to workout, you’re ready and raring to go and have no excuses to put it off. Keep your pre-gym routine as simple as possible to avoid allowing yourself the opportunity to find an excuse to not bother.
9. Water Bottle
When you're training at intensity, you lose a lot of water, so it’s essential to keep yourself hydrated. Grabbing yourself a reusable bottle prevents wasting used plastic bottles and helps minimise the load in our landfills waiting to decompose, not only that but plastic bottles contain harmful substances so you'll want one which is BPA-free like the Sundried water bottle.
Last but definitely not least is a gym towel. Having sweat dripping off your face during a tough workout might make you look like you're working hard, but it can be very irritating and uncomfortable. Make sure you have an appropriately-sized gym-specific towel that you can keep in your bag and also use to wipe down machines and benches once you've used them.
Finding the best leggings for running can be a tough task if you don't know what to look for or where to look. Buying running leggings online can be frustrating so we take the guess work out of it. We take a look at the best leggings and how to find them.
When it comes to running, you need leggings that aren't going to fall down with every stride and leave you hitching them up every 2 minutes and interfering with your run. A comfortable, well-fitted waistband is paramount for a good run and so it's important to decide which type you're going to go for.
The safest option if you don't want your leggings falling down is to go for a classic drawstring waist. Sometimes the drawstrings are on the inside of the waistband like the Sundried Ruinette 3.0 women's running leggings and sometimes they're on the outside, but either way they will provide the comfort and security you need to complete your run without having to keep pulling on your leggings.
A drawstring waist will allow you to personalise the fit so that you can decide how tight or loose you want them. Another bonus is that if you are feeling particularly bloated one day, you can loosen them off without feeling uncomfortable. Everyone's weight and physiology fluctuates on a daily basis so this option can be a game changer.
Pockets or no pockets?
Many people like to be able to take their phone out on a run with them and even if you don't take your phone, you might still need storage for keys and other valuables. Many types of running leggings don't feature any pockets at all because they can be clumsy and uncomfortable, but now that a clear demand has arisen more companies are designing running leggings with sizeable pockets that can accommodate a smart phone.
Most of the time this pocket will be to the side of the leggings so that you can easily reach for your phone if you need it. This is especially useful if you listen to music while you run so you can skip to the next tune easily. This feature is present on the Sundried Ruinette 3.0 women's leggings as well as the men's leggings Roteck 3.0.
Sundried running leggings with pockets
If you don't take your phone with you when you run but do take keys and other small items, you might be better off with a small zipper pocket to the side or back of the leggings. A large phone pocket can be annoying and even pull the leggings down if the phone is heavy (although this won't happen with the Sundried leggings thanks to the drawstring waist!)
In that case, many running leggings have small zip pockets to the back or side which you can use to store keys, a spare hair tie, or an energy gel. To zip gives peace of mind so you know your valuables won't jump out of the pocket as you run and it keeps your hands free and unladen so you can perform better.
Full length or cropped?
Typically, you would choose to wear full length running leggings in winter and cropped leggings in summer, however this may not always be best for you. For example, if you are particularly short, you may find that some brands of activewear don't have full length leggings that fit you properly – you might find they're always too long. In this case, you might find that cropped or Capri leggings are better for you whether it's summer or winter.
On the other hand, some people simply don't like wearing cropped leggings and will prefer to wear full length running leggings all year. Really, this one is down to personal preference and shouldn't make too much of a difference to you. Some cropped leggings finish at the knee while others are slightly longer and finish mid-calf.
High waisted or not?
Some people prefer to wear high waisted leggings because they are less likely to fall down as you run and cover over any lumps and bumps you may have. They also have a tendency to make you feel more secure and 'locked in' which is another reason some people prefer them to regular fit leggings.
High waisted leggings are far less likely to feature a drawstring, however they shouldn't really need one as their tightness around the waist should keep them firmly in place as you run.
So what are the best leggings?
As always, what works best for you might be different for someone else. As a general rule, look for running leggings that aren't going to fall down as you run thanks to a secure high waist or drawstring waist. If you like to take things with you when you run, look for running leggings with pockets and storage but be wary of their placement so that the pockets don't impede your performance.
The best running leggings will be supremely comfortable, won't chafe as you move, and will allow you to forget you're even wearing them!
1. Not washing activewear as soon as possible after a sweaty workout
The temptation to lounge around in your comfortable activewear long after your workout is over can be too much sometimes. You might get comfortable on the sofa or head out with friends without getting changed first, but this is a big mistake. If you want to keep your gym clothes fresh and protect their quality, you need to wash your activewear as soon as possible after a sweaty workout.
This will remove the bacteria and oils that permeate the fibres during a workout and prevent a lingering smell from developing. Not only this, it will protect your sensitive skin and prevent sweat rash and body acne from forming. High-tech sports fabrics are now super sweat-wicking which can make it feel like it's okay to stay in your activewear because it dries quickly and you soon forget how sweaty you were, but it's still best to shower and change as soon as you can due to the bacteria that will be left behind.
2. Using too much laundry detergent
It seems logical that the more laundry detergent you use, the cleaner your clothes will come out. However, this is another big mistake you could be making with your activewear. Too much laundry detergent leaves excess residue and can trap in smells, meaning your sweaty and stinky workout clothes will still be sweaty and stinky after their wash!
One telltale sign that you're using too much detergent is if there are still suds left in the machine after it's finished. Additionally, too many harsh chemicals can damage the fine fabrics of sports clothing, so less is definitely more in this case.
3. Putting sportswear in the tumble dryer
This is definitely a big no-no! Your sportswear is made from highly technical fabrics which provide sweat-wicking and multi-way stretch, so you want to make sure all these features are well looked after. Putting sportswear in the tumble dryer can make it lose its shape as well as reducing the quality of the garments.
Materials like Spandex and Lycra will be left brittle and broken by your tumble dryer due to the heat, not to mention the risk of it all shrinking! Sundried always recommends that you 'wash cool, sun dry' your activewear as this will not only increase its life expectancy, but it is kinder to the environment too. This is especially true of premium sports clothing like Lycra cycling gear, which you should really wash separately and in a mesh wash bag or pillow case to protect it properly.
4. Buying gym clothing from non-specialist retailers
These days, more and more fashion retailers are delving into the world of activewear and athleisure and offering it at a very low price. In the UK, retailers like Primark are famed for their bargain basement prices while online fashion retailers like Pretty Little Thing and ASOS now have their own ranges of women's sportswear and activewear.
However, while the unbelievably competitive prices may seem too good to be true, sadly, it's because they are. Non-specialist fashion retailers tend to put appearance over performance because their demographic don't tend to be serious athletes. While this may be fine for most, it does mean your sportswear won't perform as well as it would if you bought it from a specialist retailer like Nike or Sundried who have spent years developing and perfecting their sportswear. These specialist sportswear retailers use premium materials which feature advanced technology to enhance your sporting performance and keep you as comfortable as possible while improving the longevity of the activewear's quality.
When it comes to something like fitness wear, it's always worth paying that little bit extra so that you can benefit from the luxury materials, specialist technology, and advanced garment quality.
5. Not buying according to activity
If you are an avid Yogi, a pair of running leggings might not be best for you. Good quality activewear and sportswear will be meticulously designed with a specific sport or activity in mind so you want to make sure you're making the most of your activewear. A runner will have different demands to a cyclist and a CrossFitter. Running leggings tend to have reflective detailing for safety in low light as well as an adjustable waist so they don't fall down and breathable mesh panels in areas of high movement. For yoga, you'll be wanting softer, more seamless leggings which can bend and stretch as much as you!
Make sure you take into account exactly what you'll be wearing your activewear for so that you can make an informed decision when buying. Even better, seek out brands which specialise in specific sports, like how Sundried are specialists in triathlon. This way, you'll know that the brand leaders and designers know the sport inside out and therefore are knowledgeable about what the wearer will be wanting, needing, and expecting from the garments.