• How It's Made: Coffee To Clothing

    ethical activewear sustainable fashion

    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.

    Ethical Activewear

    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.

    recycled plastic bottles sustainable ethical eco friendly fashion

    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.

    ethical activewear sportswear recycled materials

    Sustainable Fashion

    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. 

    CO2 emissions textiles

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Womens Activewear

    Women's Activewear

    From Zumba to running, cycling to swimming and everything inbetween. We require a lot from our women's activewear so it’s important to pick a style which suits you. Sundried's handy guide to womens activewear will give you all the dos and don'ts, and will help you learn what to look out for when buying new pieces of women's activewear too.

    Womens Gym Top

    Fitted Gym Tops

    Fitted gym tops are beneficial for those who want to show off a well earned physique. These tops are usually crafted with stretch materials which hug your shape and flatter your frame. Opting for a fitted gym top helps to ensure that your session is restriction free, as loose garments can catch on equipment or trap wind when running outdoors. A well-fitted top will also allow you to monitor your form, particularly watching for an arched or hunched back which is a common cause of injury. Sundried’s Tour Noir tank features 4-way stretch materials which create a streamlined silhouette and unique cut outs to the back engineered to provide the ultimate ventilation and freedom of movement.

    womens activewear tank top fitted gym top

    Drape Gym Tops

    A drape gym top is great for those looking to cover up that little bit more. Loose materials skim the body and flatter all body types. Drape tops such as the Sundried Grivola Tee are also perfect for fitting into your normal day wear and can easily be taken from casual to active. With its super stylish fit, this type of top is perfect for wearing to a yoga class or for a gym workout. A loose gym top is perfect layered over a more tight fitting top or just a stylish sports bra. 

    womens loose gym top stylish cute activewear

    Compression Gym Tops

    Compression wear is designed to be worn like a second skin and is great for becoming streamlined in sports such as cycling. It is also typically lightweight in design which is what makes it so popular for sportswear. Compression technology has also been shown to increase blood flow and help prevent aches, however this is often questioned and more supporting research is needed. For more information on the benefits of compression wear, have a read of our in-depth article.

    Women’s Crop Gym Tops

    Those wanting to flash their washboard abs tend to opt for crop tops. In warmer summer months, a crop top can make a stylish statement whilst keeping you cool. We suggest wearing our Breithorn bra solo when exercising in warmer weather, like our ambassador Sophie.

    Sundried Breithorn bra sports bra crop top cropped stylish activewear

    Womens Leggings

    Finding the right gym bottoms is vital for your performance when training. Read our advice on gym tights styles here.

    The Sundried Ruinette tights are multi-functional, providing support for a multitude of sports with extra waist support and a reflective trim for running in low light.

    We also have a guide to activewear to help you find the right support for your sport and our list of must have women's activewear.

    Activewear Clothing

    There are lots of different elements to activewear, and to complete your exercise outfits you'll want a stylish sports bra. There are lots of different types of sports bra, so it's important to pick the right one.

    Sports Bra Crop Top

    If you don't need too much support, for example if you are doing low impact exercise like walking or yoga, you can wear a sports bra crop top. These are incredibly stylish and fashionable and can make for really cute gym clothes. The Sundried Breithorn 2.0 Sports Bra is designed in a crop top style so it can be worn on its own or under a casual jacket to take your activewear from gym to casual wear effortlessly. Sophie here is wearing hers under a denim jacket for chic style at a casual lunch with friends. When it comes to street style, there's nothing better.

    brunch sports bra crop top stylish fashionable street style

    High Support Sports Bra

    If something more supportive is what you're looking for, take a look at the Sundried Busazza Sports Bra. It is made with seamless materials so it fits like a second skin and will give you that locked-in feel you want when doing higher impact activities like a circuit class or CrossFit. It is made with premium fabrics which are super soft to the touch and will feel amazing on your skin.

    Sundried support sports bra crop top cute gym clothes

    Womens Gym Clothes Online

    Buying womens sportswear online can be a minefield, but if you know what to look for, you'll end up with cute gym clothes and exercise outfits that are the envy of all your friends. Have a read of our guide on What To Look For When Buying Sportswear so that you have everything you need to know in one place. 

    The main difference between buying ladies gym wear online and in a store is that you can't try it on. That's why Sundried have a comprehensive womens activewear size guide  with tips on how to measure yourself properly and international conversions so that you know exactly which size you'll need. It's also a good idea to check that the online store you're buying from offers free shipping and free returns so that if it is the wrong size, you can swap it for a different size hassle-free. 

    There are lots of benefits to buying womens sports clothing online, the main one being convenience. You can browse the collections at your own pace and compare different styles of workout attire. Plus, when it gets delivered, it's like Christmas and all the presents are for you!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • 5 Mistakes You Are Making With Your Activewear

    activewear gym clothing sportswear fitness wear

    Is your laundry 90% gym clothing and 10% everything else? Find yourself wearing activewear more often than normal clothes? Make sure you're not making any of these mistakes with your activewear!

    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.

    sweaty workout clothes gym training activewear

    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. 

    Sundried activewear sportswear fitness clothing

    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. 

    yoga seamless leggings designer best activewear UK

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • How Sundried Activewear Is Made

    ethical activewear running vest top

    Sundried believe in keeping our customers educated about the life-cycle of our clothing, so you can make your purchases responsibly.

    What Is Ethical Activewear?

    The fashion and sportswear industries see a lot of what we call 'fast fashion'. This is where large quantities of clothing are produced at a rapid rate and sold very cheaply. When this happens, the people making the clothing are often not treated or paid fairly and the way the clothing is made is not environmentally friendly. 

    Our ethical activewear can be traced right back to where it was made and at Sundried, we guarantee that all of our employees are treated fairly, from the supply chain to the Sundried HQ office. 

    Not only this, every purchase made at Sundried gives a donation to charity Water For Kids. You can read more about that here.

    Sundried Materials

    The Sundried ethos starts at the very beginning with our materials. We select the finest quality technical fabrics which are produced in Portugal and Italy. All our material choices are made with the mitigation of harmful substances, pollution and other environmental hazards associated with raw material extraction in mind.

    Our latest collection is made from 100% recycled materials, including plastic bottles and coffee grounds. These raw materials are sustainable and by recycling them into clothing, we are helping to reduce the global plastic pollution problem

    Sundried Factories

    We believe you cannot be a health and fitness brand without promoting health throughout your company, from production to purpose. The fashion industry is the 2nd largest pollutant, widely known for terrible and dangerous working conditions and tragic disasters such as the collapse of The Rena Plaza factory which stole the lives of 1134 victims.

    Sundried’s factories are based in Portugal and Italy and our staff are paid fairly and respected. We take pride in our partnership with European production which allows us to bring our products to you with a low carbon footprint. Larger production runs allow for lower per unit costs, but we know that producing cheaply means someone further down the line will pay the cost. 

    Ethical Production from Sundried

    Factory Conditions

    We ensure our factory conditions are safe, clean and have everything our staff need.

    Our production will remain in Portugal or within the European Union for all further production as the European proximity allows us to control the working conditions of employees and make sure that European quality standards are maintained during the entire process. All our staff are paid fair wages, within EU guidelines.

    Sundried Low Emissions

    Sundried produce our activewear in partnership with The Low Carbon Innovation fund, to ensure we have as little environmental impact as possible.

    The Low Carbon Innovation Fund has strict policies and regulations which we must adhere to.

    We minimise our carbon footprint throughout the full lifecycle of Sundried apparel through:

    • Local production in the UK and Europe (vs. the rest of the industry which is mainly produced in the Far East).
    • Using materials that use little carbon in their manufacture, little energy in their maintenance and are recyclable.
    • Carbon offsetting where a zero/low carbon choice isn’t currently viable  
    • Advising our products are “washed cool and sun dried” to minimise our footprint after purchase.

    Our vision is to enable people to feel good inside and out before and after exercise through premium, exciting and ethical technical activewear which is stylish, smart and made with consciousness.

    Posted by Alexandra Parren
  • Ethical Activewear

    ethical activewear

    When you think of ethical activewear, we want you to think Sundried. But what exactly is ethical activewear? How is it different from regular sportswear? In fact, there's a huge difference that's important to understand.

    What is ethical activewear?

    With activewear becoming part of our daily wardrobes, there is an increasing importance in knowing how and where your clothes were made. There are over 7 billion people on the planet. If each of the 7 billion people only owned 1 top, 1 pair of trousers and 1 jacket each, that would equate to 21 billion items of clothing.

    The average first-world woman owns 30 complete outfits but has “nothing to wear” and men can own anywhere from 50-150 t-shirts, and that’s just the black and white ones… so you can see how quickly the numbers rack up!

    The clothes you are wearing have an effect on the environment

    Everything you're currently wearing has had some form of effect on the environment, from the materials to the manufacture and after care, even just one item can have a huge knock-on effect.

    Ethical living journalist Lucy Siegle in her book ‘To Die For’ reveals some shocking statistics:

    • You now demand roughly four times the number of clothes you would have in 1980.
    • You will spend at least £625 a year on clothes – and that’s just the average!
    • In one year you'll accumulate in the region of 28 kg of clothing – adding up to an estimated 1.72m tonnes of brand-new fashion being consumed on an annual basis in the UK and with the life expectancy of fast fashion being so short, that translates to a whole tone of waste.

    Sundried’s carbon footprint

    Most human activities emit gases like methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. We refer to these as greenhouse gases which contribute to climatic changes which have a long-term impact on the planet. Your carbon footprint is your own contribution; the impact of the activity that you as an individual do.

    At Sundried, we want to help keep that carbon footprint as small as possible, which can be tough when it comes to sweaty activewear which needs cleaning far more often.

    The contribution to our carbon footprint that washing clothes has is significant. In his article "The Carbon Footprint of Everything” Mike Berners-Lee reveals the following statistics:

    The carbon footprint of a load of laundry:

    0.6 kg CO2 washed at 30°C, dried on the line

    0.7 kg CO2 washed at 40°C, dried on the line

    2.4 kg CO2 washed at 40°C, tumble-dried in a vented dryer

    3.3 kg CO2 washed at 60°C, dried in a combined washer-dryer

    Washing and drying a 5kg load of laundry every two days created almost 440 kg of carbon dioxide emissions in a year. As you can see, the most ethical way to wash your clothing would be to 'wash cool, sun dry', which can cut your emission by more than half. This is why all of Sundried products are encouraged to be washed cool, and sun dried. Washing your clothing in this way also helps to enhance their life expectancy.

    Research by Energy Star (a washing machine company) states that the average front loading washing machine uses 6500 gallons of water a year and lasts for 11 years, that's enough water for 6 people for a lifetime.

    carbon footprint ethical living activewear Sundried

    Sundried donates to charity Water For Kids

    We have to wash our clothes and we know it has an impact, so at Sundried we’ve decided to combat that negative with a positive, donating to Water for Kids with every purchase made through our site.

    Water for Kids is a charity of volunteers who bring clean water sources to those in need. Their current projects are mainly in rural disadvantaged communities of Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. The projects start by sourcing safe drinking water for the first time; either by protecting a polluted village water source, rain water harvesting perhaps at a school or a new borehole for a large community.

    activewear sportswear recycled materials Sundried

    The Low Carbon Innovation Fund

    Sundried is partially funded by The Low Carbon Innovation Fund and we have strict policies and guidelines to ensure everything we do has the very smallest carbon footprint. Sundried minimise the carbon footprint throughout the full life cycle (design, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal) of an item of Sundried apparel through:

    • Local production in the UK and Europe (vs. the rest of the industry which is mainly produced in the Far East).
    • Using materials that use little carbon in their manufacture, little energy in their maintenance and are recyclable.
    • Carbon offsetting where a zero/low carbon choice isn’t currently viable.

    Find out more about how we’re trying to make a sustainable statement

    Sundried activewear is designed to last in order to help break this cycle. We have also been exploring how in years to come, we can recycle our products to protect the environment.

    plastic waste recycling innovation Sundried activewear

    Fighting plastic pollution with recycled activewear

    Sundried's iconic recycled range is made from 100% recycled materials including plastic bottles and coffee grounds that would otherwise end up in landfill. The global plastic pollution problem is a worldwide epidemic, and companies like Sundried are paving the way to making a change and starting to reverse the damage being done. 

    By crafting sportswear out of recycled materials, Sundried is reducing the impact of the textile industry as well as helping to utilise the otherwise wasteful products that pollute our oceans and wildlife. 

    Not only this, recycled materials lend themselves beautifully to becoming activewear with their natural odour-blocking properties, UV protection, and advanced sweat-wicking technology. It's a win-win!

    Posted by Alexandra Parren