Take a closer look at sweatwear

Sweatwear is now available everywhere and in all colours. It is worn by young and old, in leisure time and on the executive floor, with and without a hood. Precisely because it is so popular, let’s take a closer look at how we can live sustainably in and with jumpers.

Basics like sweatshirts and sweatpants are now part of every wardrobe. Most of the time, we have more than one. Have you ever thought about how sustainable your sweat outfit is?

If you look at the CO2 emissions that are responsible for global warming, a sweat jacket, for example, emits 13 kg of CO2, according to a study by Otto. This relates to 2.652 ballons of gas. A lot of emissions are produced in the production and use phase. We can avoid these super easily if we pay attention to a few things.

Natural, certified materials as gamechangers

It pays to invest in good quality, e.g. through natural materials like (recycled) organic cotton, hemp, lyocell (TENCEL). When using organic materials, less water, less pesticides, less energy and thus less emissions are used. Which is good for people and the environment.

Concretely, using an example of an organic cotton sweatshirt compared to a conventional sweatshirt, there are savings of 91% water, 62% energy and 46% CO2. That is quite a lot.  So you can make a contribution to the environment with your choice of material. If you want to find more data on environmental consumption, check out the SKFK brand.

It is really good if you make sure that the garment is made of 100% (mono) material, then the chances that it can be recycled increase. Due to the rising cost of raw materials, more and more mixed fabrics are found on the market that end up being shredded and turned into rags, or worse, burned, which creates even more emissions. Check out the label or material information to find out about material used. 

In a particularly sustainable wardrobe are pieces that are certified, such as GOTS, PeTA, Green Button, cradle 2 cradle, fair wear. Only these independent third parties can ensure that behind the green claims there is also green or fair inside.

Nice sweatwear brands  are 10k, coulorful standard, grundstoff, circular sweater project and many more. 

Do you know what your favourite sweatshirt is made of?
If not, take a look.

A big part of manufacturing also relates to dyeing. As with our post on jeans, it’s really good here to use undyed fabrics, or environmentally friendly dyesOeko-Tex®. 

Without wasting new resources, you can also easily look for sweatwear in second-hand shops. It’s definitely cheaper for your wallet and for the environment. Because the production of a jumper made of organic cotton also requires an incredible amount of water.

Proper care – 31% of our emissions are produced by washing, drying and ironing our clothes

Sweat(wear) comes from sweating – By taking care of your clothes responsibly, you can reduce the C02 emissions of your wardrobe and contribute to a 1.5 degree lifestyle. Ideally, you can wash your favourite cotton garments at 30 degrees. You should also be able to do it without dryer and ironing, then you will save a lot of C02.

It’s important to look for pre-treatment instructions. Clothes that have already been washed remain stable in shape and size, while others often shrink up to 5% when washed.

It is better to repair a hole in the sleeve cuff than to throw it away. You can find suggestions in online videos or communities. If you don’t feel like it, there are experts in alteration tailoring. You can find them on Google or platforms like A Gain Guide for Berlin.

Creative upcycling. You can make shorts or slipover out of pieces you don’t like any more. You can find lots of instructions on the internet.

If the colour has faded, you can simply dye it again. Dyeing kits are available in every drugstore. Sometimes it’s not enough for the office, but it’s enough for the run.

Anything that extends the useful life is sustainable.

Of course, it’s a real challenge to think of everything. No big deal. If you’re new to the subject, take it slowly. For example, I don’t buy polyester anymore, I don’t use the dryer, I’ve never liked ironing and I’m paying more and more attention to certificates. 

Did you learn someting new? Maybe you can ask your friends what they already know about the topic





Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash