Oh. Those Stretchy Pants
We all know workout pants should be used strictly to work out in or to wear those cozy hours before bedtime. But let’s face, they are beyond comfy and so we wear them as often as possible. Let’s face it, if you have a long tunic or sweater no one can tell you are really just wearing yoga pants to work. Right?! So let’s go get some new pair – since of course last years are worn thin from the over use.
We guarantee if you walk by any fast fashion store you could pick up a few pairs for a great price…… Wait, stop! Think it through before you buy those stretchy workout pants/leggings we all know and love. Most of them are made of spandex. But, why does that matter when you are just trying to be as comfortable as possible 24 hours a day. Of course they would be made of something like spandex…. Well, let’s explore the world of what workout pants/leggings are made of. Spandex Spandex is a synthetic fiber originally made as a replacement for rubber. The value of spandex was first seen in 1959. The initial use was to create woman’s stockings. The key factor in using spandex was for its ability to stretch 600% greater than its original size. The ability to stretch has now made spandex a popular textile in workout clothes because as it allows for easy body movement. However, it does not always make the most sustainable choice as it will lose its original shape after a few wears. Nylon Nylon is not too different from spandex and when you read their stories they sound like the same product. Both we made famous from woman’s hosiery. Both were valued because of their ability to stretch. And both were developed by the same company around the same time. So what is the main difference? Spandex was made on the idea to replace rubber. While nylon was made not the idea to replace silk. Nylon was first introduced as a toothbrush and then found it’s way into apparel. Most workout pants currently on the market are made of spandex, nylon, lycra or elastane. Here is the catch all of the above intertwine with each other. Elastane is was spandex is called in Europe. Lycra is a brand of spandex produced by DuPont. DuPont chemist Wallace Carthers was the mastermind that created nylon. Another DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers created spandex. This blog post was not intended to be about DuPont, but we strongly encourage you to do more research on the gunpowder giant. As they have a far reach and strong impact on the fashion industry. So what is the sustainable alternative? What we at Adalinda know is the fashion industry is not going to transform overnight. It would be a dream if one day we all woke up and fast fashion was not a thing and every product was made local, ethical and sustainable. So what we do instead? Baby steps. We look for textiles and brands that support our values. If we can’t find one that already exists? We find the designer ready to make it happen. After searching we noticed it is a challenge to find workout pants not made of spandex. However, there are pants that have a lower spandex content. Look for a spandex content close to 5%. This will ensure the pant will stretch as you move your body. However, the other fiber will help the garment keep its shape. Look for pants blended with organic cotton or recycled polyester. We found these really cool yoga pants from Patagonia made from recycled water bottles. Even cooler is the commitment to a transparent supply chain. The company has shown they are willing to go to great lengths to protect National Parks. They have even started a campaign to future the conversation, #thepresidentstoleyourland. Picking pants of higher quality that will last longer. Do not just settle for a pair of pants because they are on sale. Spend the few extra dollars and get pants that will last you a few years. The planet and your wallet will thank you. A good pair of workout pants will last you at least five years. Just make sure the material is not super thin. When trying on the pants move around in the fitting room a test squat and jumping jacks never hurt anyone. An investment in a good pair of workout pants or leggings is an investment in yourself and the planet. Just as a workout routine and those high-energy classes are an investment in your health. We hope to see you at the gym or on the mat sporting that new pair of leggings that have you feeling inspired!
P.S. - If you are building your sustainable collection or just buying new clothes for fun, please consider going through the links in this blog post. It helps keep the website going, community supported, and the information free! Plus, it doesn't cost any extra. Win-win!