Celebrating Earth Day with Featherweight Stretch™
At Athleta, we believe nature is one, vast playground. It’s filled with things to climb up and jump off and dive into. To hike and trek and run on. To swim in and paddle across. To keep us in awe for a lifetime. Because we thrive in the great outdoors, we believe in preserving it for generations to come. So, in honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing our story of how Featherweight Stretch™ came to be and how it represents our desire to change the world, one piece of clothing at a time.
A STEP TOWARDS SUSTAINABILITY
We strive for innovation, in a way that impacts both you and the environment in a positive way. Every step we take toward reducing our carbon footprint is a step in the right direction. So, where do we start? We all know recycling is one of the most significant contributions we can make to the betterment of our world. That’s where our internal Sustainability Task Force comes into play. We challenged them to come up with a way we can start to make less of an impact on the world. Their answer? Recycled Polyester.
WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT RECYCLED POLYESTER?
It’s a material made out of post-consumer plastic bottles (those disposable plastic bottles you buy at the store and throw in the trash). It takes less energy to produce than virgin polyester, has a 75% lower carbon footprint, and uses up to 90% less water. Basically, it’s a win-win: by using more than six plastic bottles in every garment, we prevent more plastic bottles from ending up in landfills. And, since the process relies on recycled material, we also reduce the amount of toxins and energy it would take to manufacture plastic in the first place. In the end, it’s a small change that makes a big difference.
WHAT ABOUT PERFORMANCE?
Before everything else, we’re women athletes who design performance apparel. The sustainability benefit alone is not enough for us– it has to fit in with our on-the-go lifestyle. Luckily, innovation has vastly changed the recycled product landscape and we had the right kind of fibers at our disposal (no pun intended). First, we searched exhaustively for the right material. Then we put it to the test. We put it through our reps, runs, and routines. We jam-packed it in bags over long flights and made sure it rolled out looking ready-to-go. We made sure it not only felt amazing, but looked amazing. And when our wear-testers chose the recycled fabric over the standard one, and we knew we had a game-changer. And when our wear-testers revealed that they preferred the recycled polyester fabric over the virgin, we knew we had a game-changer.
CHANGING THE GAME WITH FEATHERWEIGHT STRETCH™
Our recycled Featherweight Stretch™ is the ultimate fabric for keeping up with our active lives while also being easy on the planet. It’s sleek, stretchy, and lightweight. It’s breathable and provides UPF 50+ protection for full-on coverage during outdoor adventures. It’s wrinkle-resistant and packs down super small, yet feels luxurious and silky while you’re en route. It’s so light and so comfortable that we keep coming up with new ways to use it, from our favorite City Pants to dresses and everything in between. Our goal is to use it as much as we possibly can.
WE PLEDGE TO KEEP DOING OUR PART
In 2015 alone, we diverted seven million plastic bottles from landfill with our implementation of recycled polyester, and in 2016, we aim to do even better. Every time you wear our Featherweight Stretch™ fabric, know that you’re helping us take greater strides toward preserving this great outdoor playground we call Mother Earth. Now go on, explore it. And let us know what you find.
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