Some Of The Best Sustainable Cyclist Clothing Brands
Sustainable Cyclist Clothing Brands
6. Matchy Cycling
8. TIC CC
9. Universal Colours
Cadenzia launches in spring 2022 and uses a blend of bamboo viscose and recycled polyester in its cycling jersey.
“Bamboo is woven with recycled polyester to create a super soft, high-performance ripstop fabric that is durable and long-lasting,” explains co-founder Rob Stross.
“Bamboo is a sustainable fiber, has natural performance benefits and is also one of the fastest growing plants on earth and one of the most sustainable and renewable resources on earth. world.”
“All of our polyester and nylon fabrics are recycled and Oeko-Tex certified, and we only use YKK Natulon recycled ocean plastic zippers.”
The brand will have a line of cycling essentials, with three out-of-season and gender-neutral colors in its range, aiming to eliminate waste.
“Our jersey fabric is made in one color, natural unbleached white and the other colors are then computer printed with eco-friendly dyes directly onto the pattern pieces,” Stross adds. ”.
Currently, products verified to contain at least 20% recycled materials can be classified as recycled, and all of its waterproof products are free of PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals used to make fabric is waterproof and very harmful to the environment).
Cadenzia products are manufactured in China and shipped to the UK. When the company established its supply chain in Shanghai, it ensured that it was fully localized to the local area so it could track and reduce its carbon footprint,
Endura kit is built to last and be durable, which is why Scottish brand Endura, famous for its durable cycle clothing, was born.
Endura incorporates recycled fabrics into its product line in an effort to eliminate waste.
“They chose to use recycled fibers on polyester rather than nylon because they have more impact on polyester and solve the problem of plastic bottle waste,” explains Pamela Barclay, product manager at Endura.
“This reflects why we don’t have more styles with recycled fibers.”
According to the brand, 100% of mountain bike jerseys use recycled fabric compared to 33% of road jerseys. However, the brand hopes to increase this final figure to 100% from 2023.
The brand also only markets a product as recycled if it uses more than 50% recycled fibers.
In 2020, Endura launched the One Million Trees initiative, in which they pledged to plant one million trees every year for the next 10 years to offset their carbon emissions and aim to become carbon negative by the year 2024.
Planting began in Mozambique and has now also begun in Scotland, the brand’s country of origin. All Endura products have been PFC-free since 2018, and the company makes all its personalized clothing at its factory in Scotland and the rest in China and Asia.
The brainchild of ex-pros and brothers Martin and Peter Velits, Isadore releases a sustainability report every year, with details of where its products are produced, progress it has made, as well as new aims and initiatives.
The brand is working on core garment traceability and aims to replace all virgin synthetic materials in its products with their recycled counterparts by 2025.
Much of Isadore’s kit is made from recycled materials and the brand recently introduced a majority recycled indoor line.
‘The most important part is that there is no performance difference between using virgin synthetics or recycled fabrics,’ explains Martin. ‘Our Alternative line is made entirely from recycled fabrics and we hope to eventually use 90% recycled sources for the synthetic materials.’
Isadore also uses a lot of merino wool in its products. The wool comes from New Zealand and Australia and then gets processed in Germany where the yarns are produced. The fabric is then woven or laminated in the Czech Republic.
Isadore only works with Oeko-Tex and Bluesign certified suppliers and manufacturers.
Isadore currently doesn’t have the resources to measure and communicate its carbon emissions but is working with its shipping partners to switch to carbon neutral or zero emissions programmes.
The brand plans to have an independent audit to go through all its processes in the future.
KOSTÜME is a very small new brand which has a different business model to others in this guide. Founded by Ed Bartlett, KOSTÜME caps each of its collections to a small number and pre-sells them in advance which it says significantly reduces waste.
‘The fact is that the fashion industry – and that includes cycling apparel – is locked into a business model that creates unfathomable amounts of waste, right throughout the production and retail process,’ explains Bartlett.
‘We are nowhere near a point where so-called sustainable fabrics are going to fix our ecological problems, so the only way to really make an impact is to stop the waste at source, which is where our model comes in.
‘We also do other things like sharing fabric offcuts across multiple products, no hang tags in our packaging, 100% compostable packaging, working with factories with a clear focus on sustainability – but really it’s the limited pre-order model that makes the difference.’
100% of the current range is made from certified recycled materials, and also feature either bluesign, OEKO-TEX or GRS certification.
The brand’s main factory is 70% powered by renewable energy, and KOSTÜME donates a percentage of every sale to Stripe Climate, an organisation which is specifically focused on investing in carbon capture and removal solutions.
KOSTÜME does not yet track its overall carbon footprint but it has plans to do this in the future, alongside a product repair and takeback scheme.
Australian brand Maap was the first cycling brand to join Bluesign as a full partner.
‘If something is a Bluesign partner, you know that audits have been done and that there will be a certain level of sustainability, which automatically gives you that peace of mind,’ explains Darren Tabone, VP of product at Maap.
‘In our case, Bluesign act like a bit of a big brother, they evaluate your organisation, help review your supply chain and look at all different tiers of the code. Becoming more sustainable is a journey and there’s no real end goal in the sense that you are constantly evolving and learning.’
The brand current uses 95% Bluesign or Oeko-Tex materials and aims to up this to 100% by the end of 2022.
The majority of Maap’s printed fabrics use Green Soul technology which combines sustainable recycled fibres with the environmentally friendly dyeing and finishing processes. It also has had an OffCuts program since 2021 where it makes cycling jerseys out of excess fabric from previous production runs.
The bulk of Maap products are made in Europe and it is expanding its Asia source base.
The brand is not tracking the carbon emissions yet but this is part of its future plan. It is currently in the process of working out the tonnage of products which are from Bluesign-approved raw materials.
6. Matchy Cycling
Founded in 2016, Matchy Cycling is a French brand based in Annecy. All of its products are made from 30% to 100% recycled materials and the brand is extremely conscious of ensuring local production.
‘We prefer a product made in France using a French fabric that is not recycled than a recycled fabrics made super-far away,’ says Geoffrey Baudoin co-founder of Matchy.
‘All of our bib shorts are made in Italy because the chamois come from Italy so it avoids unnecessary shipping.
‘Some fabrics made by a supplier in France are three times more expensive than usual fabrics but offer a much better durability. It’s a complex topic and we need to look outside of just recycled fabrics even if it’s still an important point for us.
‘All recycled fabrics are not equal, it depends on the supplier and where they come from. The trend has obliged suppliers to invest in these fabrics and we can now say that recycled fibres are almost equal as virgin fibres.’
This year, Matchy begun tracking its footprint and is working with third parties to help understand it. The brand also hopes to become a B Corp by the end of this year.
‘Offering recycled products is one thing but we really try to go deeper as globally we need to reduce our impact which means extending the life cycle of the products, by repairing them, or giving them a second life,’ adds Baudoin. ‘We are working with a local tailor to offer upcycled products this winter.’
All of Matchy’s products are Bluesign-approved and use OekeTex material. The brand does not use any plastic packaging, only recyclable and compostable materials.
Rapha currently produces 90% virgin materials and 10% environmentally preferred materials (recycled, certified organic or animal welfare versions) by volume but has pledged to flip this on its head by 2025.
‘Some people might be not impressed with 10% today, but it’s all about what we’re trying to get to,’ explains Duncan Money, Rapha’s head of social and environmental impact. ‘It is a journey, and we will be doubling that figure nearly every year to get there.’
Like Endura, Rapha doesn’t publicly market a product as environmentally preferred until this accounts for more than 50% of the product by weight.
Rapha aims to become carbon neutral by 2025, across scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
- Scope 1 emissions refer to direct GHG emissions that occur from sources that are controlled or owned by an organisation, such as emissions from company vehicles
- Scope 2 emissions refer to indirect GHG emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling, and are a result of an organisation’s energy usage
- There are also Scope 3 emissions, which include all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain
It is currently working on its Science-Based Targets and will release these in the middle of the year.
Rapha is also one of the founding signatories of the Shift Cycling Culture Climate Commitment.
‘Even if you just looked at it by weight, it’s quite obvious which one we should be addressing first and which one people should be challenging us on,’ says Money.
‘The cycling industry has the potential to be an incredible force for good in the world, but to make the necessary changes we need to take action with urgency, together.’
Rapha is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and uses Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified materials
8. TIC CC
In 2019, TIC CC undertook a year-long period of ‘environmental reflection’ which led to 95% of the brand’s SS21 collection being made with recycled fabrics.
The brand also reworked its supply chains so that 98% of fabrics and components now come from Europe.
For TIC CC co-founder Andrew Monk, taking a holistic approach is an important factor to an evolving sustainability journey.
‘We find that a combination of recycled and virgin fabrics works best,’ says Monk.
‘Of course, this will change as technology improves but you have to take a holistic approach, looking at other impacts including production methodology and distance travelled from source.’
Notably, TIC CC advocates using a Guppyfriend washing bag when washing cycling clothing.
Washing cycling kit in this bag prevents microplastic pollution from synthetic micro fibres getting into waterways.
TIC CC and all of its key manufacturing partners use 100% renewable energy and the brand uses Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified materials.
TIC CC kit is made in Europe, and its caps are handmade in the UK.
The brand has been tracking its emissions internally for the past three years and is considering getting this data accredited in the futu
9. Universal Colours
London-based Universal Colours takes an innovative conscious approach to its products.
The brand uses pre-consumer waste and post-consumer waste fabrics and a fluorocarbon-free durable water repellent (DWR), called C0 which is a sustainable, vegetable-based technology.
The brand aims to produce considerately sourced cycling clothing but to also educate the consumer on how to care for its garments in order to maximise their longevity.
‘With all our waterproof jackets we give a sample of Nickwax aftercare to reproof it,’ says Will Hurd, a designer at Universal Colours. ‘It’s really important that we communicate to our customers the importance of looking after a product. It’s wrong to assume that customers know what reproofing is.’
But it isn’t straightforward as Hurd explains: ‘We have our own paradox and our own complications because we know our price points are not accessible for everyone. But I think we are very clear and transparent about our fabrics, our costs and have strong ethical policies that we stand by.’
The brand also champions a circular approach, notably in its 100% taste-free biodegradable polyethylene bottle constructed using sugarcane, which can be wholly recycled.
At the correct temperature in a landfill or under leaves and soil in a forest, the bio-batch additive activates, and the bottle decomposes into water, humus and gas.
The brand says the composting process takes 1-5 years, compared to 450 years for a traditional plastic bottle, and the bottle becomes part of the natural world again.
Most of its products are produced at LTP in Lithuania which is a Bluesign-accredited factory, and the brand also works with a factories in China and Taiwan for select products.
Universal Colours is currently looking into tracking its emissions and is also a member of 1% for the planet
The majority of Velocio’s products incorporate recycled or natural fibre, including all of its Spring/Summer jersey line. The brand is aiming to expand the use of these materials into the rest of its collection.
Velocio makes its kit in facilities which use renewable energy, primarily solar and produces clothing in small-batch quantities in order to conserve energy, limit overstock and reduce liquidation.
‘It’s ironic given that the bicycle can be such an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, but the industry at large, especially at the aspirational end, has pushed newer/better/faster as their primary marketing language for so long that bikes are essentially disposable,’ says Brad Sheehan, CEO and co-founder of Velocio.
‘That mentality has been absorbed by consumers and it’s the main thing we hope to push back on.’
‘It’s also not enough to just use recycled fabrics. We’re also looking at the manufacturing partners, fabric suppliers, and end of life phases of our apparel to see how we can improve the entire life cycle.’
Velocio uses Bluesign and Oeko-Tex certified suppliers and is also a member of 1% for the planet.
Interested in sustainability and cycling? Check out what to do with all the cycling stuff you don’t need anymore or why climate change is threatening pro cycling and how Shift Cycling Culture is bringing together cycling industry leaders to create a more sustainable future for the sport