How To Find The Best Sustainable Running Clothing

Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. Whether you prefer endurance events or gentle 5kms to wake up the body, running has become a source of satisfaction in many peoples lives. It offers motivation, improved fitness, and a newfound connection with the environment.

But as activewear contributes towards the colossal amount of damage the fashion industry causes our planet, it's necessary to invest in high-quality running gear that strives to be eco friendly. Running gear brands have a responsibility to offer their athletes the ability to do this.

Every level of runner should be able to go further in sportswear that positively impacts their performance and our planet.

Which running clothes are worth investing in?

Unlike other sports like swimming, there's no single piece of kit that will suffice for a run. You will need to purchase numerous pieces of running gear like tops, shorts, leggings, sports bras, and socks.

Woman running along road

All of a sudden, this easily accessible sport can feel like more of an investment. Knowing where it is worth putting your money is essential, especially when it comes to sustainability.

The most integral pieces of activewear are the ones that offer comfort. The material they're made from and the fit determine their quality. The former is also a significant marker of sustainability.

Arguably, sports bras, shorts/legging, and t-shirts are the pieces of activewear worth evaluating most.

What should a running t-shirt offer you?

1. Wicking 

Wicking describes the quality of fabric to draw moisture away from the body. In a running tee, that means it repels rain and humidity, so you don't end up sopping wet with the material stuck to you. Wicking fabric is important for keeping you cool too.

2. Lightweight 

Everybody wants to be as fast as possible. Therefore, the material used in running clothing needs to be lightweight. A lightweight t-shirt will have aerodynamic qualities that maximise your running performance.

3. The right fit

To ensure comfort and avoid common ailments like jogger's nipple, a running top needs to fit correctly. It should offer compression and tight-fitting support, without constricting your movement.

4. Anti-static

Fabrics that irritate by clinging and sticking to you don't have anti-static properties. These properties are a marker of low-quality products made from cheap and often harmful materials.

5. UV protection

High-quality fabric will have technology that protects your skin from damage caused by sunlight. It's an essential feature for those who prefer endurance running, especially in warmer climates where the sun is out more often.

Activewear brands who make products that deliver against these qualities will be proud of doing so. To ensure your running clothes meet these requirements, check the product description before buying. Presca garments fulfil all of the above. We make endurance sportswear for every level of athlete. With us, you'll be confident your purchase will help improve your performance, not hinder it.

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Sustainable Running Shirt Sustainable lightweight armwarmers

2. Practice long and short intervals for aerobic

How can running clothes be more sustainable?

Sustainable running gear comes from a brand with an awareness of the complex network of processes involved in producing more environmentally friendly products. It's not an easy adjective to deliver on, meaning a commitment to the cause should underpin the business decisions of an activewear brand.

1. The materials

The materials your running clothes are made from play a big part over whether it can be considered sustainable. Both natural and synthetic fibres come with their advantages and disadvantages that it's essential to be aware of.

Natural fibres that come from plants, animals, or minerals sound more eco-friendly, but producing them can include a lot of water and the use of pesticides and herbicides. Also, they have durability issues and don't provide all the qualities you might need from sportswear.

Synthetic fibres are human-made using chemical processes that can be damaging to the environment. However, they are often more durable and fit for purpose. Clothing made from recycled synthetic fibres can deliver on durability whilst avoiding the need for those harmful production methods.

Recycled fabric - Running T-shirts

Evaluating these issues and producing a solution that maximises sustainability takes research and commitment, which we do here at Presca.

Our sportswear is made from polyester and nylon from recycled water bottles, ghost fishing nets, and end of life carpets. We also use natural fibres of organic cotton and Ecovero, which have a reputation for being least harmful to the planet. You can read all about our fabric choices here.

2. The supply chains

Numerous different companies and organisations are involved in the manufacturing of clothing for activewear brands. All parties must act sustainably to reflect the values of the brand from which you are buying. Codes of conduct and close-knit relationships are the key to doing this. All Presca partners must sign our Presca Code of Conduct before working with us, ensuring they uphold our values around ethics and sustainability. To reduce our carbon footprint, we keep our factories close by in Europe. Read more about our supply chains here.

3. The packaging

Sustainable sportswear must consider its impact at all stages of the journey. One of the final hurdles is the packaging in which it arrives. Single-use plastic packaging can be extremely damaging for our environment due to its issues at end-of-life. At Presca, we've phased out the use of poly-bags and are instead exploring other, more sustainable options including recyclable card, multi-use plastic vessels, and even dissolvable packaging!

4. The longevity of the product

Purchasing and discarding clothing at a high rate is one reason why the fashion industry is known for not being eco friendly. The easiest way to buy more sustainable products is to invest in high-quality ones that will last for longer. By purchasing fewer but higher-quality pieces of high-performance sportswear, you're reducing your impact as a consumer on the planet. At Presca, our ethos is 'buy once, buy well'. We balance high performance with sustainability, promising you sportswear that lasts you a lifetime.

Forever Label

How does Presca do sustainable running gear?

At Presca, we recognise that sustainability is complex, and there are no perfect answers. We are on a journey of positive change. We promise to continue to research, learn, evolve, and adapt to the ever-changing demands of sustainability and product production. We're committed to making sportswear better for our athletes and our planet.

For us, a big focus is on circularity, which describes the lifecycle of a garment. Out of the 100 billion pieces of clothing made each year, only 1% are recycled. We want to extend the lifespan of sportswear as much as possible and close the loop of its life cycle. Circularity means it won't end up in landfill and there's less need to produce as much activewear from scratch.

The four steps we take to aim for circularity are:

1. Made from recycled materials

2. Designed for longevity

3. Repairable

4. Recyclable/biodegradable at end of life

We still have a way to go before reaching full circularity but using these principles to drive us ensures we're always moving in the right direction. By 2022 our new product range will be 100% recycled and 100% recyclable.

100% Recycled Recyclable

In 2020, we proudly achieved all our sustainability commitments which included:

· Ensuring all fabric suppliers and manufacturing partners sign up to the Presca code of conduct

· Having zero single-use plastics in our packaging

· Launching an annual GHG report on our website

But we need to keep pushing forward, which is why we always strive to achieve more. By 2022, we want to:

· Make all our new garment ranges fully circular

· Reaching net-zero on operations and supply chains

To find out more about our promises, visit our sustainability page.

The Presca Forever Running Tee

Combining our expert knowledge of sustainability and high-performance sportswear, our Forever Running Tee is a product that fulfils on both.

This classic-cut running t-shirt for both men and women promises comfort. It's wicking and breathable, allowing you to perform at your best in all climates.

We print our t-shirts using EcoInks, which are inspired by colours naturally occurring in nature and are much less harmful to workers, wearers, and the environment than traditional dyes.


Man and Woman running - Presca Forever Running Shirt

We're proud to say this t-shirt is made from 100% recycled materials. We use recycled plastic bottles and a 5-piece design to make it repairable and fully recyclable. The tightknit fabric makes it resilient and highly durable, shedding minimal microfibres during washing. Accidents happen, so if it ever does need repairing, we'll happily give it a go for you.

Our close-knit partners are located in Europe, which reduces our carbon footprint, and our factories use 100% renewable energy to make our clothes. Purchasing this t-shirt avoids 3.5km of driving emissions.

Your high-performance running top is made from recycled plastic, so we won't undo this effort by packaging it in a poly-bag. It will arrive in a home-compostable bag, meaning you can dispose of it easily to avoid it ending up in landfill.

To explore our full product range and find out how we produce activewear that goes the extra mile, visit our online shop.

Presca is here for eco-conscious athletes looking to push their limits. That can be anybody. That's why we create sportswear that's not only high performance but is sustainably led, inspiring you to make the best choices for yourself and the planet.

Presca sportswear goes further. For you. For people. For our planet.

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Guy Whitby - Operations Director

Blog curated by Guy Whitby (MSC) and Ironman Athlete

Guy Whitby is a medal-winning athlete and five-time Ironman finisher. He is Presca's Operations Director and Co Founder, and has drawn on Presca's wide network of professional athletes and sports expertise to collate this blog.

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