If you're headed out the door for a quick run, you're likely to pull on a cotton T-shirt. Nothing about that sounds bad for the environment, but consider this: "Growing cotton consumes 1 trillion gallons of water per year, at a time when an estimated 2 billion people are facing water shortages," according to apparel manufacturer Pistol Lake. "Twenty percent of industrial water pollution comes from textiles, and 25% of pesticides used in the world are used on conventionally-grown cotton—which is a major source of pollution."
Okay, you think, maybe I'll pull on some polyester-blend activewear. Well, "traditional non-recycled polyester uses huge quantities of water, chemicals, and fossil fuels. It is largely non-biodegradable and derived from petroleum."
There's another issue: When you get back from a run, your shirt is likely sweaty (unless you took enough selfie breaks to cool down) and it needs to go in the washing machine. More water, more electricity.
In order to tackle this issue, Pistol Lake has designed a special fabric that you can sweat through yet not have to wash every time. Called Eudae, they claim it's breathable, fast-drying, wicks sweat away, and has natural antimicrobial properties that keep your stank down. And here's the kicker: It's made from the pulp of Eucalyptus trees and recycled bottles, with roughly ten bottles going into a shirt.
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The material has already been developed and the clothes have already been designed, but the company hopes to raise the funds to set up a new factory. Here's the pitch:
I like the minimalist approach they're taking to running gear, whereby you don't need to carry your phone in your hand or wear an armband, but instead can tuck it into a securely-zippered pocket.
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However, I must say I'm not a runner; for the fleet-footed exercisers among you, is it annoying to have the weight of a phone touching your body as you bounce down the street? I see a fair amount of runners in New York carrying their phones in their hands, but I'm not sure if it's for reasons of comfort or that bizarre need to shoot exercise selfies every quarter mile.
As we mentioned, Pistol Lake is running their Kickstarter in order to fire up a new "technically advanced" factory in L.A., where they currently manufacture (go Made in the U.S.A.!). At press time they'd already passed their piddling $20,000 target with $31,000 in pledges, and a month left to contribute. They'll be making both long- and short-sleeve shirts, tank tops, shorts, leggings and hoodies from Eudae, and you can check out their offerings here.