Athletic apparel is often aligned with synthetic fabrics today. The majority of activewear brands focus on polyester and nylon options, promoting their quick-dry capabilities. But what we tend to forget is that synthetics are what they sound like – they’re man-made materials, derived from fossil fuels.
Natural fiber options are not only more comfortable, they’re also better for your health and the planet’s health. Your kids might have to wear the polyester or nylon team uniforms that are provided. But, we’d like more people to consider cotton athletic wear for kids who play sports multiple days a week, for all the practices, and when they’re playing for fun. For some reason, we’ve been led to believe that Adidas or Nike shorts made from synthetics are the correct athletic material, but this is not necessarily true.
1. Cotton is less toxic.
Natural fibers are a safer, less toxic option. Synthetics are derived from petrochemicals and undergo chemically intensive processing, while natural fibers like cotton come from plants.
2. Cotton is breathable.
Many people notice that their skin feels itchy while sweating in synthetic material. Known for its breathability and its natural anti-bacterial properties, cotton helps your skin breathe, and in turn, helps regulate your body temperature throughout movement.
3. Cotton absorbs moisture.
Natural fibers have moisture absorbing qualities, and they keep wick away sweat when your body warms. Cotton absorbs water to help keep your skin dry.
4. Cotton can be super soft and comfortable (if you choose the right options).
Being comfortable is so key when running around - it helps you enjoy being in the moment, without being distracted by the way something feels on your body.
5. Cotton doesn't stink when it gets wet.
People often complain about the smell that resurfaces when their gym clothes get wet. Synthetic fabrics easily absorb oil, sweat and bacteria, and tend to hold onto them. Cotton’s breathability and moisture absorbing qualities keep your sweats smelling fresh.
6. Cotton is biodegradable.
Whenthinking about the end of life of garments, natural fibers have the potential to biodegrade over time, returning to the earth naturally.
Curious to try out cotton athletics for your kids?
Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.