Apparel Cleaning Tips & Shoe Subscription News

Workers at this Facility Sort Unwanted Clothing to Recycle or Ship Overseas

Tips for Cleaning Running Apparel
Let’s face it, runners get attached to their prized technical fabric running shirts. However, it can be tricky to clean technical fabric, mostly due to fabric softener and/or laundry soap not getting fully washed out of the shirt. And if this continues over time, the runner may come to no longer enjoy their prized shirt, resulting in one (or more) being donated to a charity or company for resale or, worse case scenario, pitched in the landfill. Once donated, like the picture above illustrates, the charity/company does a quick assessment of all apparel to see if it likely could be resold or recycled. And apparel not deemed worthy of resale or recycling is sent overseas. 

Because technical fabric is a little different from other clothing fabrics, the tips below help clean this fabric so the green runner’s shirt remains a prized possession and out of the landfill.

Before Washing - Completely air-dry technical apparel before putting in the washing machine or laundry hamper to be washed. Turn apparel inside out (as this allows soap and water to get at the odor source more directly).

Washing - Use cold water on delicate cycle; wash similar fabrics together (this means technical apparel together in a separate load); never use fabric softener (clogs moisture-wicking spaces in apparel); and, surprisingly, more detergent isn’t always better with technical apparel. In fact, sources suggest washing your tech apparel with 1/2 the usual amount of detergent as per normal.

After Washing – Completely air-dry apparel before hanging or storing.

Shoe Subscription Service
Consider this: Would you be willing to subscribe to receive a pair of running shoes; and when worn out from training and racing (after about 800 km/500 miles) send them back to the company for recycling while receiving a new pair as a replacement? Sort of like having a Netflix subscription, except for running shoes.

The '3 Rs' of Running Shoe & Apparel Sustainability: Run, Recycle, Repeat

That’s what ON SHOE COMPANY has introduced with its shoe subscription service for their Cyclon model; and from my estimation, it has the potential to move the needle for green running and sustainability in running.

As I’ve posted about before, a RUNNING RESOLUTION of mine is to make running an even more sustainable activity. A year ago, I approached a couple of different shoe companies claiming to recycle shoes. I was told, “Oh, we don’t actually do that here.” And offered to throw my old shoes in the dumpster in the back of the store. Sigh. At least On with this subscription service is trying to take some concrete steps toward sustainability.

The fee for On’s subscription service is $30 USD per month, making it $360 USD for the year, or about the cost of two quality pairs of running shoes to cover about 1,600 km/1,000 miles of training and racing for the year. For those runners putting in more mileage, the door is open for getting a third pair or more.

For more, check out this podcast explaining the ON SHOE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE with CEO, Caspar Coppetti.

Thank you for reading!
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In addition to keeping running apparel clean, I’ve posted before on the importance of cleaning and repairing running shoes, so they stay out of the landfill a little longer. Check out:

Sustainable practices apply not just to what the runner wears, it also applies to what the runner eats. Check out:

For my running resolution about sustainability, check out:
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Experiment of One Coaching covers topics ranging from running, strength training, health & wellness, sports nutrition to travel. I usually post once or twice a month.