Activewear isn’t something that has had a lot of attention on Hide Your Arms over the years, largely because it’s rare you’ll see me in anything skintight (which is why I drafted in professional dancer Lucie to model), but Sundried are an interesting company so I thought they deserved a closer look and took the opportunity to review their ethically and sustainably produced clothing.
Sundried don’t pay lip-service to the environmental and social responsibility of their business. It’s a refreshing change from most clothing companies who just seem to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the damage that our throw-away clothing culture is doing to the planet (and I say this as someone with 300 t-shirts). I won’t go into it too deeply (you can check out their values page here), but I would like to point out the charitable donation to Water for Kids that is a part of every purchase. It’s a cool idea because each (personalised) item bag has a unique code on it that allows you to see what effect the donation can have, which is a great way of connecting the buyer with the charity in a way that goes beyond simply mentioning a donation.
Of course, good values can only get you so far in the clothing industry, if the product isn’t up to scratch then people aren’t going to keep coming back to your brand for their activewear needs. Being a professional dancer, Lucie spends a lot of time training, rehearsing, and generally keeping fit, putting her in an excellent position to judge their goods and also put the goods through their paces over the past couple of weeks.
Lucie was happy to find that the waist on the Ruinette leggings (£75) wasn’t too tight, meaning that she was actually able to move freely and easily during exercise, something which often isn’t the case with other brands, making them “super comfy” and she was also impressed by how lightweight the material felt without being thin. It’s nice to see the little red accents of the zip-pull on the back pocket and matching red drawstring, it’s a subtle nod to their branding without being in your face, even the printed logo near the ankle is pretty low-key.
I checked out the Breithorn sports bra (£45) in the office before the shoot and it certainly looked and felt like a quality product to me. As you’d imagine I don’t have much personal experience of sports bras but after over a decade running this site I have gained a pretty reliable sense for when a garment has been made with care and also when it has been built to last. Whether it’s a t-shirt or a bra, quality usually makes itself evident.
The bra performed well, providing support and keeping everything where it should be. Lucie did say that she felt the straps were quite long and that if she was to get one again she might go a size smaller, but that it was fine and the sizing chart is generally reliable (sizing charts never being an exact science, of course). That’s mostly a personal choice on Lucie’s part, but possibly something to bear in mind when thinking about how your body-shape might match up with their sizing that if you think you might be between sizes it could be a good idea to move down a size.
I should point out that whilst this review focuses on a couple of items from their women’s range it’s important to note that they offer a range for men as well that is well worth checking out.
It’s clear to me that Sundried are a very polished brand; good product, good branding, good website experience, and good values. That’s a winning combination and judging from their presence on social media it’s clear I’m not the only person to feel that way.
Regular readers know that I see value in providing constructive criticism to brands where I see gaps potential problems or missed opportunities, but honestly I can’t find fault here. Being a small brand in the fitness clothing world is very hard, Sundried are competing with some enormous brands and that’s a daunting task, and to do it without cutting corners or compromising your values is even more impressive.