While equestrian apparel doesn’t always fit the stereotype of “throwaway fashion”, many equestrian brands are just as guilty of polluting the planet as more well known offenders.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to buy a new riding wardrobe every season, especially when the prices are enticing. But while fast fashion might seem inexpensive, there is often an environmental impact that comes at a cost. From production to end use, the textile industry is a massive polluter.
Everyone likes to believe that their hard-earned money is going towards something good, but cheap, throwaway items generally lead to massive waste management issues – in fact, nearly one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped every second.
Sustainability is no longer an option
Equestrian designers across the world are starting to invest in circular and ethical fashion collections to counter the effects of fashion pollution. But there is still a way to go before most brands can call themselves sustainable.
Buying and wearing natural fibers is one of the best ways to reduce our collective footprint. But making eco-friendly purchasing decisions can be tricky. Consumers need to assess not just each item of clothings quality and functionality, but also the production process, the supply chain, and what happens once the item is no longer needed.
Over the past two decades there has been a sharp rise in the production of synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon, acrylic) by equestrian brands. Where once discerning equestrians were more likely to buy natural fibers like wool, hemp or cotton, today more and more people are tempted to purchase relatively poor-quality and short-lasting items simply due to ease and changing trends.
Functional fashion shouldn’t cost the earth
Bamboo is an exciting alternative to synthetic fibers. Fast-growing, sustainable and completely renewable, this natural resource can play a vital role in climate change mitigation and in reconstructing ecosystems through reforestation.
Fabrics have been made from bamboo for centuries, but it is only in modern times that the process has been perfected. Bamboo yarn can be made in many different ways, but the most sustainable manner is by not extracting the cellulose of the plant, but instead sprinling a natural enzyme over crushed bamboo wood fibers. These fibers are then spun into a yarn that becomes silky in texture. Due to its softness and durability, it is commonly used in clothing.
Bamboo fiber features:
- Antibacterial – keeps you smelling fresh even while riding
- Highly sweat absorbent – meaning you can wash each item less, and waste less water
- Powerfully insulating – which means you stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter
- Naturally UV protectant – perfect for NZ and Australia
- Hypoallergenic – say goodbye to itchy rashes
- Silky soft on the skin – feels like a combination of silk and cotton
Bamboo is as environmentally friendly as it is functional, which makes it perfectly suited for equestrian wear.
You can sweat sustainably with the Halo polo shirt by Stierna. The anti-odour fabric neutralizes smells and keeps you fresh even after a long ride.
This polo shirt has microfibers which are filled with tiny holes and gaps in their structure to provide optimal ventilation. Because it’s breathable, the material allows you to stay cool in hot weather while absorbing and dispersing perspiration, making the fabric feel dry and comfortable without sticking to your skin. Stierna is a Swedish brand renowned for making thoughtfully designed equestrian apparel, and the Halo polo shirt is the perfect laid-back piece to add to your transitional wardrobe.
When the temps are unpredictable, what you need in your wardrobe is something adaptable — something that (literally) bends to the needs of changing weather. These stylish Bamboo breeches tick all the boxes. Smooth to the skin, and almost old-worldly elegant, these comfortable and innovative breeches feature a handy pocket for your phone, an Espoir golden nameplate and crossed back belt loop in the Espoir brand colors.
You won’t want to sweat in these, nor will you. The EcoRider Breech is made with Bamboo fabric that will keep you cool during warm weather and comfortable during long rides or competitions.These breeches have close contact ankle cuffs, belt loops and feature twin pockets with the iconic EcoRider logo detail on them.
Made from a soft bamboo and merino wool blend, this lightweight jacket is sure to become your favourite piece this spring. Front pockets, a paneled hood and some comfy stretch in the fabric mean that you don’t have to compromise functionality for comfort and style.
The perfect midseason scarf for equestrians that won’t get in the way while you work and ride, the Ginger and Jardine ‘snood’ feels incredibly soft against your neck and is hypoallergenic, so it doesn’t cause rashes or reactions like wool or polyester either.
These Boyleg Briefs won’t ride up in the saddle, and sit perfectly around your waist thanks to a ribbed waistband that is comfortable under your breeches. Mindfully made and crafted in breathable organically grown bamboo, this everyday basic is soft, simple and sustainable. The seamfree construction means you can forget about uncomfortable stitching that digs into or pinches your skin while you ride.
Say goodbye to stinky feet with these naturally antifungal and anti-bacterial socks. They have twice the wicking properties of cotton socks, making evaporation of sweat and condensation virtually instantaneous. Designed for all-day, everyday use, these comfortable equestrian socks will allow you to feel supported when on your feet all day long, no matter what you are doing. A bona fide wardrobe staple.