Synthetic activewear offers unparalleled breathability, quick-drying and moisture-wicking properties. But it's also non-biodegradable and can sit in a landfill for over 200 years, releasing harmful greenhouse gases and contributing to the global plastic problem.
Enter Silverwind - a sustainable international athletic wear brand that believes you can reach your fitness goals in comfort and style, guilt-free. By using recycled plastic bottles for their apparel, Silverwind helps clear our marine ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions, paving the path toward a more sustainable fashion industry and a healthier planet.
I've been testing Silverwind Sky Blue Illusion activewear set made of recycled plastic bottles for over five months. Read on for my full review.
About the brand: Silverwind is a female-owned brand, manufacturer, and online retailer of sustainable activewear for women. Silverwind fights ocean pollution and fast fashion by creating high-quality athletic wear made of recycled plastic bottles and commits part of its profits to Ocean Conservancy.
Best for: bright designer leggings and bras with nature-inspired patterns
Accreditations: STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®, GRS, Intertek
Price: starting from $32
Shipping: worldwide, free for orders over $70
Table of Contents
The Illusion set by Silverwind is a perfect choice for eco-conscious yogis who are tired of the usual black leggings and want to add an extra flair to their wardrobe. Not only this outfit is ethically made of recycled plastic bottles, but it's also impressively durable. And trust me, you will pray for this activewear to last as long as possible because it will likely be the comfiest yoga clothes you own.
💗 What I liked most:
🛑 What could be improved:
Silverwind manufactures its patterned activewear with eco-friendly RPET (recycled plastic bottles) and spandex.
Wonder how the hell plastic can be eco-friendly? Let's first figure out what PET is.
PET stands for polyethylene tetraphyte. Polyethylene tetraphyte is everywhere around you. Plastic water bottles - these are made of PET, your lunch box - probably PET, frozen food packaging in a shop - PET, your large carpet in the living room - probably also PET.
Plastic is highly durable as well as easy and cheap to produce. And it's not that bad, really, if used repeatedly for a long time and if properly recycled at the end of its life cycle. The problem is that most of the plastic gets discarded after a single use, and only 9% of total plastic is recycled.
Where does the rest of the plastic go? It ends up in a landfill and oceans, where it takes tens or even hundreds of years to decompose, releases toxic substances, and kills wildlife.
Here's where RPET comes in.
RPET takes the plastic that has already been produced and discarded (PET), recycles it, and gives it a new life in the form of clothes, shoes, house items, and other accessories.
To produce RPET, the plastic bottles are collected, cleaned, sorted, and shredded into pellets. The pellets are then melted and spun into thread and finally processed into the fabric that makes up your activewear.
In the case of Silverwind, this fabric is further checked by the Global Recycle Standard, a voluntary product standard for tracking and verifying the content of recycled materials in a final product.
I've reached out to Silverwind to find out more about the dyeing process and got a quick response from Keri, the brand's representative:
"With regards to the production processes and impacts, our supplier uses water-based inks to achieve our activewear's rich and vibrant colours. Water-based inks are proven to be a more eco-friendly printing option in comparison with commercial plastisol inks, which contain plastic which can contaminate the environment. They also use energy-saving printers, which reduce energy usage by 20% and water usage by 28%."
Coming back to the initial question: how is using plastic an eco-friendly option? RPET is considered a green material for several reasons:
As a consumer, you're also winning by choosing recycled PET since it offers the same performance features as virgin polyester without the guilt of polluting the planet.
Silverwind set comes in a cute eco-friendly drawstring bag made of hemp. I haven't used it for toting my activewear because I prefer to show off my bright outfit on the street, but it's very handy for storing essentials such as cards or keys, especially if your tote bag doesn't have separate compartments for those.
There was also a lovely handwritten (!) personal note from the brand - these little things are always so heartwarming.
I was a bit disappointed when DHL delivered my package in a plastic bag, even though these bags are made of recycled materials and are recyclable. I would personally prefer getting a package in a recycled carton box. There's always space for an extra box in my household while the DHL package goes directly to the trash, and god knows if it's actually ever recycled again.
I'm a fan of minimalist clothes and normally would choose a solid color over bold patterns. But trust me, Silverwind designs are something different.
Each pattern is inspired by nature and wildlife, e.g., moonlight on the lake, water ripples, snakeskin. The illusion set reminds the natural texture of the rock.
The Illusion bra deserves a special mention. The cool part about it (apart from the print!) is that you can choose to wear it in two different ways - with a cross in the front or a traditional bra with a cross in the back.
Just in case you're looking for more basic activewear that's easily combined with your other pieces, Silverwind also makes sets in solid colors. Keep in mind, though, that they're not made of recycled fabric.
Illusions leggings are form-fitting and sit somewhere around the belly button.
Since the fabric is very stretchy, the leggings do not offer too much shaping. That said, a wide waistband does flatten the lower belly slightly without being either too tight or shifting during movement.
The length is decent. I'm pretty short with 158 cm/ 5.1 ft in height, and the pants slightly bunch up at the ankle. So if you're a bit higher, these would be great.
The Illusion bra comes with wide adjustable back straps and removable cup padding. I believe that the padding would probably add to support, but I've removed mine from the start since I don't really have anything to support. I did have a larger breast size during breastfeeding, and I felt comfortable and supported in the bra even without the additional padding.
As I've mentioned before, the bra can be worn in two ways. I prefer a more funky forward cross because I feel the straps sit better this way. When I try to wear it like a traditional bra, I feel that the straps just wouldn't lie flat and curl up a little. (Does it make any sense?) I suspect this is because I have a small frame. But maybe it's just something that these straps like to do - not a huge dealbreaker, in my opinion.
This is hands down the comfiest sports set I've ever worn! I was shocked by how soft and pleasant the fabrics is to the touch.
Imagine yourself cuddling up in a big comforter on a chilly morning - that's how wearing the Illusion set from Silverwind feels.
I live in leggings because I try to move on my mat every day. Plus, with a little baby on my hands, every minute counts, and I'd rather jump into the workout whenever I have a chance rather than spend a few minutes changing. My point here is that the Silverwind set is so comfy that wearing it all day is pure bliss.
A wide stretchy waistband isn't overly compressive but hugs all the right places and hardly needs any adjustment while you're actively moving.
On top of that, I've never felt any chafing from the seams or anything like that.
Both leggings and bra are stretchy and flow with you without the need of being adjusted constantly.
The fabric is also incredibly lightweight and breathable, making it perfect for a hot outdoor workout or a heated yoga class.
Breathability is the top feature of my "leggings must-haves" because most activewear is suffocating when the temperature hits 30+. I don't even wear summer dresses made of synthetics because I feel I'm wearing a plastic bag. But there's something magical about this Silverwind set, and I never got overheated. I suppose the light colors that reflect the sun also help.
I sweat a bit in the upper body, and I sometimes ended up a workout drenched in sweat. But luckily, if you do get wet in Silverwind, this will likely go unnoticed because not only does the fabric hide sweat, but also it dries fast.
Also, Silverwind activewear doesn't stink! You know that foul smell after a sweaty workout that's probably a number one reason you retire your activewear prematurely? Well, there's none of it. I sometimes wore the set for several yoga sessions straight and not even once I've noticed it reeking of sweat.
This Illusion set is truly versatile. Yoga, lifting, animal flow, HIIT… - I wore it for all sorts of physical activity, and it performed as cool as it looks.
I haven't been running in Silverwind set because I'm not a fan. But with the medium support from bra and leggings, I suppose they would work for a relaxed jog. The only thing I've noticed is that leggings tend to ride down slightly in the thigh area (while the waistband stays in place) during a very active movement.
I've been testing Silverwind activewear for over 5 months. As I said, I live in leggings, so you can imagine that's a lot of wearing and staining and washing and wearing.
When I got the set, I thought it's not going to last too long. Because let's be honest - white color loses its attractiveness fast (think yellowing, unwashable stains from grass, etc.)
I was wrong.
After 5+ months of wearing the Illusion set, here's what I noticed:
If you want to get the most of your Silverwind set, wash it inside out and hang dry instead of using the dryer. Also, don't forget to use a Guppyfriend bag to prevent microfiber from getting into the waterways.
Silverwind offers a pretty good range of sizing. All items are available in XS-XXL and are accurate to the size chart provided on the website.
If you're shopping for a set, you can, of course, choose different sizes for the bottoms and a top.
I'm wearing Illusion leggings in XS and an Illusion two-way cross bra in S.
Both fit like a glove when I received them. When writing this post, the bra is slightly too loose because I've lost my beautiful big breasts after stopping nursing. 🤷
The fabric is very stretchy, so if you're in between sizes, my suggestion would be to size down for more support and compression. However, you can also reach out to Silverwind, and they will offer accurate sizing advice based on your choice of items. Illusion bra, for example, has a pretty tight underband. Though I usually wear XS, I went for S size thanks to the team's help, and I didn't regret it.
You'll enjoy wearing Silverwind as much as I did if you're:
That said, keep searching if you're: