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This Affordable And Sustainable Yoga Outfit Is My New Daily Uniform [Silverwind Activewear Review]

Laura Finch on September 7, 2021
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

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.

FAST FACTS

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-TEXยฎ, GRS, Intertek

Price: starting from $32

Shipping: worldwide, free for orders over $70

Get 25% off your SILVERWIND order with code LAURA25

๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธ In A Hurry? Here's My Verdict

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.

UPDATE

Just wanted to mention that Silverwind was very considerate of my feedback and has sent me a long response regarding each point I've mentioned.

I'm adding a direct quote of their response to each point I've mentioned.

๐Ÿ’— What I liked most:

  • Ethical and environmentally responsible production - Silverwind is a great example of how we can stay eco-conscious without sacrificing our style (and our wallets). By using post-consumer plastic, the brand helps clear oceans of waste and minimize the environmental impact.
  • Durability - it's not enough to create eco-friendly products. To be truly sustainable, the brand also needs to focus on quality to make its items stand the test of time. Silverwind activewear showed impressive durability and excellent craftsmanship. After 5+ months of unmerciful workouts, it still looks excellent with only minor signs of wear and tear.
  • Stunning patterns - this is the first brand that made me want to wear more patterned activewear. I love the artwork and the inspirational message behind it.
  • Comfort & versatility - going from yoga studio or gym to street has never been soooo cozy. Once you put it on, you'll never want to wear anything else again.

๐Ÿ›‘ What could be improved:

  • More transparency - I'd love to see more sustainability information on the company website in the future, e.g., yearly impact reports, factory specifics, and how the manufacturing process takes place in detail. Also, I haven't found any washing and caring instructions on the website. Many people are not aware that synthetic fibers shed a lot during washing and need a special washing bag to prevent microfibers from getting back into waterways. I'd like Silverwind to explicitly state this on their company website.

Silverwind response:

a. We will definitely think about adding yearly impact reports and mentioning more details about our supply chain on our website. Because that requires lots of people working together to deliver an accurate report, it might take a bit of time to do that, but we are working on it!

b. We will be adding wash & care instructions to our website this week. Thank you so much for bringing this up. We were also thinking of offering washing bags for our customers and we have been looking for the right supplier and material for that.

  • Bra straps - The straps in the Illusion bra just wouldn't lie flat. It's not a huge deal to me, but I believe it would vastly improve the look.

Silverwind response:

I will pass your feedback to my colleagues to see how we could improve that. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  • Added mesh in the bra - I'd love to see more bra styles with added mesh. Sweating is often an issue for people who work out a lot and have a bigger chest, so an added ventilation would be a plus.

Silverwind response:

We have added mesh to some of our designs, but we didn't add the mesh to this bra. I will recommend this to our designer and see if she could come up with more mesh designs for our next collection.

  • Packaging - I love that Silverwind is using recycled poly mailers instead of biodegradable or virgin ones, but I feel carton packaging would be more practical in the long run.

Silverwind response:

Currently, DHL express shipping only allows us to use DHL recycled poly mailers and their carton is for larger items. I will try to communicate with them to see if we could use our own carton. The only thing we are worried about with using a carton is that it won't be sturdy enough for international shipping, but we will do some tests and see what we can do about that!

๐Ÿงต From Waste To RPET Fabric: How Recycling Plastic Bottles Serves You And The Planet

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.

Silverwind recycled 31 plastic bottles to manufacture this outfit

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%."

Infographics by Silverwind // mysilverwind.com

Coming back to the initial question: how is using plastic an eco-friendly option? RPET is considered a green material for several reasons:

  • It reduces the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills/oceans since it takes the plastic that already has been created. Silverwind collects plastic waste from the oceans to create their activewear.
  • It prolongs the lifecycle of plastic and uses its potential to the fullest. Instead of wasting Earth's natural resources to create a virgin material, we can re-use what we already have in abundance.
  • It uses considerably less energy during the manufacturing process than virgin PET and requires less chemical treatment in the end.
  • Compared to natural fibers, RPET wins over since it requires far less water and energy resources and virtually no land use. Plus, it offers unparallel performance such as quick-drying and moisture-wicking properties, which just cannot be achieved through using natural fibers.

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.

RPET fabric offers the same features as virgin polyester and is great for high-performance workouts.

๐Ÿ“ฆ Packaging: Eco-Friendly, But Could Be More Practical

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.

A small hemp bag is cute and sustainable.

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.

โœ‚๏ธ Design & Style: A Head Turner

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.

I'm in ๐Ÿ’• with the sky blue color and pattern!

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.

Silverwind Illusion bra is designed to be worn in 2 ways.
I'm not a big fan of big "in-your-face" logos on athletic wear so I appreciate this minimalist design and subtle location.

๐Ÿฆต๐Ÿฝ Fit: Flattering With No Futzing

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 leggings are squat proof, but I suggest wearing nude underwear since white fabric always shows dark or patterned panties.

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.

The straps in the Illusion bra tend to crease a bit.

๐Ÿคธโ€โ™€๏ธ Comfort & Ease Of Movement: You'll Never Want To Take It Off

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.

Silverwind makes activewear for both work and play - comfy, stylish, and durable.

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.

๐Ÿ’ฆ Performance: High Breathability & No Stink

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 have never felt overheated, even in the blazing sun.

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.

Though breathable, I would love the bra to have some extra ventilation.

This Illusion set is truly versatile. Yoga, lifting, animal flow, HIITโ€ฆ - 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.

โŒ› Durability: Made To Last

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:

  • The fabric is delicate, but it washes really well without fading. I haven't used any specific laundry detergent or even a special wash cycle. What's more, I also "sinned" by washing the set with other fabrics such as cotton or jeans.
  • The set is still as soft as the first day I got it.
  • There is a slight peeling, especially on the inner thighs, but it's not pronounced. Compared to my other leggings that vividly show peels, you can hardly notice them on Silverwind.
  • Seams are sturdy enough to endure almost half a year of training, and there are no visible signs of breaking or loose threads.

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.

The fabric shows a very slight peeling on the seams.

๐Ÿ“ Sizing: True To Chart

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. ๐Ÿคท

The bra sits slightly loose after I've stopped nursing, but I still feel covered and supported.

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.

๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€โš–๏ธ Final Verdict: Quality Statement Activewear That's Also Sustainable

You'll enjoy wearing Silverwind as much as I did if you're:

  • in the market for a statement activewear piece to add to your closet
  • trying to minimize your footprint - this Silverwind yoga set is ethically made from 31 plastic bottles retrieved from the ocean
  • looking for a comfortable activewear that can take you from the yoga studio or gym to cafe in style.

That said, keep searching if you're:

  • in the market for compression leggings
  • looking for more coverage for your upper body
Get 25% off your SILVERWIND order with code LAURA25

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