Jersey £40 / Shorts £40
Our mentality when it comes to shopping is changing, we look past the aesthetics and the status of the product and look a little deeper. What hurts us though is why we did not adopt this type of consumerism years ago. the ethics of reusing, recycling and reducing. Finally, a lot of brands are starting to wise up to the fact is that they have a huge responsibility to society as a whole in determining how far this movement can go because it's necesary to making sure we look after the planet. One company has this ethos in it's core, it's actually quite refreshing to know whilst some of us were just coming to terms with the scale of issues presented to humanity such as plastic usage our consumption and use of water to name a couple, Sundried has made sure they've stayed true to their word...
Honestly and like a couple of our friends who have mentioned this, Sundried does give you a feeling that you're ordering raisins or some form of dried fruit! Once you realise you haven't and you do a little bit of research, Sundried actually comes from their encouragement of how you look after their clothing - 'wash cool, sun dry'. If their teaching their customers already how to become more eco-friendly when it comes to washing, this brand's moral compass is definitely pointing in the right direction.
We are quite critical at the moment of buying products with plastic packaging, the recent series on BBC1 surrounding the issue of single use plastics especially packaging has caught our attention. We were expecting paper based packaging but the jersey and shorts arrived in zip up plastic pouches but we have put them to good use and have 'reused' them for our bolts and little bits in the garage. We were given a handy little bag too (not plastic!) which Mrs NITP has nabbed already! There is a place for plastics in the world, we're surrounded by it in truth, it's the lazy choices people make which are not needed, for example, you'll often find a bunch of bananas wrapped up in plastic packaging, that's not needed period, we have gotten completely away from any fruit or vegetable in plastic packaging and will now only buy loose. So even though Sundried do use plastics in their packaging, those zip ups make it so we can reuse them and reuse them we will.
Sundried have a range of athletic clothing made from coffee grounds (Eco Charge) and recycled plastics (Eco Core). It reminds of us what Team Sky did last year with their Ocean Rescue campaign so they're showing recycled clothing is the way forward. Unfortunately, the kit we were reviewing were not made from recycled materials but hopefully that's something in the pipeline for Sundried.
Our British weather hey?! Was certainly difficult to find the right conditions to test out the Sundried apparel as we've had some biblical rain in the past few weeks where it would of been much simpler to ride home naked (there would of been issues with that obviously, saddle sore being one!). The shorts we were sent to review were not bib-shorts which threw us a little because when we first started out cycling, we used to wear waist shorts to get us up and cycling. Problems we found and you only realise when you upgrade to bib-shorts is the fit and feel. Unless you're ripped in the abdominal area which we are clearly not, you'll end up with a bit of tightness around the gut and if the jersey is not long enough, you could end up with a bit of skin exposing itself when you sit up. We did find this happened a couple of times to us so we pulled the shorts up a little further but that presented another issue resulting in a bit of extra tightness around the groin area.
We have mentioned in the past in other reviews and we're not afraid to say that we do suffer from the odd saddle sore from time to time, we regularly use chamois cream and are now picky when it comes to padding. We have a couple of pairs of bib-shorts that we know after 10miles or so, because the padding is not great quality, skin starts to rub... well you get the picture (not literally, doubt many of you would want a picture to be view of the aftermath of a saddle sore!). First ride out in the shorts were not too much of a problem, felt comfortable enough but that could be down we wearing them a little lower. It was on our previous ride into the Surrey Hills where we starting to feel a little rubbing not helped by us having a worn cleat so every time we slipped out of the pedal (this happened for the last 20miles) it made us jolt in the seat enhancing the rubbing. Could this be down to the quality of the padding? Possibly, I think bib-shorts are a better fit for comfort so would be interesting if this issue was present in Sundried's bib shorts for us.
The fit of the jersey is more of a race cut, the sleeves are slick with no flapping due to the tight elasticity so it's not a jersey you could stick on for a poodle around the park unless that's how you roll and if it is, c'est la vie! The SD logo on the arms which you also find on the shorts from afar can be mistaken for a Castelli logo, personally, I'd rather see a more ethical and eco' colour such as green or blue but then the colours of the kit wouldn't work. The design itself is quite quiet, looking further into their range, we prefer the look of their blue Cadence jersey.
There's a lot of good reasons why you should stock your clothing cupboard with Sundried but let's get the niggling points out the way. We would love to see their next range of cycling apparel made from recycled materials, that would make a bold statement and reinforce their ethos which we are definitely a fan of. Something which is missing from the kit is the promotion of their ethos, like our cycling buddy Chris said, his first thought was raisins not ethical clothing brand. Would love to see a slogan or phrase maybe on the sleeves or on the back of the shorts. The padding could do with a bit of improvement from us but it could be a personal thing on our part.
You're clearly investing in a ethical purchase with Sundried. Although we do prefer the look of their other kit, it's a worthy inclusion to our clothing cupboard. The price too is very reasonable, £80 for the full kit is even cheaper than most jerseys or shorts brought separately. Plus, it doesn't feel cheap in terms of fit so if you're looking for a performance feel coupled with knowing your moral compass is pointing in the right direction, you'll be hard pressed to find another brand that could offer that. Sundried's next step? Throwing in a pack of raisins with each order...!