A Cleaner Future for Endurance Apparel

How Activated Silk makes gear perform better for your customers—and for the planet.

Even beyond endurance sports, sustainability is the challenge facing the apparel industry today, and it’s a challenge with no simple, single solution. It’s about taking steps in the right direction and meaningfully moving the needle for your brand, your customers, and your industry. At Evolved By Nature, we’re working to help our brand partners take this step with our Activated Silk™ technology, an all-natural nylon finish that outperforms standard, harmful finishing chemicals and is better for the health of the planet and your customers. Best of all, it’s cost effective, and it can be seamlessly integrated into your existing manufacturing processes.

You know your endurance apparel customers care about performance, comfort, and style. (They chose your gear, after all.) They also care about the planet: Whether they’re cycling through the French Alps, running the classic trails of the West Coast, or simply pushing their lungs to the limit as they work to be their best, athletes have an unbreakable bond with the natural world.

Of the people we talked with who purchase a lot of activewear, about 90 percent said they would think more favorably of a brand that had apparel treated with Activated Silk, and that it would make them more likely to purchase that brand’s products.

With Activated Silk, greater performance and greater sustainability go hand in hand. Replacing the harmful chemicals used to finish your nylon-based apparel with Activated Silk—pure, liquefied natural silk protein—is a real differentiator and is something your customers are eager for. In research we recently conducted with 1,200 apparel consumers, we found that Activated Silk’s sustainability and health attributes are seen as new and compelling purchase decision drivers. Of the people we talked with who purchase a lot of activewear, about 90 percent said they would think more favorably of a brand that had apparel treated with Activated Silk, and that it would make them more likely to purchase that brand’s products.*

Activated Silk is our way of delivering the performance your customers demand while also making your apparel healthier for the planet and their bodies.

  • Activated Silk makes endurance apparel perform better: Nylon blends treated with Activated Silk wick moisture 10 percent better than traditional finishes, and dry rate is 35 percent better[1].
  • Activated Silk makes endurance apparel better for the planet: It is sustainable, made from a renewable resource, and free of toxic chemicals, which makes for gear that will keep your customers’ eyes on the path forward.
  • Activated Silk makes endurance apparel feel good: Activated Silk imparts a cool and luxurious feeling to nylon-blend fabrics and can be customized to match your desired hand.
  • Activated Silk keeps endurance apparel looking good: Colorfastness to washing is improved[2] over the life of the garment compared with traditional treatments.

Claims above are based on data from comparative tests run on real commercial nylon-blend fabric. Results may vary based on blends and finishes used. To test your fabric with Activated Silk, please contact us.

So what is Activated Silk, exactly?

It starts with silk, a natural polymer with amazing performance properties that have been studied in scientific literature for 80 years (and coveted for thousands). In essence, we’ve extracted and liquefied pure silk protein using natural silk cocoons, salt, water and heat. Manipulated one way, Activated Silk can wick moisture; manipulated another, it can make wool less prone to pilling. We have more than 75 patented Activated Silk molecular configurations (you can find out more about how it’s made here), and that’s just the beginning.

Activated Silk performs as well for the planet as it does for the athlete. The conventional textile finishing industry is hazardous to the environment—25 percent of global chemical output stems from the textile industry. Take wicking agents, which often contain formaldehyde and PFOAs, harmful to our health and persistent in the environment. Or softening agents, which usually come in forms like silicone derivatives that accumulate in the environment. They’re washed out of clothes during each laundering, and that wastewater finds its way into our rivers and oceans. It also finds its way back into our bodies in the form of harmful silica biogas. And those are just a few examples.

Twenty percent of industrial water pollution is linked to wet processing of textiles alone, according to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, cited in CMF’s (Changing Market Foundation) report.

In contrast, Activated Silk is safe for the planet and the people on it. Our pure silk protein is:

  • All-natural: Made from natural, responsibly sourced silk cocoons, salt and water.
  • Sustainable: Silk is renewable, and its production mitigates its own carbon footprint. The elegance of Activated Silk’s ingredients and purification process mean that it’s low-impact and ready to scale.
  • Free of formaldehyde, BPA, phthalates, PFOAs, and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly found in textile processing: These chemicals can damage the reproductive health of fish, birds, and mammals—including humans.

The best part for your supply team (besides not having to handle hazardous chemicals any longer): Activated Silk was designed to be cost-effective and easy to implement into the manufacturing process. It’s as simple as swapping out your current textile finishing bath for a bath containing our technical yet elegant silk protein, and faithful to our name: Evolved By Nature.

When you’re ready to take the next step in making endurance apparel that will love your customers as much as they love your gear, contact our team. Your apparel, Evolved By Nature.

*Evolved By Nature primary consumer research, n=1200, fielded August 23–27, 2018.

[1] Test methods: AATCC 197-202, AATCC 201-1013, performed on nylon-blend activewear fabric.
[2] Test method: AATCC 61, performed on nylon-blend activewear fabric.