Is lyocell breathable and good to workout in the summer heat?

Posted by Nicolas Mekchoudi on

Those of us who workout in the gym or outdoor in any weather, cold, hot, wet or humid conditions, cross-fit or  just hiking with friends, wearing the right athletic clothing with the best weather-adaptable fabrics is so essential for comfort and enjoyment, I believe it is not about the final results but also the journey to get there!

I am a firm advocate that natural fibers breathe better than synthetics (even advanced performance wear, Nike Dry-Fit sweat-wicking and the likes) because natural fibers have to withstand fluctuations in temperature for the life of the organic beings they originate from: How a worm (silk), sheep (wool) or Eucalyptus tree (Tencel Lyocell) have to function compared to a man-made polluting petrochemical fabric like polyester or nylon!

Activn Sustainable Activewear TENCEL™ Lyocell & Organic Cotton Fabric Blend Made in Canada

Fabrics like bamboo and lyocell are the most breathable and therefore the most ideal to keep warmer in the winter cold and cooler in the hot summer. These two fibers originate from the pulp of plants that are immobile, and survive on auto managing variations in heat and cold!

Polyester, nylon, acrylic, vinyl, fleece and other 100% synthetic fabric usually don’t get the thermal regulation for your body that natural fibers get because air won’t easily pass through them and air-permeability is what is critical to keep you comfortable in any outdoor conditions.

What a synthetic fiber like spandex/elastane does well though is add stretch to workout clothes for ease of movement and fit but look out for no more than 5%-10% in the overall fabric blend.

Let’s talk about odour: Natural fibers, again by biological design, absorb moisture efficiently because less available moisture formed on the surface for bacteria to grow: better hygienic qualities, more odour-resistance and sweat stains therefore requiring less washing saving on water usage.

An other positive aspect of non-synthetic-fibers is their lesser impact on the environment: TENCEL™ Lyocell (by Lenzing) fibers are made from wood in sustainably managed plantations & produced in a closed-loop ethical process that recovers and reuses 99% of the chemicals used and most natural fibers are compostable and biodegradable in soil and marine conditions.

Polyester production generates high carbon emission and even if progresses were made recently, non-synthetic textiles are hardly recyclable and absolutely non-compostable or biodegradable

So even if still a premium on polyester activewear, for your comfort in any weather conditions, the planet, experience better natural athletic gear!

Activn is on an official Tencel Lyocell clothing brand in the Active wear category on

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