May 10, 2023
What are your biggest complaints about your workout clothes today? That they start to stink after one or two uses? You have to wash them often (and after a few washes, they start to fall apart)? They’re actually a bit itchy and irritate your skin? These statements may even be true about your day-to-day street clothes. Well, we’ve experienced the same exact things. Not to mention the less apparent downsides of today’s technical apparel; most of it is treated with petroleum-based chemicals and made of synthetic fibers that are harmful to our bodies and our planet. That’s why we set out to change how performance apparel is made. And that’s how we came to use a technology called Filium® that makes our natural sportswear the best you’ve ever sweat in.
Before diving into what Filium is, it’s important to understand what this tech is responding to. The current trend in technical apparel is to craft garments out of synthetic fibers and treat them with petroleum-based substances to achieve “moisture-wicking” or “fast-drying” qualities. These may seem like helpful features, but in reality they work against our bodies and, in the long run, our planet.
For starters, garments that wick sweat away and quickly evaporate it actually impede your body’s natural regulation. Sweat is a biological response to prevent your body from overheating. When it's wicked away, your body kicks into overgear to produce even more sweat to keep you cool. These synthetic garments may dry quickly, but therein lies another problem. Sweat itself is odorless. However, there is bacteria in sweat that, when absorbed, is the root of that foul post-workout smell. When sweat gets soaked up by your clothes, the moisture evaporates, leaving behind the odor-causing bacteria to do its thing.
On top of this, the materials and chemicals used to create these technical garments have detrimental effects on the environment. The synthetic fibers and nanoparticles that make up such clothing are toxic and non-biodegradable. After they’re discarded, they take decades – centuries, even – to break down. And before that, they shed chemicals and microplastics into our waterways simply by going through a standard wash cycle.
Filium is a technology that turns natural fibers like cotton or wool into water-repellent, odor-resistant garments without compromising softness, breathability, or comfort. Unlike the chemical-laden treatments used on synthetic apparel, Filium meets bluesign® standards for sustainable materials and production, and steers clear of using nanoparticles such as plastic or silver.
In order to work with the body rather than against it, Zenkai’s garments are water-repellent, not moisture-wicking. The Filium process makes our clothing hydrophobic so that spills and sweat roll right off, leaving your garment stain-free and dry. When you break a sweat, it’s this feature that keeps a thin layer of moisture on your skin, keeping you cool as a cucumber. The cherry on top? Sweat-repelling means odor-refusing.
(Sidenote: Filium doesn’t make fibers waterproof. Dunking one of our garments in water will get it wet. But, if our apparel does get wet or absorb liquid, its repellent nature means it will dry up to 40% faster than other fabrics!)
The last thing you want when you’re busting it out at the gym or enjoying an outdoor summer shindig is to be weighed down by uncomfortable, irritating clothes. Filium combines the lightweight breathability of your favorite plant-based fibers with the water-repellent, odor-resistant features previously mentioned for the ultimate update in technical apparel. Because natural fibers are gentler on the skin, our garments are favored by folks with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Then there are the environmental benefits. Thanks to Filium, our natural, plastic-free apparel is biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals and nanoparticles. This means that they won’t leach anything nasty into the environment, and when they reach the end of their life, they’ll break down completely rather than stick around in a landfill for millenia. Also, Zenkai’s odor-resistant garments require less frequent laundering than synthetic fabrics, making them a more sustainable choice all-around!
Thanks to Filium, we’re able to combine the benefits of using natural fibers (eco-friendly, comfortable, breathable) with technical features that help you perform better during a workout (water-repellant, naturally cooling) for the ultimate sportswear solution. You may be wondering, “Do I have to be an athlete to enjoy Zenkai?” The answer is a resounding “No way!” Not only does our clothing perform well, but it looks great on you. Incorporate Zenkai into your casual wear and experience the difference for yourself. Filium protects our garments from spills and sweat in any context, so you can reach the end of your day feeling just as fresh as when you started.
April 20, 2023
Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm PST