What about chemicals?

From time to time, customers contact us to ask about the fabrics in Genus gardening clothes.  Do they contain chemicals?  What makes them waterproof?  Will they affect my sensitive skin?

So we asked Julie, our Head of Design, to tell us more about our Rosemoor tees and Henleys which are made from drirelease® cotton with a Polygiene® StayFresh finish.

"I work really closely with our fabric team to ensure that the mills that we use for our fabrics are some of the best in the world.  The fabrics that we use are also industry-leading in terms of their look, feel and durable performance, without compromising on your health. There is a lot of pressure on these mills currently to ensure that the fabrics that they produce meet the very high standards of the outdoor clothing companies that they supply.  At Genus we set very strict criteria for testing, both in the lab and for wear testing and if anything didn’t meet our standards we wouldn’t use it.

The details below describe what each technology is, and a little bit about why we’ve chosen to use it.

Our Rosemoor Tees are made from drirelease® cotton with Polygiene® StayFresh.  

Drirelease® technology is not a chemical treatment.  The fast drying, comfort and moisture movement properties are built into each yarn of the fabric by using a carefully chosen, smart blend of fibres with different characteristics, shapes and deniers. (yarn is made up of lots of fibres that are spun together)

In our drirelease Cotton, the fabric uses a blend of natural, water-absorbing (hydrophilic) cotton fibres and synthetic, water repelling (hydrophobic) polyester fibres and little bit of spandex for comfortable stretch and recovery. The built-in combination efficiently pulls moisture and perspiration away from the skin and pushes it to the outside of the fabric where it evaporates quickly. (This process is called wicking). Unlike chemically treated performance fabrics that typically lose their ability to move or wick moisture with each wash, drirelease delivers consistent wicking and rapid drying for the lifetime of the garment. 

We know, first-hand how much hard work goes into gardening and it’s not uncommon to be out in the garden multiple days in a row.  Even though the drirelease fabric dries fast, we appreciate that washing clothes every day isn’t always practical.  By embedding Polygiene StayFresh, an industry leading, antibacterial technology into the fabric it helps to keep your Rosemoor tees fresher for longer so that they need less washing, saving you time, water, energy and wear and tear on the garment. 

We chose Polygiene specifically, because firstly we’ve tested the other anti-odour treatments and feel that this is the best performing in real use. 

Because it is a finish on the fabric, we also chose Polygiene StayFresh because it has undergone extensive sensitivity testing, so there’s no risk from contact with the skin or the mouth

Finally, we chose it because it is embedded into the fibres, so that it won’t wash out and lasts for the lifespan of the garment. 

Polygiene contains no synthetic chemicals, no oils and no plastics.  It is based on silver ions, that are naturally present in both water and soil and are extremely safe next to skin at the low levels used in Polygiene.  The silver ions make it impossible for the bacteria responsible for bad smells to multiply, stopping your tee from smelling. However, it does not interfere with naturally occurring ‘good’ bacteria on the skin.  Silver ions are often found in medical products such as bandages and wound healing products for this very reason.  

Polygiene also has some of the highest accreditations for consumer and manufacturer safety from Bluesign, Oeko-Tex and REACH.  Bluesign promotes consumer safety, low impact manufacturing and responsible use of resources; OekoTex EcoPassport supports responsible manufacturing and supply chains; and REACH compliance, ensures that Polygiene StayFresh has been approved under  legislation covering the manufacture and use of chemicals.

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Both technologies have been used in clothing (and other areas - such as bedding) for many years, so they have been well tried and tested, which is why I was confident that they would work really well for Genus gardeners."