Fitness Fashion and Odor Controlling Fabric

I thought I would start the fitness fashion discussion with a company of which I am becoming increasingly more familiar, Athleta. Their clothing crosses multiple fitness categories and proves that not all fabrics are created equal. I no doubt will cover as many of these key fabrics over time as I can, but let’s begin with an athletes best friend: the Unstinkable Technology.

Unstinkable sounds appealing, doesn’t it? This technology, made possible by the use of natural silver salts, controls odor so that you can wear the product more and wash it less. This Unstinkable Technology can be found in numerous apparel items ranging from pants to sports bras. The moisture wicking material keeps you feeling (and smelling) fresher longer.

I’ve done some digging into this technology to satisfy my curiosity and answer your unspoken questions. If you had any reservations about the constant silver salt to skin contact in these odor-controlled products, ease your mind. The use of silver as a natural antimicrobial stems back to ancient times when the Phoenicians stored water in silver bottles to prevent spoilage. The Greeks and Romans purified their water in silver vessels. Today, silver continues to be used in various ways including water purification, wound and burn treatment, and, of course, odor-repelling textiles.

A variety of companies offer a form of odor-controlling technology rooted in silver or silver salts. The antimicrobial formulas can be applied to fabric using various methods. Some coat 100% of the nylon threads in pure silver and then use those threads to make the garment. Others, like Athleta, apply a silver-salt spray to the fabric during the finishing stages of production at the same time as other fabric treatments. Whichever method, the odor repellent property will be active for the lifespan of your product and will not fade nor rinse out over time.

It’s important to note that the silver salts do not absorb the odors into the clothing; rather, they stop the formation of odor-causing bacteria at the source. Sweat in itself does not stink; the growth of fungus and bacteria is at the root of your pungent stench after a workout. When you sweat, you emit odor-causing bacteria onto your clothing. A silver-salt spray will prevent that bacteria from forming.  Remember, it will not repel odors from outside sources such as lotions or cigarette smoke.

Athleta is not the only apparel company utilizing this technology.  L.L. Bean, Patagonia, and New Balance are just a few brands who have also taken a stance to end odor.  Even outdoor lifestyle companies started using antimicrobials in the fabric of their hunting apparel, including underwear, to mask the human scent.

Buck Naked underwear from Duluth Trading Company

Buck Naked underwear from Duluth Trading Company

Check out some of these Athleta products utilizing the UNSTINKABLE technology.

Chi Tank

This light weight, super soft tank is great for yoga and other studio activities. I’d personally run in this tank because I prefer my garments to be loose and breathable.

Chi Tank - Athleta

Chi Tank –

Fast Track ½ Zip

Great for running, this top layer includes a reflective zipper doubling as a safety feature and great way to let off steam, thumbholes to keep you warmer, and silicone dots on the hem to keep from rising up.

Fast Track Half Zip -

Fast Track Half Zip –

Sprint Seamless Bra

Designed for high impact activities such as running or training, this sports bra provides heavy support for A-B cups and Medium sport for C cups. Its double layer offers extra support and reduces bounce.

Sprint Seamless Bra -

Sprint Seamless Bra –

Splash Relay Capri

This lightweight cropped pant composed from a combination of Lycra, Spandex, and Polyester fits mid-rise on the waist coupled with a tight leg. This is the ultimate pant option for runners (any pant in the Relay family). It includes an adjustable drawstring along the inside of the waistband, reflective accents for nighttime safety, and mesh ventilation along the legs for extra breathability.

Splash Relay Capri -

Splash Relay Capri –

For more information on these and other Atheta items, please visit

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3 Responses to Fitness Fashion and Odor Controlling Fabric

  1. d20girl says:

    I’ve been curious about that technology. I hate smelling gross when I workout!

    • 365krisbits says:

      Me too! I bought a couple of products with the Unstinkable Technology so I’ll let you know how it works. I can’t imagine wearing them for a full out sweat session, not washing them, and then wearing agin… but if I must, I must!

  2. Pingback: How Often Should You Wash Your Workout Gear? | The Balanced Kitchen

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