Who knew a red shirt would become a life-changing event for Jeremy Litchfield? On a hot and humid morning back in 2007, Litchfield went out for a run. Wearing a brand new performance t-shirt, the runner was gearing up for an upcoming marathon. By the time he finished his morning jaunt, red stain from his new shirt covered his shorts, socks, shoes and lower body.
Concerned about the red dye on his body, Litchfield began researching performance apparel. It became clear that the apparel contained products that were potentially harmful to the environment as well as people. While sportswear is breathable and helps prevent the body from overheating, he discovered the material was often treated with chemicals, heavy metals and was not biodegradable. According to Litchfield, that red shirt he was wearing that muggy morning also included dioxins, AZO dyes and nearly one-tenth of a gallon of petroleum, among other things. Frustrated and wanting to make a difference, Litchfield quit his day job and launched Atayne, despite knowing nothing about performance sportswear.
“Inspiring positive social and environmental change through the power of active lifestyles,” Atayne takes people’s trash – old garments, footwear, race numbers and plastic bottles – and recycles them into high performance athletic and outdoor gear. The company does not use harmful chemicals or treatments to enhance the materials. And in an effort to encourage hang drying, a handy hang loop is included on the back of Grind T tops. Supporting local jobs, all Atayne products are manufactured in North America.
Besides making high-quality athletic apparel and gear, the company also supports the community and promotes environmental awareness in a variety of efforts. Combining high performance wear with sustainability, the certified B Corporation company puts its money where its mouth is, with a variety of eco-conscious programs:
- Trashed Top Takeback – Because 85 percent of performance apparel eventually ends up in landfills, the company has implemented a Trashed Top takeback program. Instead of tossing that worn-out poly performance shirt, why not reuse it instead? Just send in a 100 percent polyester performance top along with the required form. Once the “trashed top” has been received and accepted, you will receive a $5 coupon code towards a new Atayne purchase.
- Trash Runners – The popular Trash Runners program combines exercise, fresh air and trash collecting. The program even sports its own language!
Inspired by a red shirt, Atayne is making a difference, one shirt at a time.