Review: OORR Australian Enviro Cycle Wear
There are a lot of reasons to buy one cycling jersey over another; it’s cheaper, it looks better, it has more features, it’s the club kit, or a pro-cyclist or pro-cycling team wears it. Another, far less common, reason is that the cycling wear is more environmentally friendly. The young Australian brand OORR have decided to befriend the environment by releasing a jersey made out of recycled plastic bottles that also kills odours and has a host of premium features. Oh, and it looks great.
Sydney-sider and OORR founder Tim Christian has put a lot of effort into creating a feature rich jersey that will appeal to a cyclist who can picture themself in a white cycling jersey. While the colour scheme may not appeal to all cyclists, the colour does make the jersey quite visible during the day and, like all good jerseys should, it also has reflective material for night riding with a subtle reflective print plus a reflective stripe below the jersey pockets. Again, like all good quality jerseys, the OORR jersey has a great full-length zipper, and it also has a zipper pocket, to keep your valuables in your pocket. The only thing missing is waterproofing on the zipper pocket to protect my smart phone from sweat and rain, but this is easily solved with a protective pouch.
So let’s get down to the unique selling point of this jersey, the fabric, made from 100% Recycled PET plastic bottles. In essence it is 100% polyester, which is the fabric of choice for cycling jerseys, but the bulk of polyester used for clothing is ‘virgin’ polyester made directly from oil. Using recycled PET is genuinely environmentally friendly as it requires less energy to produce than virgin polyester.
For comfort, flatloc stitching is used throughout and it means that there are less likely to be seams which agitate the skin, plus flatloc stiching looks good. There is some interesting attention to detail with a small pouch above the full-length zipper; it looks good, but more importantly it stops the zipper from rubbing against your neck. For me this is a real highlight because it tells me that OORR’s Tim Christian knows cyclewear and recognises the small things that make a difference. This insight is extended to the arms and the waist (with silicon grippers) where the fabric style and selection keep these contact points comfortable for the wearer.
The OORR jersey feels denser and heavier (180 gsm) than my other jerseys and the fabric weave is quite distinctive. Breathable panels (85% polyester, 3% Nylon and 12% Lycra) are incorporated into the jersey, plus the zipper is also made from recycled PET. So what about smell? When I ride, I sweat, but I don’t think that I am particularly smelly and make sure I wash my cyclewear well before things get out of control. OORR founder Tim Christian took my query on board when I asked about the antibacterial characteristics.
“You are correct when you say it is a longevity and hygiene issue” says Tim, “It [OORR anti-odour nanotechnology] has been proven to kill 99.99% of all microbes instantly on contact. The nanoparticles are based on research from a frog that lives in bacterially infested water with no ill-effects – they are spiny in shape and attract microbes to themselves, spearing and killing the microbes on contact. As the nanoparticles are not chemical in nature, they are safe for people and the environment, plus they stay bound to the fabric.”
It is interesting to note that on the OORR website it categorically states that silver is not used to provide the anti-odour capability. During my research I spotted an established Australian cycle-wear brand promoting their ‘silver-ion technology’, which I now know to be very bad for the environment, and also potentially for our own health.
For the review jersey I chose a size L based on OORR’s sizing chart, although with my broad swimmers shoulders an XL may have been more comfortable. Similarly, the elastic waist was a little broad which suggests that the ‘cut’ (fit) of this jersey was not well suited to my body type. While a little more space in the shoulders, and a little less around the waist, would have been nice, I am also being very picky.
The dense fabric was quite noticeable when it was on, similar to a hemp or eco t-shirt rather than a jersey. In the summer heat, and on the indoor trainer, I wore the OORR jersey without a base layer. The jersey retains quite a bit of moisture and is not super-moisture-wicking, but the dense fabric does provide better wind protection. Weather-wise, I would opt for a lighter jersey for hot days and then turn to the OORR cycling jersey for moderate to cooler temperatures.
In terms of the ‘look’ of the jersey, I quite like it; it’s a stylish jersey with very subtle lime green stitching on the arms, dashes of black on the arms and cuffs, and a dominant and graphic OORR on right shoulder. Nothing overpowering, but it’s still very visual.
On the way to the photoshoot I was wearing the matching OORR arm warmers and was told by my photographer (in the car) that I couldn’t be missed. Particularly in the rearview mirror, I was extremely visible in the traffic. For safety on the roads the OORR jersey and arm warmers work well.
The OORR jersey takes a slightly different approach compared to other jerseys; it doesn’t rely on good looks and great functionality alone, rather the ‘green’ story is genuine. At $139 it is in the higher priced segment for cycle wear, but with the features and style it is very competitive. You are not just paying for a name, you are paying for quality. A bonus for buyers is the free shipping (Aus and NZ). You can find out more about OORR and their cycle wear online: www.oorr.com.au
OORR 100% PET Recycled Cycling Jersey (RRP $ 139 (incl. postage))