Cycling Sustainably Made: Product Review Of FINDRA’s Stroma Jacket
The fashion industry, including the makers of our kits, is the second largest pollutant in the world, right behind the oil and gas industry. While consumers are shifting towards ethical and sustainably made products, think zero waste, reusables, sustainable fashion, green living products – more retailers are starting to be a part of this positively evolving sustainable fashion industry.
One brand that has really caught the attention of outdoor eco warriors and cycling enthusiasts is FINDRA, a Scottish activewear and outdoor brand with a proud reputation for innovation, sustainable and environmentally friendly active wear. In a quest of innovation and sustainability in adding a new wardrobe staple to its line, FINDRA recently released their new Stroma Technical Jacket this March, designed using an eco-friendly textile that is made from recycled plastic bottles and coffee grounds.
You might be wondering, eco-friendly coffee yarn? How does that work? This award-winning innovative technology, dries and mixes repurposed coffee grounds with recycled plastic bottles to create pellets that are melted down to create fibres which become S. Cafe yarn. S.Cafe yarn has been developed into a number of performance fabrics, one of which, the P4Dry, forms part of FINDRA’s Stroma Jacket and has natural performance of odor control, wicking moisture, and being naturally UV resistant.
For the release of this new product, the FINDRA team reached out and kindly asked me to do a review of this new innovative product. While I was very excited to learn of the process of this sustainably made fabric, I was also excited to share and add it to my evolving sustainably made cycling wardrobe.
Besides all of its features that I will be highlighting in this review, here are the big three things about the Stroma Technical Jacket that I love.
One thing I really liked about this jacket is how versatile it is. I have been wearing this jacket for the last three weeks in the rain, cold, and wind on runs, walks, and cycling. The jacket performs really well in managing water, sweat moisture, body temperature, and the elements.
I liked that on wet days, mud and water didn’t seep under the jacket when cycling through wet and gravel roads. I especially liked that on cooler and windy days, the windproof fabrics managed to keep my skin cool and core warm. Even on a windy run in 35F I didn’t overheat as it blocked cold wind from getting through.
When it came to the jacket staying dry, the zips are water proof and easy to undo. Pockets and zips also keep items dry, in addition, taped seams and thumbhole cuffs keeping wind away. The hoodie provided extra protection on my face from the rain, especially my eyes when I needed to see the road!
Performance wise, it offers a good balance of waterproofing, breathability, and versatility, making outdoor ventures manageable and more comfortable in the elements.
When I first put the jacket on I was impressed by how lightweight and soft the material was as a coffee yarn fabric. I was also surprised with the how much performance it offered and how nice it looked on and was to wear, like a second layer of skin that moved with you that offered extra protection. Its stretchy, waterproof, breathable materials are soft and quiet, not like other plastic feeling waterproof and windproof jackets out there. Even on a really windy day out, noise was not an issue.
When I didn’t need to wear it, I could easily fold it and store it in my jersey or handlebar bag.
The more I used the Stroma jacket the more I realized how well thought out it was in addressing the needs of an outdoor and cycling jacket. To note, the jacket was designed and tested in collaboration with the Adventure Syndicate’s Lee Craigie, who has devoted her life to cycling and helping others explore the outdoors on two wheels and has a lot of credibility in the industry.
The jacket’s relaxed fit, length, and dropped back hem complimented my body and frame, covering all the right places that need protection from the elements. On wet rides and runs, I found the hem drawcord adjuster most useful to keep water from riding up my back when cycling and running. Its high neck, zip guard, and peak hood with adjustable drawcord provides plenty of coverage when needed from rain and wind. The detail of the soft stretch cuff with a thumbhole was most comforting on days when I needed a bit more wind protection and warmth on my hands.
My favorite details of the jacket are the concealed front pockets and back pocket. When it comes to cycling jackets I prefer to have easy access to essentials without needing to unzip a layer to access back jersey pockets in the cold and rain. With the Stroma jacket, pocket access is intuitive and provides plenty of storage for on hand essentials while keeping them dry.
Overall, the Stroma Technical Jacket delivers on all it promises.
Not only that, I am very pleased to share a brand that brings sustainability and innovation to cycling and outdoor wear. As we start thinking about our relationships to stuff and adopting eco and social responsible purchases to address climate change and rising oceans, this is one brand we can all get behind to push the way forward for the cycling industry.