(Nope, it’s not because we love doing laundry.)
Founded by a former pro athlete, HEX Performance was designed from day 1 with workout clothes in mind. (Actually, HEX wasn’t initially an idea for detergent– but that’s a longer story).
The thing is, when we created HEX Detergents, workout clothes were still usually reserved for the gym. Athleisure was just a glimpse in the eyes of clothing brands and fashion influencers. Today though? We’re all obsessed with our activewear.
Whether at the office, the gym, home, or the grocery store (where else do you spend your time?) we’re donning athletic outfits to keep up with the daily hustle. We see it all around, but how often are people really wearing workout clothes?
The Results Are In...
Curious to know just how much Americans love activewear, we polled 2,000 women across the U.S. and asked questions like, “How often do you wear leggings?” and “Which item in your closet sparks the most joy for you?” (Thank you to Marie Kondo for the inspiration on that one.)
Time for the clickbait: What We Found Will Shock You!
Okay, actually, it might not be shocking! The answers confirmed our suspicions:
- Leggings were voted #1 for the item that sparked the most joy in women’s closets. Jeans were a close second, with casual dresses following in third place.
- On average, women are wearing leggings every other day! From ages 18-40, 55% of participants reported wearing leggings 3+ times a week. As you might guess, the number jumps to 63% amongst the younger generation (18-24 years old).
- Only 4% don’t wear leggings
- Spending varies– and today, workout clothes are sold at every price point. Most of the women polled feel comfortable spending up to $50 on a good pair of leggings, while some will go upwards of $100.
- There’s a legging for every occasion. And lounging is actually our favorite occasion for leggings. Nearly half of respondents (47%) have leggings specifically for lounging around the house. We saw high numbers in participants who own specific leggings for different types of workouts (running: 38%, cardio/weightlifting: 34%, and yoga/low intensity: 38%). But that’s not all– 36% have a special pair of leggings for “going out” and 25% have office leggings!
The Downside: Workout Clothes Get Dirty
It’s all fun and games until laundry day.
In the same study, we found that there’s a load of confusion and frustration when it comes time to clean athletic apparel. 63% of respondents say that their leggings don’t hold up for more than a year and have pilled, faded or deteriorated within the first 12 months.
Additionally, more than a quarter (28%) shared that they expect to actually throw leggings out over time. And overall, the problem isn't the leggings or fabric – the problem lies in not knowing how to care for them properly.
What else did we learn?
- 63% of respondents say that their leggings don’t hold up for more than a year and have pilled, faded or deteriorated within the first twelve months.
- 28% shared that they expect to actually throw leggings out over time.
- Many respondents worried that their workout wear would get ruined in the washer (28%) or dryer (32%)
- 27% hand wash their workout clothes
- 27% of respondents still use fabric softeners or dryer sheets when cleaning leggings (even though most activewear manufacturers instruct against it)
- Only 15% of respondents use a detergent designed for activewear
- While others take extreme (and sometimes wacky) measures to try to clean workout wear: soak them in vinegar before washing (12%), dry clean them (17%) and put them in the fridge or freezer (11%).
We're taking these answers as a call to action. It's time to stop throwing away dirty clothes. So we're here with a few simple tips on how to clean and protect sportswear, protecting your investment and keeping clothes
The Golden Rules: How To Clean Activewear
Let's face it: Activewear ain’t cheap. Want to protect your investments and stop throwing out gym clothes? Then it's time to get your laundry routine in shape. (Get it? Because working out?)
When it comes to caring for high-performance workout clothes, a few key practices will pay off with long lasting stretch, wickability, vibrancy, and freshness.
First of all, how often should you wash workout clothes? It's best to treat them after every sweat to remove grime (rather than letting it build up.) However, if you have a particularly delicate pair or a very rough washer, you might consider alternating hand washing with machine washing.
Next, prep your clothes for the machine! Turning leggings and yoga pants inside out while washing can help protect the outside layer of fabric from small snags.
Now, it's time to gather your supplies. Because these clothes are mostly made with synthetic fabrics, it's important to use a sports detergent. HEX Performance protects your investment by maintaining fabrics’ strength, stretch, and sweat-wickability.
Time to dry up. Our poll revealed that 32% of respondents fear that the dryer will eat, shrink, or otherwise damage activewear. And they're right (to an extent). Heat can warp synthetic fibers, so air dry for best results. Pro tip: treat yo'self to a quality drying rack.
What not to do: For the love of 4-way stretch, never use basic detergents, fabric softeners, or dryer sheets on leggings. These formulas were designed decades ago for cotton, so when it comes to synthetics, they basically just brush the surface. More info on that here. Only HEX's proprietary formula infiltrates modern synthetics (aka “plastic fabrics”) and blends.
Get HEX'd (in a good way)
We know you're wondering, what makes HEX so different?
Unlike basic detergents that weren't made to clean activewear fabrics, HEX uses a proprietary technology that protects fabrics from losing that new-clothes feeling while preserving texture, vibrancy, and wick-ability. Harnessing the HEX Molecule, this new formula also deep cleans and shields against stains, stink and static. Eliminating sweat and body odor with technology – not perfume –
HEX Performance is so advanced, it can penetrate even the tightest-knit performance fabrics. Designed for activewear but awesome for all fabrics, HEX is biodegradable, cruelty-free and people & planet friendly.
What are you waiting for? Stop reading & start cleaning!