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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thriv Natural Performance

Raising the bar in casual & sport apparel
by Larry Lagarde

Just as recent innovations in folding bikes are raising the bar in the cycling industry, the same holds true in the apparel industry. One example of this is Speedo's introduction 2 years ago of the revolutionary LZR swimsuit. Another example is the Thriv line of sport and casual apparel.

Thriv has come up with a way to fabricate clothes with a fabric content that's 95% cotton and bamboo. The result is a fabric that's incredibly soft, flexible, light, breathable, uv resistant, fade resistant, odor resistant, durable, sustainable and reasonably priced. I know. I've been testing Thriv clothing since December.

On December 11, 2009, the local newspaper here in New Orleans (the Times Picayune) ran a story on Thriv. Titled "Tough Workouts Soft Fabrics", the story described Thriv as downy soft & light active wear that was superior in every way to polypropylene apparel.

An even bigger surprise was that Thriv was headquartered here in the New Orleans area. Hungry for more info, I called Thriv's office and they invited me to stop by to look around. I went over the following day.

When I arrived, the owner of the company greeted me, invited me into his office and sat down with me for over an hour. Rather than me interviewing him for a story on sustainable products (which was my intention), it was more like him interviewing me. I found this puzzling until near the end of the meeting when he offered me a variety of clothing to try out free of charge. I think he wanted to be sure I would put the product through it's paces. Boy did I.

So here are the facts.
I have been wearing Thriv fitness clothes (tees, long sleeve shirts & pants) at least once a week since December on hot days and cold, in extremely humid weather and on picture perfect days. I've worn Thriv on long bike rides exceeding 50 miles. Several times, while looking for a Thriv shirt to wear during a long ride, I'll find my wife wearing it while taking a nap or playing games on the computer. Her excuse: "it's just so comfortable honey."

I have yet to adhere to (or read) any care instructions for the clothing. The Thriv clothes have been washed on hot and dried on high heat. There has been no noticeable fade or shrinkage. The clothes have been smudged with peanut butter, jelly, syrup, mustard and coffee; yet, all the stains have come out (granted, the Thriv clothes I have all are black in color).

When I work out in Thriv, the sweat wicks from my body. You can see the shirt's wet; however, it's more damp than soaked and the wetness evaporates fairly quickly. Even if I don't shower immediately after the workout, the Thriv clothes remain odor free.

Thriv Better Than Any Other Clothing Material
I've worn a variety of other unusual, natural fabrics (including alpaca, cashmere and silk) but NOTHING comes close to the comfort of Thriv. As to synthetics, the difference is even more dramatic because polypro balls up, smells, scratches the skin, stains and shrinks whereas Thriv does not.

One last point; Thriv clothes are durable.
Several months ago, while test riding a new recumbent bike, the lower right pant leg of my Thriv Inglewood pants got caught between the chain and the front chain ring. The teeth in the chain ring cut through the pants like a cookie cutter. Rather than repair them, I took this opportunity to see what would happen if I did nothing. I continued to wear & wash the pants as normal. The holes did not grow and I'm still wearing the pants.

Thriv is a great example how product innovation can lead to more enjoyable experiences. I've felt more refreshed after riding in Thriv than when riding in synthetics. So now the question is what do I do with all those polypropylene pants and tops I'm no longer wearing.

It's moments like this that make me glad I don't own stock in Nike.

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At Monday, May 3, 2010 5:11:00 PM CDT, Anonymous thriv said...

Thanks so much for "putting it through its paces"!

We love how tough you've been on it, and we're proud of how it performed.

Looking forward to seeing more folding bikes all over NOLA!

PS-you can follow us on twitter @thrivnp


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