We want to enable athletes of all kind to work out with a positive environmental footprint.
WHAT WE DO
runamics develops truly eco-friendly alternatives to conventional sportswear
runamics is making eco-friendly running and sports gear with innovative materials other than conventional plastics. We speak to athletes of all kind and age who care about the planet.
We mean it serious and are against any kind of greenwashing. To proof this our mission is to become the first Cradle to Cradle certified sports brand in the world. The most thought through eco-certification for products and materials in the world.
HOW WE DO IT
Combining harmless materials to create innovative products
We are working with four different types of fibres for our products:
1) Biodegradable synthetic fibers, like biodegradable polyester or biodegradable elastane. The chemical structure of these highly innovative materials was changed to make them biodegradable. Further, toxic chemicals were excluded from the production process completely to make them harmless for humans and nature. Not without a reason these materials are Cradle to Cradle Certified at Gold level. Real game changers.
2) Natural fibres, like organic cotton or merino wool (mulesing-free). Both materials are used for centuries to produce garments. Merino wool has superb functional benefits, for example it does not smell. Cotton is durable and very soft. Our fathers ran their marathons in cotton shirts, why can´t we?
3) Regenerative fibres, like Tencel Lyocell. A chemical fibre with wood as raw material. Produced in a closed loop system to keep the chemicals inside the factory and reuse them. A very soft and cooling fibre that has won various sustainability prices.
4) Synthetic fibres with enhanced biodegradability. For the heels of our soon to be presented socks we are using a polyamide with this functionality. Also here, the chemical construction was changed to allow the biodegradation. Typical Polyamide needs many decades or centuries to decompose, this one only needs about 5 years once it lands on a landfill.
WHO DOES IT
Like-minded team. Fully committed.
As a team of currently four we are working from our home base in Lower Saxony and our warehouse in Hamburg. We understand ourself as an impact start-up. Our company purpose is not primarily profit driven but impact driven. We measure our success by how many athletes we could transform to the "new normal" and by measuring how much plastic textile waste we can avoid (also in terms of microplastics).
Team from left to right:
Lina Schlierkamp: Social Media / Customer Support
Henning Heide: Public Relations / Photography
Steffen Otten: CEO / Marketing & Sales
Lena Rix: Design & Development
WHY WE DO IT
Conventional sportswear comes with serious downsides
Most of us buy sports gear because it looks cool and it fits to our athletic goals. Least of us buy stuff without thinking of the environmental or social impact of the gear. Here 3 downsides of functional sports gear you should know:
Materials used for the production of normal sportswear mostly contain questionable substances that should have no place on our skin. Take polyester for example, of which most sports garments are made. It is often produced using antimony, a heavy metal known for being highly toxic.
When you wash sportswear made from conventional plastic fibers, you produce microplastics. Tiny plastic filaments wash off and end up in rivers, lakes and seas.
If the textiles are disposed of at some point, in the best case scenario, they end up in a local incineration plant (which in turn creates questionable "by-products"). In the worst case, they end up in a landfill and disintegrate over decades or centuries into smaller and smaller plastic particles being eaten by small organisms in the soil and water.
END TO END
Plastic-free packaging and compensated carbon emissions
There are many things we as a company can do to lower the footprint of our activity. Here are a few things we take care of:
1) Plastic free packaging: we use boxes made of recycled cardboard and local grass. The tape we use is made of paper and natural rubber glue (without casein).
2) We ship with DHL GoGreen, which compensates for the transport emissions.
3) We calculate all our emissions as a company annually and compensate for them by buying reforestation certificates.
The moment of truth for our founder Steffen was a video from World Economic Forum he was watching in 2017. They were explaining the problem of microplastic in rivers and oceans, coming from synthetic plastic textiles. The microplastic could be found all around the globe, even in the arctic. Small living organisms digest this plastic and by this the plastic makes its way into the food chain of other animals and also us humans. It was described as an irreversible global environmental crisis. Knowing that all his running gear was made of conventional plastic (and a large chunk of his leisure gear), he felt uncomfortable. The new found knowledge was running with Steffen, mile for mile.
Since looking for alternative running gear not made of conventional plastics was´t successful, Steffen decided to come up with something on his own. runamics was born. Steffen visited many trade shows to talk to experts from the textile industry and met scientists to discuss issues and potential solutions. In May 2019 he finally found a partnering company in Europe to blend two well performing fibres with each other. A very fine blend of merino wool and Tencel Lyocell should made up the first fabric for the first running shirt of runamics. Together with a running tights and shorts Steffen started a crowdfunding campaign for his idea on Kickstarter.com. With success. The crowdfunding campaign was funded already within the first 24 hours.
It became obvious quite fast that this was not a one-man-project. By end of 2019, Steffen had the luck to win 2 great people for his project. Henning Heide, professional photographer and founder of the Hamburg based running crew Tide Runners joined came on board. Further, Lena Rix, a highly experienced fashion designer became a third partner. The new formed team collected many experiences with their products and the market.
Over the months the three have learned that microplastics is only one severe issue of conventional sportswear. The downsides are much worse and more complex. This lead to a mindset shift and a new mission of the team: runamics want to develop end-to-end eco-friendly sportswear for runners by becoming the first Cradle to Cradle certified sports brand in the world. Together with partners they have developed their first certified product in the end of 2020. The cleanest tracksuit on earth. They ran another successful crowdfunding for this development again. In 2021, further Cradle to Cradle certified products will follow.
WHAT IS CRADLE TO CRADLE ?
A world without waste
Cradle to Cradle is a holistic circularity design concept, thought school, and product certification at the same time.
In a Cradle to Cradle world there is no waste. Everything stays in circularity and remains a nutrient. Either a nutrient for nature, meaning products are made of harmless materials that are eventually compostable. Or a nutrient for new products of a similar quality.
The product certification is granted by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in San Francisco. Only 4 institutions worldwide are licensed to help companies getting the Cradle to Cradle product certification. We are working with EPEA GmbH Part of Drees & Sommer from Hamburg.
The certification is available on 5 levels: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum. Products are assessed on 5 main criteria:
1. Material health (analyzing the chemical composition of the product)
2. Energy required for production
3. Water usage and sewage cleanliness
4. Social fairness in the labor practices
5. Material reutilization (circularity)