I’ve written a fair amount about Coalatree (seen here), and I’ve even spent some time with a pair of their comfortable and travel-ready Trailhead pants. They took their know-how from the coffee-derived hoodie and have a short-sleeved shirt ready for the warm weather, in the form of the Coalatree Switchback.
With your clothing, you’ve got several different things you can (and should, most likely) care about. The one we can specifically talk about is the impact your garment has one the environment. Each Coalatree Switchback uses the grounds from three iced coffees, and plastic from ten bottles. While the coffee could be composted, not so much those bottles. So, you’ve got some handy reuse and recycle going on.
Secondly, they’re using an interesting dyeing method for the Coalatree Switchback, which is actually waterless (so there’s another eco-savings). With how the textile is actually made, the nice features here (things like being odor resistant, helping to cool you, and stain/water resistant) are actually “built in” to the fibers, meaning that it won’t wash out and contaminate the waterways.
While the Coalatree Switchback could certainly be a great travel shirt (like the pants, it can pack into it’s own pocket) I look at something like this as more of a camping shirt, actually. The keys here are the cooling nature of the material, the built-in UPF, and the wrinkle-, odor-, and stain-resistance. All of this combines to make for a shirt that should keep you looking (and smelling) good while you’re off in the woods.
Then again, those same things make this good for travel as well. Though, for me, the short sleeves limit it a little. Sure, it’s great for warm weather, but if the temps drop some at night, that’s where having some longer sleeves to roll down can be quite handy. I’ve asked about that, and there are no plans for a long-sleeved version at this time.
That quibble aside, the Coalatree Switchback has a lot going for it. Coalatree is dedicated to making products that are good for the environment, and this shirt is just the latest way they’re doing that. If you want to pick up one of these for your own adventures, the Kickstarter campaign is running through April 2nd, with delivery anticipated for October 2020. The campaign itself is almost 2x it’s funding goal, with earlybird pricing starting at $49. Which, for a travel-oriented piece of clothing, really is quite a reasonable price. I’m tempted, but I think I’ll hold out on the hope of a long-sleeved version! campaign page
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