Tested: Mountains Designs Tony Check Seawool Shirt

By Justin Walker 28 September 2016
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Recycled oyster shells are way more comfortable than they sound.

IF YOU HAD told me I would be wearing a shirt made from recycled oyster shell and recycled plastic bottles a few years ago, I would have laughed. Not because the idea seemed preposterous – it’s a brilliant idea – but just because the oyster shell component wouldn’t have seemed possible.

Mountain Designs has proved me wrong with the release of its new Seawool range of garments. Incredibly, the fabric used in this long-sleeve shirt is made from 23% recycled oyster shell (sourced from the food industry) and plastic bottle, with 74% cotton and 3% spandex. The oyster shell is ground into a fine power, then mixed with plastic bottle pellets to help create the fabric. The result is one of the most comfortable shirts I have worn for quite a while. The fabric is exclusive to the famous Aussie outdoor brand and the company must be applauded for both the innovation and the performance of the shirt. I have worn it both in the outdoors and to work – and it’s about to get another thorough workout on an upcoming outback camping trip.

The Seawool fabric is smooth and soft, and it also provides decent warmth – something that will come in very handy during those cold outback nights. This combination fabric is claimed to prevent the growth of odour and so far it has proved effective; I have worn it for a couple of consecutive days in the outdoors and it hasn’t become smelly at all. And, according to Mountain Designs, the recycled PET bottle part of the fabric improves drying times, as is the case with many synthetic fabrics.

Besides the fabric technology in the shirt, it also includes a few handy pockets and offers a comfortable fit with just the right amount of articulation in the arms to stop it riding too far up your waist and exposing your lower back to the cold when you’re reaching above your head. The curved hem further protects your torso.

The Tony’s anti-static fabric, high-quality environmentally friendly construction and its overall comfort make for a uniquely impressive entry into the versatile garment market. Like I said earlier, you wouldn’t have believed it a few years ago but Mountain Designs needs to be applauded for its innovative use of materials that would otherwise be wasted. Nice one!

RRP $120 www.mountaindesigns.com