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There are only so many ways to revolutionize activewear. Alo Yoga and Lululemon designed the influencer uniform. Outdoor Voices had us #doingthings. Vuori created some of the best athletic shorts we’ve ever tested. Many of their contemporaries have come and gone, with their trendy cuts and PE funding, in attempts to disrupt the athletic apparel landscape. In the end, it’s pieces made with great material and equally great design that, quite literally, lasts.
An outlier to the Lulus and OVS of the world is tasc, a family-founded and still family-run performance apparel brand focused on ethically produced staple pieces. Born from a personal love of sport, the company maintains a satisfyingly simple goal: design the best activewear in the world, pursuing better materials and better processes than what is available in the market. Impressively, this isn’t pseudo-sustainable greenwashing lingo. From the very beginning, tasc has sourced their own materials, developed their own technical fabrics and created their own processes, unlike most brands that outsource production.
Most notably, tasc has been collaborating with the same family-owned factory in southern Indiana for a groundbreaking twenty-four years. That’s over two decades of wages 18% higher than the local average, free healthcare for all employees and their families and subsidized housing and food.
Although sustainable practices are an incentive to pay attention, the dealbreaker question is still whether or not tasc products are as good as their practices. I decided to find out.
How We Tested
To get into the merry spirit of the holidays, I decked myself out in tasc for a crisp Thanksgiving trek on a medium-difficulty hike along the Hudson River. I wore the NOLA Long Sleeve T-Shirt and Recess Quarter Zip. I also wanted to see how versatile the gear is for everyday activity, so I gifted my boyfriend with the Cloud Lightweight Polo and Carrollton Fitness T-shirt which he wore on a weekend of drinks and live music.
What We Liked
I noticed that three out of the four of items we tested were made with MOSOtech, the very fabric that started tasc’s performance brand and the clear star of the show. The original fabric is made with a unique blend of bamboo and organic cotton, resulting in a one of a kind material that boasts the cozy feel of supple pajamas loaded with the technical benefits of activewear. It feels great on skin and holds shape so luxuriously. Although I was concerned if the thickness would wear me down outdoors, I was pleasantly surprised by the piece’s sweat wicking properties and four-way stretch. The temperature regulating material even protected me as the wind picked up and the day got chillier, so these are sure to be garbs I’ll be pulling out every fall and winter.
The apparel performs well in less strenuous settings, too, showcasing a real versatility to their styles. The extremely lightweight and moisture-wicking Cloud Lightweight Polo was worn in a cramped and crowded live music bar over the weekend, but will definitely still be hitting the golf course in the near future.
The polo is just one example of how the brand produces timeless basics and sticks to perfecting them — and I am all here for it. It’s hard to find wardrobe classics that don’t consist of obnoxious logos nor cost an absurd premium. Is it too much to ask for a relaxed, well done blue quarter zip these days? Fortunately, tasc makes high-quality staple pieces I’m never going to get tired of.
What Stands to Improve
Sizing was a shared pain point for both menswear and womenswear, specifically when it came to length. My boyfriend is a standard size large but finds tasc’s sizing oddly longer in length, although not necessarily bigger in other parts. Both the Carrollton Fitness T-Shirt and Cloud Lightweight Polo are slightly longer than he’d like them to be, which is strange because shirts typically feel short on him. Given this, it’s best to size down.
Similarly, I was disappointed that women’s bottoms don’t come in a variety of length options. This isn’t uncommon as a generally petite shopper, but I did notice how the ALLways Pocket Yoga Pant felt like it was designed with much taller women in mind.
While I may not be turkey trotting again any time soon, I’ve already began slipping tasc performance wear into everyday grocery runs, long train rides and trips to the gym. The clothes feel so comfortable regardless of activity, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re jam-packed with technical properties. tasc may be the underdog compared to the activewear megacorps, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as — if not more — innovative and design-forward. Shop my tasc looks below, and be sure to check out their full list of offerings here.
My tasc Picks:
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