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At the best of times, I have a tough time buying trousers. Finding a pair that can accommodate my waist to hips ratio is challenging to say the least, and until I came across ACAI Activewear, this posed a particular problem when it came to hiking trousers. Outdoor wear tends to be fairly similar in style, and in all honesty, those straight up-straight down trousers that look great on athletic figures, make me feel like I’m squished in around my bum, give me loose fabric flapping around my calves and all whilst gaping at the waist, necessitating an uncomfortable belt.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not aiming to win any fashion contests when I’m heading out for a rejuvenating walk but at the same time, I don’t want what I wear to leave me feeling self-conscious. It’s easy to feel like maybe this activity isn’t meant for me if the clothing available doesn’t suit my shape. And if I’m feeling like that, as a fairly standard sized high street 10, that’s quite worrying.
Style. Fit. Performance. ACAI encourages you to embrace your individuality, strength and uniqueness.ACAI Activewear
As more and more hiking and outdoorsy Instagram accounts are populating my feed, there was a company that kept cropping up: ACAI Activewear. Finally, a company whose products I could see myself wearing comfortably. An outdoors activewear company that truly caters for a wide range of body shapes, offering practical yet fashionable solutions for active adventures in a delightful range of colours.
Our recent trip to the Pembrokeshire coast offered the perfect opportunity to test out their Mid-Weight MAX Stretch Skinny Outdoor Trousers, along with a Merino Recycled Beanie hat and some Merino Wool Hiking socks (which Jim subsequently ruined by putting in the washing machine, but the less said about that, the better – I’m not over it yet).
From the moment I pulled my trousers on, I felt ready to take on any adventure! Although they look like a pair of jeans, the fabric has a considerable amount of stretch. They give me the movement I’d get from sports leggings, but with the confidence boost of your favourite pair of jeans and the added bonus of pockets. I immediately wanted to test out the water resistant properties, pouring a dribble of water over them and delighting at watching it run off the fabric like an umbrella before mopping up the mess.
I’d researched nice places to walk near where we were staying at Bluestone and the same National Trust area kept coming up: Bosherston Lily Ponds. I packed us some snacks, some water and a towel (just in case, you never know!) and we set off on the most gorgeously sunny, crisp January day. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
One of my favourite benefits of them being water resistant is that its incredibly easy to just brush off mud and dirt. As a parent, this is invaluable! I’ve lost track of the amount of times a pair of trousers or jeans has been thrown in the washing basket after a single wear, muddied with footprints, smeared by mucky hands or fallen victim to spilled drinks or thrown food. Pickle’s a good walker, but I’m forever picking him up to carry him when we’re out about about – either to rest tired legs or just to enjoy a cuddle in the fresh air. Knowing I can just brush off and carry on is much appreciated.
For anyone looking to purchase a pair for themselves, I can’t recommend these highly enough. Although they’re described as mid-weight, they kept me plenty warm enough during our January walk, and even kept the chill off on a freezing cold day planting trees in February. ACAI do also offer a thermal version however which may be worth looking at if you’re a early-morning/evening dog walker or planning any mountain climbs: I’ve got my eye on the winterberry colour.
Behind ACAI Activewear
Although I’ve got a long way to go before I can hold up my hands and pride myself on a fully sustainable wardrobe, I’ve been slowly educating myself around the issue of ‘fast-fashion’ and I admire companies (however big or small) that are doing their part to protect the future sustainability of our planet.
Integrating sustainability into a business takes time (particularly when you want to achieve it with integrity rather than a PR or Marketing Campaign) but like every adventure we must begin by taking our first steps, and we are proud of the steps we have taken so far.ACAI Activewear
I’m really impressed with ACAI’s commitment to sourcing fabrics with reduced environmental impact (the Polylana yarn used combined with Merino wool to make their beanie hats, for example, is comprised of 30% virgin and 70% recycled materials, meaning each hat saves 5 litres of water to produce – that’s a water usage saving of 85%). And guess what their baselayers are made of? Coffee charcoal! Not only are ACAI providing us with the clothing needed to enjoy our gorgeous planet, they’re also doing their part in ensuring the planet is protected for us and the future enjoyment of the next generations.
Don’t Just Take My Word For It
For outdoors fashion, ideas for future outdoors adventures and a bit of female inspiration, why not take a look at some of those loving ACAI activewear on Instagram too? Check out the #empoweredbyacai hashtag – it’s a great place to find like-minded adventurers.
And as an aside, yes, I have forthwith banned Jim from putting any of my clothes in the washing machine. I’m now hoping all my favourite items stay the same shape, keep their own colours and aren’t ruined after one wear.