I’m very fortunate that in this tiny corner of the internet I have carved out for myself, I am given the opportunity to do a lot of product reviews and test new items in the running and fitness world. Most of these items are decent. Some, I completely dislike (and those may or may not ever make an appearance on the blog). But every now and then I come across an item or a brand or a product that I ADORE. One that I not only will shout-from-the-rooftops recommend over and over again, but something that I will continue to purchase myself. And today, we are going to talk about one of the items I love. Again.
Waaaaaay back in 2011 (that’ ancient history, in a blog timeline), I had the opportunity to review a then brand new athletic apparel company called INKnBURN. (You can read that review HERE.) I can’t remember exactly where I first saw the product line, but I remember falling in love with their “Run or Die” design. And I was STOKED when shortly thereafter I received an email from one of the company’s founders asking if I would do a product review.
Twist my arm.
The apparel was kickass back then, and stood up to every test I put it against. That was nearly four years ago. And over the last four years I’ve continued to wear that exact same pair of shorts, tee shirt, and arm sleeves time and time again. Today, they look EXACTLY the same as they did that very first day, despite the countless washes and wears. And believe me, I don’t bother with the “gentle” cycle in the washing machine. Or even sorting clothes for that matter. If it can’t all be washed together, I don’t bother (my “anti-domestic-M.O.”. Geoff is a WAY better housewife than I am.)
Though I’ve loved INKnBURN from the get go, it wasn’t until the last year that I really started adding to my INKnBURN collection.
And adding…until I realized that 99% of the apparel I reached for on a day to day basis was INKnBURN. Oh the joys of working from home or in a gym, my business casual attire kicks ass!
INKnBURN is hand crafted in Southern California (USA). From visual conception to final product, everything is hand made by a very small team. And that small team chooses innovation over mass production, thus they only make limited edition runs of each of their designs (making them more fun to collect, and less likely to see 100 other people at the starting line wearing the same outfit as you). The process, in their words:
We apply the art by hand to each panel of our amazing feeling performance fabric before sewing. (For one shirt that is 6 pieces of fabric!) We use a process of heat and pressure that allows our art to stain the fibers of the fabric so you can’t feel it and it doesn’t fade, crack or peel. This also means our performance fabrics still feel silky cool, wick away moisture and breathe as they were intended to do.
Once the art has been applied to the fabric pieces, sewing is next in the process. Our mature and experienced staff are experts on the specialized machines we use to sew each style we make. Almost every seam in our tech shirts is sewn twice to ensure strength and also to ensure the seams are flat to prevent chafing or rubbing. The neckband on the back of our shirts contains the usual tag info back of your neck, without a scratchy tag. We use the softest threads available to be sure our shirts are the most comfortable you will ever wear.
Their limited run prints ensure that the pieces are not only unique, but that each piece is made with impeccable quality and attention to detail. As mentioned above, the quality of the INKnBURN line is truly one of the best if not THE best, most durable clothing line I’ve encountered so far. The number one complaint I hear about the INKnBURN line is in regards to the cost. I won’t deny, the stuff can be pricey. But when you consider the fact it’s a handmade item that truly LASTS, it makes more sense as an investment.
And last it does; I’ve put this stuff through the wringer. From muddy obstacle course races…
to training in the heat AND the cold…
to 50 mile ultra through the rugged Vermont woods.
I fall, I get back up, I fall again, as I tend to do. The skirt in my infamous and all too often used hilarious photo? INKnBURN. No tears, stains, pulls…it washed completely clean.
But what I love the most about the line is how bright, loud, unique, and sometimes obnoxious the patterns and designs are.
Kind of like me. Loud, unique, and sometimes obnoxious. Heh.
I’ve even gotten the family in on the INKnBURN love, as they also have a mens and kids line of apparel:
The point of me rambling on about my love for INKnBURN is to share my latest news: I found out the other day that I was invited to be an INKnBURN ambassador. In all of my years of blogging (nearly 7, where does the time go?) I’ve never believed in nor loved one specific company SO MUCH that I’ve stood up and said “YES I will turn down all other sponsorships just to be on your team”. But that is how I feel about this company, and so I’m thrilled and honored that they picked me to help represent their brand.
So, next time I post pictures of my shenanigans (and training and racing) and you think “hey, I wonder where she got that shirt (shorts, tights, etc)”…chances are it’s from INKnBURN. And when you hear me mention the brand a trillion more times over the coming year (and beyond), now you know why.
If you are looking for some quality, made in the U.S.A., unique athletic apparel, check out www.INKnBURN.com. To say I recommend the brand is an utter understatement; you will NOT regret your purchase. Just don’t hesitate if you see something you like, as they disappear fast…