Why doesn't an Unbound Merino t-shirt smell bad, even if I wear it for days or months at a time?

To understand why Unbound Merino doesn’t retain odor, it’s first important to understand why most shirts end up smelling after a wear or two. The sweat from your body doesn’t actually have any odor. But when it absorbs into materials like cotton, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria - which is where those bad smells come from. Merino wool doesn’t give sweat the opportunity to develop bacteria because of how effectively it wicks the moisture away from your body. Merino constantly pulls sweat away from the body allowing it to evaporate. This keeps you dry and keeps your shirt from smelling bad.

We have put our product to the test like you wouldn’t believe. We have tried to find the limits of how many wears our clothing could handle before absolutely needing a wash and we haven’t found that limit yet.

Here is an example of what one of our prototype shirts has gone through without a single wash:

  • Worn 46 days in a row without exception
  • In that 46 days worn in the gym around 6 or 7 times through heavy cardio (testing the product was the motivation for the gym more so than sheer discipline)
  • Worn twice in the sauna (we meant it when we said we took this to the limits)
  • Worn to bed some nights and stayed on the body right through the day
  • Taken to Shanghai, Bangkok and Koh Tao, Thailand and worn daily in sweltering 40-degree weather (see our Indiegogo video). All of the above was done without a wash. It never smelled. Not even slightly. It’s important to note that whenever it was worn and heavily perspired into, it was hung up to air out and dry off before being put back on. Nobody wants to wear a wet shirt, and it does need to air out so that the moisture wicks away and bacteria isn’t formed. When alternating between 2 or 3 shirts over a trip, you can go months without a wash with ease.
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