Fauna Extreme Tees – for Inspiration and Style

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Clothing, Front Page, Organic Fabric, Reviews, Slideshow

Jenny models her fauna extreme tee. Photo: Julia Wasson

If you’ve worn bamboo fabric, you know that it is incredibly soft and comfy. The tees from Fauna Extreme are no exception. I was in love with the organic fabric the minute I touched it. Unfortunately, my medium height and not-quite-as-svelte-as-I-wish-I-were frame didn’t do much for the long, slender shape of the tee. Broyles had warned me that the tees run small, and she was right.

So I asked my friend, Jenny Schilling, to try it on. The shirt fit her perfectly, though a bit on the longish side. Jenny, too, was thrilled by the fabric, as you’ll see in her comments below. The light pink tee I received as a complimentary review product — and passed on to Jenny — is a bit on the pale side for Jenny’s light complexion, so the color isn’t quite what she would have picked. But the Fauna Extreme website shows several rich color choices, too. (I’ll be sure she sees them!)

The story of Fauna Extreme starts with a mom and a marathon. Ecopreneur Sarah Broyles decided to run her first marathon after having baby #1. One morning, while she was out pounding the pavement, she daydreamed about shirts emblazoned with fast animals like the cheetah and pronghorn,” she writes on the Fauna Extreme website. So, she worked with an artist, who created several beautiful and powerful animal images for a series of tees.

She also did her homework. Broyles, who started out her college career as a wildlife biology major — but graduated with a degree in English — was determined to find the most sustainable fabric, dyes, and inks she possibly could. What she ended up with was 70% bamboo, 20% organically grown cotton, and 10% spandex. The reasons for her choices are many, as she explains on her blog post, “How to Be Eco Fashionista.”

Broyles’ English degree shows itself in the clever writing on her blog. Like many other vendors, she’s doing her best to be eco-friendly. What’s different about her approach, though, is that she tells it exactly like it is. You’ll find out, in detail, what’s environmentally friendly about her tees (the bamboo, the organic cotton, the inks, the dyes) and what’s less than perfect (the process used to make bamboo fabric, the miles the fabric travels, the process used to make “organic” cotton, the amount of water used to dye the shirts, the Spandex, and the cost of production). I haven’t seen a clothing company go into so much detail since I visited the Patagonia website. (There may be others; but I haven’t seen them.)

But be forewarned, these are racerback shirts. If you’re looking for a traditional sleeveless tee, this isn’t it. (Translation: Racerback bra required.)

Fauna Extreme tees include the name of the animal and the FE logo on the back of the shirt. Photo: Julia Wasson

The placement of the animals on the tees is big and bold. If you’re a fan of a particular animal, that’s very cool, indeed. (Of course, if you’re not a fan of that animal, you won’t order that design, now will you?) I’m not a fisher person, and the sailfish wouldn’t have been my first choice, but there are several other designs that would work great for me. Take a look at the many designs Broyles offers, and you’ll surely find one or more that you’d be proud to wear.

Maybe a cheetah is more your style. Or how about a peregrine falcon? A pronghorn? Or an elephant? There’s even a badger and a collection of rhinoceros beetles. My personal favorite, though, is the tiger. What’s yours?

While you’re considering which animal best represents your own strengths, you’ll want to read what Broyles has to say about each of them. She waxes poetic on the characteristics of the various animals, explaining why each one is, in her words, “fauna extreme.”

So what’s the point? According to Broyles:

Fauna Extreme’s mission is to provide ladies with a line that’s stylish and fun, but more notably, with something we can feel connected to and inspired by—animal athletes!

Channel the spirits of Fauna Extreme’s captivating critters. Harness their energies in between workouts and races, or for life’s toughest challenges: fear, heartache, confrontation, rivalry.

She gets serious, too, providing facts about how many are left on the planet, the threats to their survival, where they live, and so on. She also provides helpful links, not only to where she got her information, but also to groups that are working to save these noble beasts.

Fauna Extreme sells necklaces with the same artistic renderings of her selected Fauna Extreme. Each pendant/cord set is $18 plus shipping, though additional pendants (without a cord) sell for $15 plus shipping.

Broyles also publishes a cool coloring book for girls. The coloring book, which she also sent to us, is worth a post of its own. We’ll be writing about that sometime soon.

Meanwhile, here’s Jenny’s letter, describing her experience with the Fauna Extreme tee. You’ll see Jenny in her tee in the photo above. (I want to look like Jenny!)

I absolutely LOVE the material – it is sooo soft and comfortable! I washed and dried it once, and it has not noticeably shrunk or faded. (I used a regular hot air/cotton setting on the dryer —  nothing special like “cool,” “air dry,” or “permanent press.”)  I can tell that the material is of good quality and will last.

Although I have not worn it in public much (I love using it as a nightshirt or lounging shirt), I think that the unique designs could very well bring good attention to the endangered species cause as a conversation piece. I haven’t seen any “sailfish” tee shirts at Wal-Mart, Target, or Kohl’s!

I like the design of the shirt – the sleeveless/”keyhole” design makes it perfect for wearing over swimwear, workout gear, or with a racerback bra.  I also appreciate the fact that the designer made the tag out of a soft, comfortable fabric — I almost always have to cut the tags out of my shirts because I have sensitive skin and they irritate me. I didn’t need to remove the tag in this one.

I think the sizing is incorrect, unless the designer is targeting the Asian market. The “Large” size fit me snugly, and I am 5’6” tall and weigh 130 pounds.  I’m not implying that I’m skinny or petite, but I usually need to buy small or medium-size shirts from other retailers.

I would also like to see other color and design options. While I don’t mind the pink color of the shirt I tested, it wouldn’t be my first choice, and I don’t think it would have caught my eye if I were shopping. Again, I’m not familiar with the designer’s entire line and that is just my personal opinion.

Overall opinion – Good quality shirt, I would buy one if they had other colors and styles available.

So there you have it. Jenny’s opinion — and mine — of the Fauna Extreme tee. For me, the shape is a bit too tight (give me some slack, I’m over 50!), but otherwise, it’s quite lovely and oh, so soft! And another thing I love: Fauna Extreme donates a percentage of all sales to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Broyles puts her money where her mouth is. And that’s a good deal for the animals she features on her tees.

Each adult shirt sells for $40 plus shipping; the smallest shirt, which she sells for children, is less, at $32 plus shipping. I have to think the cost of the tee is reasonable, given the amazing softness of the cloth and the environmentally friendly nature of the inks and dies. One other thing I almost forgot to mention: The stitching is top quality. After being overwhelmed at the fabric, the next reaction I had was that the tee is amazingly well constructed. It’s a premium product in all ways.

Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received a free sample of the tee and the coloring book described in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Blue Planet Green Living’s review policy is to only review those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product, we do not review it. We are not influenced by complimentary products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Blue Planet Green Living has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. If you purchase this product or any other products through Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link, Blue Planet Green Living will receive a small financial compensation from Amazon, which we use to sustain this website.

Julia Wasson
Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

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3 Responses to “Fauna Extreme Tees – for Inspiration and Style”

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