Last month, Australian outdoor retailer Mountain Designs issued a press release regarding its new range of clothes that are said to be able to prevent body odour.

The news is the latest in a string of new releases for the retailer as it attempts or reinvigorate its brand image, which includes a line of jackets that incorporate recycled coffee grounds as part of their insulation.

Mountain Designs’ odour-resistant clothing arrives courtesy of “Polygiene technology”, which, as the release states, “prevents the bacteria forming which causes sweat to smell”.

Enquiring further, Wild interviewed Mountain Designs’ General Manager, Caroline Machado Campos for further details, who intimated the initiative aims to offer a line of clothing that doesn’t need to be laundered as regularly.

“Polygiene treated garments can be worn several times between laundering depending on what type of activity the user has been doing,” Machado Campos said.

So what is this ‘Polygiene’ treatment? According to Mountain Designs, this process is the name they’ve given to the application of recycled silver salt, which “binds” to the garment.

Mountain Designs coffee jacket

A new range of insulated jackets from Mountain Designs has proved popular among eco-conscious consumers.

However, the use of silver salts (or silver ions etc.) in performance clothing isn’t anything new and there has been conjecture surrounding the efficacy of such treatments in preventing bacterial growth.

Olga Troynikov, Associate Professor at RMIT’s School of Fashion and Textiles, researches performance apparel on a regular basis.

“The efficacy of these treatments in regard to odour is not significant,” she said, referring to a study published in The Journal of The Textile Institute (McQueen et al., 2013).

“It has been demonstrated by some researchers that sports garments made of wool carry less odour than their treated synthetic counterparts, but this research is limited.”

However, unlike some other brands that have marketed the use of silver as an antimicrobial, Mountain Designs is placing an emphasis on the use of recycled silver salts, which it says are derived from e-waste – rubbish that is notoriously difficult to dispose of via traditional waste management methods.

“We know our customers want to buy eco-friendly apparel and it’s exciting for us to continue to grow this market,” remarked Machado Campos, who indicated the strategy is already paying dividends for Mountain Designs’ image.

Earlier in the year, the release of a line of jackets that incorporates recycled coffee grounds into the lining has apparently been a boon for the company.

“Our customers have embraced the jacket range we released recently made using recycled coffee fibre,” Machado Campos explained. “The range was so popular we have more jackets on order and are looking at expanding the range to include vests and heritage jackets with an original design by Mountain Designs founder Rick White.

“Another range that has proved popular with customers is our salvage tees and polos, which are made from 100 per cent organic cotton scraps and recycled plastic bottles.”

Mountain Designs was first opened by Rick White in 1975. Since then, the founder and his business has appeared in multiple feature articles in Wild.