Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie Review: Would You Wear a Hoodie Made of Wood?

The classic hoodie gets an upgrade with sustainable materials and a unisex fit.

woman hiking through rocks

If you’ve ever hugged a tree, or climbed a tree, or done anything tree-adjacent where your bare skin is rubbing against bark, you’ll be familiar with the scratchy, rough feeling of wood. It’s not the first material that comes to mind when picturing the makeup of a cozy, comfy hoodie. In fact, a hoodie made from wood pulp sounds like it would be pretty low down on the cuddly scale.

That’s the reason I decided I needed to investigate a hoodie that came out earlier this year: an un-dyed, barely adorned Adidas Terrex Hoodie made in collaboration with Spinnova. I talked with the designers, dug into the origins of the material and even wore one myself to make sure it’s just as comfortable as the brand claims. Here’s what I found.

Never heard of Spinnova? You're about to.

If the name Spinnova makes you think of a pedal manufacturer for your favorite bike, you’d be dead wrong. The spin has nothing to do with the circular motion of propelling a bike forward, and everything to do with the spinning of yarn — in this case, yarn made from wood pulp.

wood chips
Anton Sucksdorff
fibers made from wood
Anton Sucksdorff

In its quest to be the most sustainable outdoor apparel company on the planet (without going fully sustainable, and ceasing to exist) Adidas Terrex teamed up with the Finnish sustainable textile company Spinnova to create what’s arguably one of the most sustainable, underrated releases of the year: the Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie. Made with a blend of organic cotton and wood fibers (a.k.a. rayon), the material of this unassuming mid layer is on par with any of the poly-blend options that flood the market — but it’s a lot friendlier on the planet.

Wanting to learn more about the hoodie, I spoke with representatives from both Spinnova and Adidas Terrex about the details that went into construction, fit and sustainable manufacturing, and what the future looks like for this forward-thinking fiber.

I've worn the Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie for a few weeks now, and have been impressed with both the comfort and construction of the hoodie. How did Spinnova create such a soft material out of wood fibers? What process was used to achieve this result?

SPINNOVA: We're happy to hear you’ve enjoyed the hoodie and its material! The Spinnova fiber has unique natural feel thanks to Spinnova’s innovative technology: instead of chemical dissolving, Spinnova’s process just mechanically refines the raw materials, without use of any harmful chemicals. Spinnova fiber is very close to feel and structure of cotton or linen.

Adidas has been very vocal about its commitment to end plastic waste and focus on sustainability, and has announced a vision of having nine out of every 10 articles to carry a more sustainable technology, material, design or method of manufacturing by 2025. How close is Adidas to that goal right now? What concrete steps is the brand taking to reach this goal?

ADIDAS: Today, over 90 percent of the polyester we use is recycled and we will only use recycled polyester by 2024 wherever possible. Another milestone was the introduction and constant expansion of our ‘Made to be Remade’ range of products designed to be returned and made into something new. Currently we are launching products that are ‘Made with Nature’ using natural and/or renewable materials with the Spinnova hoodie as the most recent example.

We believe in creating the best products for our athletes. That requires a no compromise approach to rigorous development and performance testing across all categories, but also one where we are not afraid to fail and experiment along the way.  We have also made it a priority to lay out concise, measurable sustainability targets so that customers can see a clear overview of what we are working towards.

The Adidas Terrex HS1 hoodie was designed using UNITEFIT – an all-gender fit system created with a spectrum of sizes, genders, and forms in mind. What specific design considerations were taken into account when applying UNITEFIT to the Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie?

ADIDAS: (attributed to Anne Nebendahl, Senior Design Director Adidas Outdoor)

UNITEFIT is Adidas’ answer to creating a more thoughtful approach to clothing, rather than defaulting to gender-specific fit standards. The brand has very clear UNITEFIT design measures based on body data that we respected when designing the Terrex HS Hoodie. What I would like to add in addition is the sustainability aspect: By using UNITEFIT, we made the product more flexible even for a potential second user. It is a more sustainable fit.

man wearing a hoodie in the woods
woman wearing an adidas hoodie
LEROT | Leon Greiner

Can you speak to the dyeing (or lack thereof) process? How does the avoidance of dye translate into a more sustainable product?

SPINNOVA: With the Adidas Terrex HS 1 Hoodie, we decided to work with the materials beautiful natural color. Avoiding the dyeing phase helps to reduce further CO2 and water emissions, and on the other hand, use of water and dyestuff.

ADIDAS: The Adidas Terrex HS 1 Hoodie works with the material’s natural color. Since no dyeing or bleaching is applied, in turn this also uses less water compared to the standard dyeing process.

woman walking in the woods

Can the Adidas Terrex team or Spinnova speak to what's next for their partnership? Will there be more apparel pieces in 2023?

SPINNOVA: We cannot reveal any specific plans, but we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Adidas.

ADIDAS: Our sustainability mission is to help End Plastic Waste through innovations and partnerships that are focused on exploring new material solutions, redesigning processes, and driving behavioral change.

Our journey starts with the materials we use. That’s why we are striving to choose recycled polyester, natural and/or renewable fabrics over virgin and fossil-based materials. For us, the partnership aspect is key to enabling that action at speed and scale - it’s about finding innovators with areas of expertise that we might not necessarily have internally, to help us get better and achieve our goals.

My takeaways after wearing the Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie

What I liked about the HS1 Hoodie

I wore the Adidas Terrex's unisex hoodie for a couple weeks straight, and after spending some quality time with the hoodie, my favorite aspects are the material, features and styling. Adidas Terrex and Spinnova crafted a midweight cotton/rayon blend that works well on its own, yet can also easily be layered. I liked that it wasn't too soft; it survived washing and drying without pilling, and I didn't feel like I had to be too careful with it while washing.

The front kangaroo pocket is deep enough to hold my wallet, keys and phone if I'm short on pockets, and the adjustable strap on the back of the hood keeps it from flying away in windy or high-movement conditions. The hoodie even rolls up into its hood for easy storage, or an on-the-go pillow. The banded sleeves felt secure without being tight, and I liked the BLANK collar; it moved with me, and didn't rub against my neck like other hoodies have in the past.

What I didn't like about the HS1 Hoodie

There wasn't much about the hoodie itself I didn't like; Adidas Terrex and Spinnova made an easy-to-wear, cozy option that I've layered under shells, worn on its own around the house and even slept in on cold nights (I live in an Airstream, which is essentially glamorous camping, so nights get cold).

What I don't like about this hoodie is the limited availability and the price point. For $150, I'd like to see more sizing options; unisex items tend to follow the logic of utilizing men's sizing, and telling women to size down. That works well in theory, but when you're a petite woman, you're swimming in an XS. Paying one hundred and fifty bucks for a hoodie that I'm essentially floating in gives me pause.

Final Thoughts on the Adidas Terrex HS1 Hoodie

The Adidas Terrex x Spinnova HS1 Hoodie is a forward-thinking, sustainably-driven piece that will fit well into a variety of wardrobes. Its unisex styling will appeal to a wide swath of wearers, even if the sizing is limited. If you've got the extra cash and don't mind shelling out a couple hundred bucks for a basic off-white hoodie, this is an investment in future fiber tech you won't regret.

adidas terrex hs1 hoodie
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