Jessica Mor started 3rd Rock clothing in 2010 in the closet-sized living room of a Tel Aviv apartment, using a 1950s-era sewing machine. Fed up with the waste and unsustainable practices in the fashion industry, the 28-year-old had left her job as a couture pattern cutter for catwalk designers in London the year prior. (The last straw: Someone asked her to cut an Arctic fox fur jacket.)
“I left and went to Africa to do conservation work,” Mor says. “I figured I’d go save some animals to soothe my conscience.” There, she stumbled on the world-class rock climbing in Waterfall Boven. As she learned the ropes and fell in love with this new sport, an idea formed. “I thought, ‘Hang on, I’m a pattern cutter, I love the outdoors, and I can’t find clothes that fit well when I climb,’” she says. “I decided I would make my own clothes, and I would make them ethically, something I could be proud of.”
Mor moved to Tel Aviv with her now husband and set up shop in their 5-by-6.5-foot living room. Using fabric scraps from established brands, she cut tops based on a model with arms raised overhead instead of perpendicular to the body so they wouldn’t ride up when the wearer reached for big moves on a route. She designed bras with no seams on the straps so they wouldn’t chafe. She made pants with subtly crescent-shaped thighs so they’d allow for movement without being baggy.
The attention to fit worked. Eight years later, 3rd Rock climbing is thriving, with a loyal consumer base and a website full of some of the most comfortable active apparel I’ve ever worn. I’ve been wearing a few 3rd Rock pieces for the past month, from post-work gym sessions to weekend bouldering trips, and even for hiking and camping. Here are my favorites.
Aurora3 Bra ($50)
Few bras are as simultaneously cute and functional as the Aurora3, which features a spaghetti-strap back design that widens over the shoulders and a three-piece front that offers plenty of coverage and support for climbing, yoga, or hiking. The tubular shoulder straps have no exposed seams to chafe or edges to dig in. This spells next-level comfort that lasts all day and doesn’t leave you desperate to change come evening. True to 3rd Rock’s sustainability ethos, the Aurora3 is made with a material derived primarily from recycled Italian carpets (and a bit of Lycra for stretch and compression).
Eclipse Vest Tank Top ($58)
The brand claims that this top, with built-in bra, accommodates cup sizes from A to E, but I was skeptical. After testing, I have to say the Eclipse offers more support for D cups than many similar tops yet still manages an open-back strap design that feels flattering and airy. Shape is another highlight: This tank is fitted through the waist and has just enough flare at the hips to avoid riding up, so it stays put when I’m reaching for faraway holds.
Skat Pants ($90)
Everything about these pants is designed with movement in mind. A ribbed elastic waistband offers stretch around the hips for increased flexibility. Coupled with a drawstring for an extra-dialed fit, the wide, stretchy waist also extends the range of each size for those who fall between, say, small and medium. Meanwhile, side seams slightly curve to provide more room to move at the knee without necessitating a baggy cut. Perhaps most important, all of 3rd Rock’s pants come in short and regular lengths, which means petite climbers can wear them without needing to roll up the cuffs.