Ten Billion Recycled Water Bottles And a Heap Of Trash

In search of zero waste … sports gear

Last week I looked at fashion, in particular my business shirts, and what was available in zero waste. This week I pick five zero-waste sportswear candidates.

I was shocked to discover how plastic-based fibres like polyester find their way into our oceans just by washing them. So I’m getting rid of my 100% polyester sports gear and I’m looking to replace it with something more sustainable.

my uncoolest cotton shorts

My cotton shorts (hey, they even double as pyjamas) have been re-lifed as gym shorts, which makes me one of the least cool guys in the gym (like I wasn’t before?). But I’m not impressed with cotton T’s – especially non-organic ones. They stretch, they fade, they thin out and they don’t even last that long.

I have previously eulogised about the beautiful pure merino wool t-shirt Sue lovingly bought me for the gym. But I’m spending more time at the gym, so I need another top.

A few zero-waste (-like) ideas:

  1. Veja trainers
Veja trainers

Veja is an eco/fair trade brand started in France by Sébastien Kopp and François-Ghislain Morillion. Veja works with small producers and cooperatives in Brazil and France. Their trainers are made with organic cotton, wild rubber from the Amazon and vegetarian-dyed leather.

  1. Swimwear from fishing nets. Somehow it seems appropriate that sustainable swimwear should be made with recycled fishing nets.

  1. Kusaga Ecodry 
Kusaga Ecodry

Kusaga Athletic claim to be “the world’s first truly sustainable clothing brand”. That’s quite a claim, so I thought I’d check it out. Also “the greenest ’T’ on the planet”. Well, I’m not sure what goes into it, but it’s not cotton and it’s certainly not polyester.

It’s also compostable and biodegradable. In case you feel like chucking your ’T’ onto the compost heap after a bad run.

  1. Sportswear from trashKenai Sports. According to Kenai Sports their sports wear is created out of the tons of plastic bottles, cell phone cases, keyboards, and organic waste like coconut shells, corn husks, soybean shells they rescue from the trash heap.

They will also take back used garments and recycle them, to prevent them re-entering the trash cycle.

  1. Recycled water bottles. Repreve is a high-quality material made from recycled water bottles.
Reprieve – 10.7 billion bottles rescued

Is this true? Then I’m really impressed. I was amazed at how many companies are using recycled bottles in their sportswear and swimwear. That’s currently 45, from American Backcountry to Yukon Outfitters.



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