We are huge advocates for designing and producing sustainable sportswear for our clients. We hope sustainability becomes the “Norm” in the near future with all brands taking more care of our planet by managing how and what their sportswear products are made from.
“Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly”
To produce sustainable sportswear we need to factor in many aspects of the supply chain from fabric, components, trim, waste, power, labour and freight. Unfortunately, producing any sportswear, regardless of these factors is not 100% sustainable as to produce any garment will take resource from the planet in some way, shape or form.
There are however many things we can build into the process of developing sustainable sportswear to make as little impact as possible. Selecting materials, components and trims is the first aspect and at Blue Associates Sportswear, we work with over 150 performance activewear fabric mills around the world that all now have sustainable or recycled fabrics. By selecting the right fibre blend and sourcing fabrics local to the factory and brand reduces the carbon footprint along with the methods of construction and damage caused to the planet.
There are now many options available from recycling plastic ocean waste to producing fabrics using natural plant based fibre that uses little of the planet's resource to grow and also cause no impact to the environment when worn, washed and disposed of.
There are also many options on trims and components that are made from natural materials or use recycled fibre that again provide a more eco solution that traditional trims.
Waste is a huge contributor to the process of manufacturing sportswear. The water used to dye and finish fabrics needs to be managed along with chemicals used to produce fabric, trim and components. There are now several measures to make sure these are managed safely through authorised and certified suppliers.
The labour that stitches the garments is usually the focus of the brand, however, it only contributes a small percentage of the total work involved in the production of the product. All of our factories are audited on an annual basis to assure that fair wages are paid and working conditions, safety and hours they work are within the legal requirements. Most of our factories produce for large sportswear brands and many of these conduct their own separate audits as a secondary measure to make sure they are 100% comfortable placing their production within the factory.
Some of our factories have installed their own energy source from solar panels and ground heat source pumps and reduced their power use by installing new technology and lighting to reduce the power used.
If you are interested in producing sportswear using recycled polyester, read more here
If sustainable form part of your brands DNA, then find out more here.
Find out which fibres to use here to produce sustainable sportswear