The Sustainability Report: Forest Green Rovers´ kit supplier makes its eco-friendly mark on the sports apparel business
[…] Global clothing production also doubled between 2000 and 2014, so it has become a significant source of waste across the planet – as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the fashion industry is responsible for around 5% of all man-made emissions.
Another environmental issue within the fashion industry is the material clothing is made from. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and nylon, are used to produce a large proportion of our clothes. Although cheap and versatile, these plastic-based materials are contributing significantly to the ocean plastics crisis, with millions of tiny fibres being sent to the sea via our washing machines.
Per wash, it is estimated that 496,030 fibres of polyester are released into the ocean.
Sports garments, particularly football shirts, are overwhelmingly produced with this environment-damaging substance. So, when Forest Green Rovers – the first UN-certified carbon neutral football club and champion of sustainability – had to find a new kit supplier, it was faced with a choice: maintain the status quo with a traditional sportswear company or find a more sustainable alternative.
Following a period of exploration, the English League Two club – chaired by renewable energy entrepreneur Dale Vince – came across PlayerLayer, which uses “high-level research” to create “durable products from environmentally-responsible sources”.
It seemed like a perfect match. And after agreeing a deal during the 2018/19 season, PlayerLayer started to produce the Forest Green Rovers kit – including a striking blue third kit for the 2019/20 season, of which all sales proceeds are donated to marine conservation charity Sea Shepherd. […]