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ASICS gives used sportswear a new lease of life for 2020 Japan Olympic uniforms

Japanese sportswear label ASICS has introduced a program that will use donated sportswear as the raw material for the official uniforms of the Japanese Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. In order to collect the unwanted items, the brand is placing collection boxes across Japan, including at own stores, partner retailers and sporting events, up until May 31.

The “ASICS Reborn Wear Project” hopes to gather approximately 30,000 items of sportswear and give the Games’s competitors uniforms rich with the memories of the people who have worn them, in order to further spur them on. 

Anyone is allowed to donate clothing, and collection boxes will also display a barcode that once scanned opens a dedicated website inviting people to sign up for a special newsletter. Users will then receive messages from athletes, information on Tokyo 2020 and progress reports on what is happening with all donated clothing. There will also be a digital tool that enables people to digitally frame photos of their own sportswear that holds sentimental value and share it on social media, hoping to further build up a sense of positive energy ahead of the Games.

Former freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida

To promote the program, ASICS will also roll out advertisements featuring the brand’s staff members, as well as Japanese sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu and former freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida, showcasing their own personal sportswear.

The sustainable initiative is a part of the brand’s bigger ambitions towards sustainability. It has also announced a target to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will include replacing polyester materials used on its shoe uppers and sportswear products with 100% recycled polyester. 

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Fashion Positive launches ‘Innovators Hub’ for circular materials development

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute's Fashion Positive Initiative has launched the Innovators Hub
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive Initiative has launched the Innovators Hub

Fashion Positive has launched a new resource centre for the growing circular fashion movement; aiming to facilitate material innovation.

The Innovators Hub is created with funding from the non-profit H&M Foundation. It provides access to critical resources for innovators working to drive circular materials development.

Fashion Positive is an initiative from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. The hub accordingly provides direction on the innovation of safer, healthier materials developed in accordance with the principles of the Cradle to Cradle Certified product standard.

“At a time when resource scarcity and growing global population make positive change ever more urgent, the rapid innovation of safer, healthier materials offers one of the fastest routes to achieving a circular economy. The Fashion Positive Innovation Hub aims to accelerate this process for the fashion industry,” said Lewis Perkins, president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

“The momentum for a better future for fashion is growing quickly. Finding ways to improve the health, safety and recyclability of materials already in production, as well as innovate new materials made for the circular economy, will transform the fashion industry from the designer´s drawing board to the supply chain and consumer. This ultimately benefits the global environment, people and communities,” said Erik Bang, Innovation Lead at H&M Foundation.

The hub offers a library of videos and interactive tools on circular economy, as well as access to the Fashion Positive network, which includes investors, accelerators, brands and manufacturers in a bid to connect innovators with the resources and support necessary to bring projects to scale.

There’s also the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute MaterialWise tool, which allows users to screen for known hazards via free access to the Cradle to Cradle Certified v3 banned list and v4 restricted substances list, as well as the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) manufacturing restricted substances list v1.1.

“Until now, creating safe, healthy circular materials that also meet designers’ requirements for performance, quality and aesthetics has been a notoriously challenging process,” said Annie Gullingsrud, director – textiles and apparel sector for the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “The Fashion Positive Innovators Hub has been designed to simplify the material innovation process by addressing the three biggest challenges currently faced by material innovators in fashion: education and know-how, technical assistance, and funding opportunities.”