In this article, you will discover the 3 things to know if you want to buy and keep eco-responsible sports clothing for as long as possible:
- the principle of circularity: discover the example of Circle's commitments from the sourcing of materials;
- the principle of traceability: discover the traceability constraints of Circle sports clothing;
- all the maintenance tips to best preserve your eco-responsible sports clothing.
Everything is connected: thinking in circularity from the sourcing of materials
When should we think about which materials to use?
Then how does the choice of materials go?
What should we think about upstream to find and use raw materials that are efficient, comfortable, European and up to 100% recycled and recyclable?
1- Take into account the entire life cycle and circularity upstream of the design of your sports clothing
Each step must be designed to have as little impact as possible on the environment. Everything counts! Improvement is continuous.
Here are the steps Circle follows:
- The designer takes into account the Circle ethical charter in order to establish the design of the product.
- Then comes sourcing, the search for fabrics, which is one of the most important stages. It is at this moment that we establish the specifications which will influence the environmental and social impact of the garment.
- Then comes the use of the raw material, its transformation, its finishes and its dyes. At Circle we have on average around forty criteria and constraints in our ethical and responsible fashion specifications and constraints for each new search for materials.
The more we develop new running, yoga, or other sports clothing, the more these specifications are completed in order to improve our impact.
2- Commit to a strong ethical charter that continually improves
Here are the criteria of Circle’s ethical charter:
- use only existing resources (such as waste)
- European provenance from the raw material
- 100% traceability at every step
- 100% recyclable materials
- the social and environmental commitment of our partners
- durability analysis confirmed by ISO tests
- the technical performance of the textile: odor control, ultra light, breathable, compressive, moisture management, etc.
You have understood: each step must be thought out upstream in order to be taken into account in the specifications dedicated to sourcing. The most complex thing is not to find a durable material, there are a multitude of them, but to meet strict specifications.
Our fabrics must be efficient, innovative, durable, 100% European, certified and respect social and environmental standards, while combining Circle's creative identity and suppliers' production constraints.
When you want to buy sportswear, you can now ask the brands you are considering to have access to this information to make your choice.
How to know the traceability of a raw material for sports clothing?
As with food, the traceability of clothing is important. At Circle we check every step from the raw material. Traceability is done at the same time as sourcing since the final choice of fabric depends on its origin and manufacturing conditions.
Circle asks for the following information for each material:
- original supplier
- number of km traveled
- environmental impact (water, harmful chemicals, water treatment, CO², etc.)
Then Circle analyzes and verifies each of the following steps:
- What waste is the recycled raw material made from?
- Origin of raw material & supplier
- Process of transforming raw material into filament and type of recycling
- Dyeing process and finishes
- Knitting process
- Manufacturing workshop process
What are the tips for caring for eco-responsible sports clothing?
At Circle, we hear from our users who want to consume less but better, who are looking for the essentials, and looking for more harmony with the planet in their lifestyles.
How to properly maintain your eco-responsible sports clothing?
For sports clothing, the maintenance is different from other clothing because it must be washed more often. Here are some tips that will make the difference:
- Temperature: washing a garment at 30° or 40° will not change much in terms of odor/bacteria, prefer washing at 30° this will increase the lifespan of the garment;
- Fabric softeners or any other product of the same type: these should be avoided because they alter the quality of the fabric fiber;
- microplastics: use a Guppy friend bag to reduce them. We also recommend Spring laundry detergent!
- Ironing: this should be avoided. Particularly on stretch synthetics like Circle which don't really require it, and which can reduce the longevity of the fabric.
Please note that we know that Guppy friend bags are not long-term solutions. This is why we are currently working on solutions concerning the release of microplastics during washing.
Behind the scenes: what's happening in the textile industry
- Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with continuous improvement of materials
The world of materials is a constantly evolving world, and each new discovery can have a lot of impact in a short time.
This is what has happened in recent years with the arrival of recycled synthetics, sustainable materials, bio-sourced polymers, and fashion start-ups.
It is both the birth and evolution of small brands manufacturing in Europe, and the departure of the largest brands in Asia or India, which have pushed European suppliers to work more with small European brands. By making materials more accessible, and by improving to better correspond to their search for sustainability and social commitment, European suppliers are increasingly aligning themselves with the ethical specifications of young eco-responsible brands.
At Circle we believe that the more we continue to analyze the impact of our fabrics, the more we will be able to continue improving these aspects.
- Knowing how to recognize the true value of eco-responsible sports clothing
This remarkable joint work between brands, suppliers and users, to create and purchase more sustainable materials is necessarily more expensive. More difficult to find, more respectful of human conditions, and 100% European from the raw material onwards, these quality materials on all levels have a fair price that is incomparable to polluting materials or created in socially inferior conditions.
The real way to move forward faster to create textile solutions that meet environmental and social constraints is to work together.
Comparison of prices of eco-responsible sports clothing and other sports clothing:
The price of fabrics used by young European and sustainable brands is approximately €7 to €20 per meter of fabric.
That of major brands is around €2.5 per meter of fabric, with significant minimum production quantities.
The prices between clothing from a major sports brand and eco-responsible Circle sports clothing are incomparable. The multitude of constraints that Circle and young eco-responsible brands impose on environmental and social aspects make the raw material much more expensive.
“Change starts with yourself.” Ghandi.
Buying eco-responsible sportswear means transforming the world on your individual scale. It is to contribute to the protection of the environment, and to better social conditions for the people who participate in the manufacture of this product.
It is a strong act of commitment to the planet, to the workers in the production chain, and to future generations.
Terms used in the article:
- Eco-responsible: Who strives to respect nature and the environment as much as possible. But our definition at Circle would be more the coherence and awareness of our actions and their impacts which pushes us to do the best for our environment and the people who are part of it.
- Sourcing: research, identification and analysis (in fashion this can be the sourcing of fabric, raw materials, factories).
- Raw material transformation: Passage of the raw material into filament or thread. Different for each type of material (recycled synthetic, biopolymer, artificial fiber, etc.)
- ISO tests: Standardized tests to assess the longevity of a fabric or product, by the International Organization for Standardization. Non-governmental organization publishing international standards.
- Circular: Life cycle that does not produce waste is and comes from waste. To remain circular, no resource must leave the chain which must be continuous. Circularity can be:
- Waste > Clothing > Recycling > Clothing
- Waste > Clothing > Recycling > Other product
- Waste > Clothing > Donation > Second hand > Upcycling > Recycling > Other product & clothing (Solution Circle)