- 8million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year
- A growing number of brands offering 100% sustainable fabrics and materials
- Reduce plastic in the ocean by choosing sustainable cycling apparel
Chances are that you have noticed an increasing number of new cyclists as you head out on your bike, spare parts are like gold dust and the line to get a post ride coffee is now out of the door!
Cycling in the UAE is currently booming with more and more people experiencing or rediscovering the ‘enjoyment’ of lycra, chamois cream and getting up at 4am to beat the summer heat. As the ongoing pandemic sharpens the focus on living a healthier lifestyle cycling has come to the fore in giving people the ability to exercise in a socially distanced, outdoor environment whilst gyms and traditional group activities have become more restricted. Even experienced riders are riding more often as infrastructure, facilities and organization improves.
This is undoubtedly great for the sport and great for our general health and wellbeing but what about the environment?
Cycling has some obvious and significant benefits for our environment, especially when riders progress from riding purely as a hobby to using their bike for short journeys or even on their daily commute. Yet there is a problem that needs addressing….the widespread use of plastic within our sport.
Almost all cycling jerseys, bib shorts and sleeves are made of virgin, man made polyesters and nylons which are simply plastic by another name. Whether you ride in it until it falls apart, you upgrade your kit or your size changes once your old kit goes in the rubbish it becomes just another piece of plastic that ends up shredded in landfill or worse still in our oceans.
To give this some context almost 8milion tonnes of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year and it is now widely accepted that if this current rate continues plastics will outweigh all fish in the sea by 2050.
So how can you help?
There are an ever-increasing number of ways to help tackle this problem but below are some simple and easy ideas to begin with.
Buy certified sustainable kit – there are a growing number of brands that offer sustainable jerseys, bibshorts and sleeves made from entirely from recycled fabrics. Taking plastic and nylon waste from landfill or the ocean, this material is treated and recycled into new polyester and nylon with the exact same characteristics as virgin materials. This recycled material is then used to create new fabrics that look, feel, perform with no difference to the mass-produced fabrics traditionally used in our kit.
Look for a sustainable cycling brand that employs renewable energy in their manufacturing, water efficient manufacturing processes and use environmentally friendly dyes and chemicals in their products. It is also a recommended to check how your products are packaged – recycled and recyclable packaging is now widely available
Buy good quality kit that is designed to last – yes it may mean spending at little more in the beginning but buying less often helps reduce the amount of new plastics produced and the energy and water used in production. It will save you money in the long run and may even help shave valuable seconds off your personal best!
Don’t throw unwanted apparel away – can it be recycled or repurposed? Many brands are developing schemes to encourage its users to return damaged kit for repair and reconditioning thus reducing the amount of new plastics and saving valuable energy and water resources. These schemes are in their infancy but are growing day by day. If this isn’t yet available to you why not use your old kit as cleaning cloths or packing material. Whatever you use it for is a better option than it going in the bin.
To learn more about sustainable and eco-friendly cycling jerseys, bibshorts and sleeves or to find out more about why this is so important please visit us at www.emptyroads.com