No matter how you slice it, humans have a problem with waste, and a lot of that ends up in the ocean. Walk down a beach anywhere in the world and it’s a safe bet you’ll find garbage that has washed up onto the sand.
- Old coffee grounds, frog ‘skin’ and plastic bottles used to make cycling clothing
- Best road bike clothing
With its new Renew line of cycling apparel, Giro is attempting to do its part to reduce waste by making clothes out of ‘ghost nets’.
According to Mission Blue, a non-profit founded by oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle, which advocates for marine conservation, ghost nets are lost, dumped or abandoned fishing gear that continues to catch marine life unsupervised and can do so for years.
Giro also points out that the global apparel industry is estimated to produce 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.
With these two facts considered, Giro says the Renew series is made with recycled nylon, polyester and elastane, including Econyl Lycra, which comes from reclaimed fishing nets and other ocean debris.
The reclaimed materials are regenerated into raw materials and then into fabrics that are said to offer the same comfort, performance and durability as textiles made from virgin sources, all while reducing environmental burden and improving the health of our oceans and planet.
According to Giro, the use of Econyl, in place of conventional nylon/Lycra materials for instance, can reduce the global warming impact of the source material by up to 80 percent compared with virgin material made from oil.
Beyond just the Renew series, Giro says its spring 2019 apparel line also makes use of bluesign approved materials, which have been evaluated at every step in the supply chain from resource use, emissions, and pollution control to consumer and occupational health and safety.
“We strive to create breakthrough products through research, smart design, and meaningful innovation,” says Giro apparel product manager, Margaux Elliott. “Regenerated materials like Econyl are the key to creating Renew Series products that people want to wear because they offer the same level of performance and style, they feel great, and they are better for the planet than conventional alternatives.”
Giro says that 62 percent of the new styles in its spring 2019 collection use bluesign-certified materials and 48 percent use both Renew and bluesign fabrics. This breaks down to 67 percent of mountain bike and road jerseys and 100 percent of bibs are made using Renew fabrics.
100 percent of mountain bike jerseys and shorts are made using bluesign materials, and the Expert and Sport Chamois now use Renew series top-sheet fabrics too.
While Giro isn’t the first to incorporate recycled materials into its cycling clothing, it is one of the first to do so at this scale.