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Climate action for grass roots clubs, sports clubs, recycling, sports kit.

The Importance of Recycling Your Sports Kit

For many clubs, in particular those in junior and youth football, the largest and most frequent outlay of funds is on purchasing new kit. The problem with regularly purchasing new is that this is adding to the problem of climate change through the manufacturing process.

 

The raw material for shirts is polyester, which is a plastic created from extracting oil, further depleting natural resources before it is refined into the polyester required for the garment. This process requires massive amounts of energy and water which in turn releases damaging amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere. The fashion/textile industry as a whole is responsible for 10% of all global CO2 emissions. 

 

​What Can Our Club Do?

Keeping kit in circulation for longer is key. The durability of sports kit has vastly improved over the last few years which means that items now have a shelf life of 5+ years, not 2 or 3 which is the case for some. Alternatively, you could try one or all of the following; 

  • Run a rental, returns or hand-back scheme, passing older kit through the age groups where possible (many inner-city schools are using this system to reduce the financial burden on families from more economically deprived areas). Read more HERE

  • Donate unwanted kit to local schools for their teams

  • Donate or sell kit using online platforms like eBay and Facebook to generate club funds

  • Where possible avoid sending unwanted kit to Africa or other developing countries because as yet the infrastructure is not in place to responsibly dispose of items once they have reached their end of life, meaning a large percentage are dumped in landfill or illegally burnt. Watch this this short film to see the shocking effects. 

We are keen to work with clubs who want to try and establish the first-ever circular economy for kit. Email savetodayplaytomorrow@BirminghamFA.com using the subject title “Circular Economy”.

Responsible end-of-life disposal - Why recycle?
 

  1. An estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to waste in landfill every year.

  2. The average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes, but around 30% hasn’t been worn for at least a year.

  3. Clothing made from natural materials like cotton, wool and leather will produce a range of greenhouse gases while biodegrading in landfill sites.

  4. For every tonne of textiles reused rather than sent into landfill, CO2eq (harmful greenhouse gases) are reduced by 7 tonnes.

  5. Extending the average life of clothes by nine months (the length of a football season) would save £5 billion in resources used to supply, launder and dispose of clothing.

  6. Donating your unwanted clothing and household items to The Salvation Army helps raise millions for good causes. *Source of statistics: WRAP.

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