The Sustainable Choice for Sports Apparel
In today’s environmentally conscious world, the demand for sustainable materials in the manufacturing industry is on the rise. And the sports apparel market is not an exemption. Consumers are also increasingly seeking eco-friendly alternatives that minimize environmental impact without compromising performance and style. One fabric that has emerged as a leading choice for sustainable sportswear is REPREVE.
In this blog, we will discuss REPREVE fabric in more detail. We will explore its manufacturing process, unique properties, benefits for sports apparel brands, compatibility with sublimation printing, and much more.
What is REPREVE?
As the world’s leading recycled performance fiber, REPREVE offers a solution that combines exceptional quality, versatility, and environmental responsibility. REPREVE fabric has emerged as a game-changer, attracting renowned brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.
These brands have successfully incorporated this sustainable material into their product lines, offering customers innovative, eco-friendly options. By following in their footsteps, other sports apparel brands can leverage it to enhance their marketability and sustainability credentials.
Whether you’re a brand looking to enhance your eco-friendly offerings or a business seeking to provide high-quality sustainable uniforms, REPREVE may be the right choice for you.
How Is REPREVE Fabric Made?
REPREVE fabric is derived from 100% recycled plastic bottles and other plastic waste. Therefore, by transforming post-consumer and post-industrial waste into durable and eco-friendly textiles, REPREVE provides a sustainable alternative to traditional materials like dyed fabrics.
The manufacturing process of this sustainable fiber begins with the collection of plastic bottles from recycling plants. Then these bottles undergo a meticulous process that involves cleaning, shredding, and crushing them into small flakes.
The flakes are then melted and spun into REPREVE filament yarn, which serves as the foundation for various fabric types. The versatility of this material enables its application across different industries, including sports apparel.
What are the Benefits Of REPREVE Fabric?
You might expect recycled fabric to be inferior to new materials. However, this is simply not the case with REPREVE. Evidence of this can be seen in the adoption of the sustainable brand by all Pac-12 student-athletes.
In addition, this fabric offers numerous benefits that make it an excellent choice for sports apparel brands. Here are the key advantages:
1. Environmental Sustainability
- REPREVE fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and other plastic waste, diverting them from landfills.
- By using recycled materials, REPREVE reduces the need for virgin resources and helps conserve water and energy during production.
2. Durability And Performance
- Although made from recycled materials, REPREVE fabric maintains a high level of durability and performance comparable to traditional fabrics.
- It offers excellent tensile strength and resists pilling, ensuring longevity and extended use of the apparel.
3. Moisture-wicking and Thermoregulation
- This fabric is designed to wick away moisture from the skin, keeping athletes dry and comfortable during physical activities.
- Its thermoregulating properties help maintain a consistent body temperature, allowing athletes to perform at their best.
4. UV Protection
- This material provides superior UV protection, shielding athletes from harmful sun rays during outdoor activities.
- This feature is particularly beneficial for sports that involve prolonged exposure to the sun, such as outdoor sports and endurance activities.
5. Softness And Comfort
- REPREVE fabric offers a soft and comfortable feel against the skin, ensuring athletes’ comfort during workouts and competitions.
- Its smooth texture and breathability contribute to a pleasant wearing experience.
- Various apparel products, including jerseys, uniforms, pants, hoodies, and more, can use also REPREVE fabric.
- Its availability in different weights and finishes allows for customization and suitability across a wide range of sporting activities.
What Types Of Apparel Products Can Use REPREVE Fabric?
REPREVE fabric is a versatile choice for different sports apparel products. Here are some examples:
- Jerseys And Uniforms: REPREVE fabric can be used to create high-performance jerseys and uniforms for sports teams. Moreover, its moisture-wicking properties and durability make it ideal for athletes who require optimal comfort and mobility.
- Pants And Shorts: Sports apparel brands can also use REPREVE fabric to create thermo-regulating pants and shorts, ensuring athletes, hikers, climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts stay comfortable in varying weather conditions.
- Hoodies And Sweatshirts: REPREVE fabric can provide the softness, warmth, and moisture-wicking capabilities necessary for hoodies and sweatshirts used in sports and outdoor activities.
- Activewear And Dry-Fit Shirts: REPREVE fabric’s moisture-wicking properties and UV protection make it also a suitable choice for activewear, dry-fit shirts, and other apparel designed for intense physical activities.
Can REPREVE Fabric Be Used With Sublimation Printing?
Yes, REPREVE fabric is compatible with sublimation printing, offering sports apparel brands the opportunity to create unique, eco-friendly, and stylish designs.
The advantages of sublimation printing on this fabric include:
- Vibrant Colors And High Image Resolution: Sublimation printing on REPREVE fabric produces vibrant and long-lasting colors with excellent image resolution. This ensures that the designs retain their visual appeal even after multiple washes and prolonged use.
- Unlimited Design Possibilities: On the other hand, sublimation printing allows for seamless integration of intricate patterns, logos, and custom designs, enabling brands to create eye-catching and personalized sports apparel.
- Breathability And Comfort: Sublimation printing does not compromise the breathability and comfort of this eco-friendly material. The printing process maintains the fabric’s moisture-wicking and thermoregulation properties, ensuring athletes’ comfort during workouts.
Is REPREVE Fabric More Expensive?
REPREVE fabric generally costs slightly more than traditional fabrics due to the recycling process and the use of recycled materials. The exact price difference can vary depending on the manufacturer and fabric weight. Repreve typically costs $1 to $3 more per garment piece.
However, recent studies indicate that consumers are willing to pay significantly more for eco-friendly products. The higher cost of REPREVE fabric is justified by its environmental benefits, durability, and performance. REPREVE is the only eco-performance fiber with U TRUST® verification to certify recycled content claims. Therefore, manufacturers can be sure they are using a high-quality recycled fiber.
How Do I Find Apparel Manufacturers Who Carry REPREVE Fabric?
If you’re looking for a manufacturer that carries REPREVE fabric, it’s not always easy to find one. Undeniably, most manufacturers don’t have an online presence. And of those that do, almost none of them list whether they carry REPREVE online.
However, at Sphere Sport, we’re proud to be an apparel manufacturer that not only stocks REPREVE fabric but also specializes in eco-friendly packaging and other sustainable materials. We’ve helped our clients develop eco-friendly retail products and teamwear brands provide club teams with recycled uniforms they can feel great about.
Learn more about how to get started using REPREVE in your products and our other eco-friendly solutions by reaching out to us directly.
Is REPREVE Right for Your Company?
As sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers, incorporating REPREVE fabric into your sports apparel brand can offer significant market advantages. What’s more is that by aligning with sustainability trends and leveraging this eco-friendly material, you can attract environmentally conscious customers and differentiate your brand in a competitive market.
At Sphere Sport, we understand the importance of eco-friendly solutions, and our REPREVE fabric offering also ensures that you can meet the demand for sustainable teamwear and sports apparel. You can also check various sustainability trade shows if your business is considering attending one.
Contact us today to discover how we can help you leverage and enhance your sportswear brand’s marketability through sustainable practices.