Sportswear made from recycled plastic waste
Student, sportsman, start-up entrepreneur: Johannes Skowron from Braunschweig and his partner sell sustainable sportswear.
Sustainability is modern in fashion. However, Johannes Skowron and Alina Hische say there has not been enough sustainable sports fashion so far. As students, they founded Re-Athlete in 2016 and set themselves the goal of producing and selling more sustainable sportswear in Germany. Skowron studied sports management – and now business administration – and “always” wanted to found a company. His girlfriend, psychology student Alina Hische, enjoys working with textiles, sewing and tailoring as a hobby. The idea of producing her own sports articles was obvious to her – but only if they protected the environment and helped people in the region.
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The idea first developed into a crowdfunding project, then a start-up company. In the meantime, Skowron has become the managing director of a company that sells sporting goods made of recycled materials online and has its first retail shop in Braunschweig. Re-Athlete is still in the start-up phase and the margin on fairly produced sports fashion is still low. Nevertheless, the founders of Re-Athlete are confident that their concept will increasingly appeal to clubs and individual athletes. And so, according to Skowron, Re-Athlete sports fashion is produced in the following way:
1. Nylon recyclables from the oceans and industry, for example old fishing nets, fibres, production waste, industrial plastic waste or yarn waste are collected by “Healthy Seas”.
2. The raw material is cleaned and introduced into the recycling process at the recycler “Econyl”. This takes place in Slovenia and Italy.
3. The cleaned fibres are qualitatively equivalent to new nylon yarn.
4. These fibres are used to produce fabrics for the textile industry. Re-Athlete sporting goods contain 78 percent recycled polyamides and 22 percent elastane. The Aquafil Group in Italy supplies the recycled material by the metre, cuts the fabric as required by the samples and design and then delivers it to Germany.
In addition to the sustainability of the raw materials used, the social aspect is also in the foreground: the production of sportswear is carried out by, among others, Lebenshilfe Wolfsburg.