Japan’s Olympic and Paralympic teams will wear sustainability on their sleeves at the Tokyo 2020 games, courtesy of their uniform manufacturer, Asics.
The Japanese sportswear brand will create the team apparel out of recycled clothes, and has launched a campaign to collect 30,000 items of donated athletic wear from the general public.
The Asics Reborn Wear Project (ARWPJ), introduced Thursday, aims to gather “sportswear rich with memories” from people across the country, from which polyester fibers will be extracted and recycled into the new Olympic attire.
Between January 24 and May 31, collection boxes will be open in Asics stores across Japan, as well as at other sports retailers and at athletic events.
“Asics is launching ARWPJ to advance sustainability and sports promotion, and to contribute towards making the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 the most innovative to date,” the company said in a statement.
Several prominent Japanese athletes have donated clothes to the Reborn Wear Project, including wrestler Saori Yoshida, the three-time Olympic gold medalist who announced her retirement this month. Yoshida donated a black T-shirt which she wore in training for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Paralympic sprinter and long jumper Atsushi Yamamoto, Olympic sprinters Yoshihide Kiryū and Chisato Fukushima, and former marathon runner Kenji Kimihara also contributed to the campaign.
The brand is also encouraging amateur athletes to share photos of their sports clothes and the stories behind them on social media, “further building up positive energy ahead of Tokyo 2020.”
In August 2018, Asics announced it would reduce CO2 emissions by a third by 2030, a goal approved by the Science Based Targets climate action initiative.