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8/25/2017 | 1 MINUTE READ

Each Nike NBA Uniform Made Out of 20 Recycled PET Bottles

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New NBA uniforms reflect growing trend of big sports brands using recycled polyester.

As an OKC Thunder fan, I don’t enjoy anything about the Golden State Warriors. But as much as it pains me to post a story with a photo of the Golden State uniforms, it does relate to plastics recycling so here it is:

Nike is now the official partner of the NBA, replacing Adidas, and the company recently revealed the new jerseys for the 2071-18 season. The uniform is comprised of a combination of Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester, with each athlete’s uniform representing approximately 20 recycled PET bottles. Nike claims that the yarn blend removes moisture more quickly than previous NBA uniforms, wicking sweat 30% faster than current NBA uniforms.

Nike says that since 2010, it has diverted more than 3 billion plastic bottles from landfills into recycled polyester.

Nike has been active in using recycled PET in jerseys in the past. Recycled polyester was used in the uniforms for the U.S. basketball team during the Summer Olympics and the U.S. Women’s soccer team for the FIFA World Cup.

Nike says that since 2010, it has diverted more than 3 billion plastic bottles from landfills into recycled polyester. By using recycled polyester, Nike is also reducing the energy consumed in the manufacturing process by up to 30% compared to virgin polyester.

Earlier this year, Adidas released its “Parley” version of its popular running shoes, which turns ocean plastic waste into a thread that is woven into running shoes. Each shoe uses about 11 PET bottles and incorporates it all throughout the shoe.

In 2015, I reported that the Detriot Lions wore practices jerseys made from recycled plastic bottles as part of a partnership with Unifi, which transforms plastic bottles into Repreve recycled fibers that are used by various brands.