Millfield launches own brand of recycled fabrics sports kit using plastic waste from the ocean
Millfield announced the launching of its own brand of student and staff sports kits made from recycled fabrics that reuse plastics retrieved from the ocean.
The new range uses recycled fabrics which incorporate plastic ocean debris such as fishing nets and bottles and turn it into high-performance sportswear.
The top sports school, believed to be the first in the country to champion recycled fabrics in this way, aspires for the entire range of sports kit across its Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior School, to be 100% recyclable over the next few years, with at least 65% made from recycled fabrics at launch.
The change has been driven by pupil voice wanting a sustainable clothing line that is a positive step towards addressing the current plastic pollution crisis for future generations.
An estimated 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean each year. The problem is found in every known ecosystem and at every level of the food chain. If current trends continue, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
The recycled fabrics use Green Soul technology, which combines the use of 100% sustainable recycled fibres with the most environmentally friendly dyeing and finishing processes without compromising on the performance of the fabrics.
All the yarns used to produce these fabrics are recycled Polyester, recycled Nylon and recycled Elastane and all the fabrics are Bluesign certified which represents the vision and mindset of responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products and meet global recycled standard certifications.
In addition to reusing plastics, the aim at Millfield is to also reduce the number of garments needed throughout a pupils’ school life, resulting in less landfill and reducing the overall cost to families.
Millfield is working directly with an experienced manufacturer who currently produces garments for several well-known performance sportswear brands. Pupils from all parts of the school, including Millfield Design and Innovation scholars and Millfield sports staff, have been fully involved in the new sportswear.
Millfield Director of Sport, Dr Scott Drawer, says, “We are really excited to launch Millfield Sportswear and to develop a range of recyclable products for everyone in the Millfield community – Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior pupils, staff, parents and Old Millfieldians, at a level of quality and design that meets the aspirations of those who are proud to wear the Millfield crest whilst also making a statement about what we believe in as a school. Our students are the future, they want to make changes that will impact them and their children in future generations and we need to respond to that and take steps to preserve the planet we live in. We don’t have to choose between better performance or a better planet.”
Year 11 student Barney French, who was involved in the kit design, said: “I believe it is important that everybody does their part for the environment, so I am pleased to see that the school has listened to the voice of the students and has prioritised reducing the environmental impact of our new sports kit. I, for one, will be proud to wear the new kit and represent the Millfield ethos, and hope that it will inspire other schools to adopt more eco-friendly clothing.”
Headmaster Gavin Horgan said: “As the largest co-ed boarding school with the largest Sixth Form in the UK, we are looking at the many things that we can do to reduce our waste and reuse, and this is important to our students. Millfield actively encourages its students to be positive disruptors, challenge the status quo and make a change for the better and it is a credit to them that we are pressing ahead with our recyclable sportswear range. Young people want a say in their future and that of the planet and they have shown a willingness to mobilise and act in order to help accelerate the change they desire. While these choices may seem small or inconsequential, when millions of people make them together, we can have a real impact. So, encourage those around you to join the fight and together we can be the start of the end of plastic pollution. For the sake of our oceans, our planet, and ourselves.”