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17 October 2018

Green Great Britain Week: Grn Sportswear

Guest blog by Grn Sportswear, North East Area Ethical - Green Business of the Year at the FSB Awards 2018

We are delighted to be part of Green Great Britain Week. Grn Sportswear Ltd is at the forefront of sustainable sportswear design and manufacture. Through our two brands – Presca Teamwear (pro-level bespoke teamwear) and Grn Sportswear (own-brand eco-wear), we create sportswear for cycling, swimming, running and triathlon using cutting-edge sustainable materials with an ethical supply chain. All of our technical wear is manufactured in the UK.

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Ethical and sustainable manufacturing is at the heart of our business.  For example, we create cycle jerseys and other sportswear from recycled materials, including plastic bottles and discarded fishing nets which are repurposed into high quality yarns. We are the proud creators of the “world’s most sustainable skinsuit” which was shortlisted for a 2018 BT Sport Industry Award; and over the past few years, we have been working hard to prove that garments created from recycled materials perform as well, and through exceptional design, better than those from virgin sources. Our work with elite athletes has proven that performance and sustainability can go hand in hand which builds confidence in sustainable manufacturing approaches.

We have looked at every aspect of our supply chain to make choices that we believe are best for our business and for the environment. For example, by using quality sustainable materials we can create high-performance garments with lower  environmental impact. When we create a cycling jersey we repurpose approximately 7 recycled plastic bottles and use 60% less energy and 94% less water than the alternative from virgin materials. For every tonne of recycled material used in our cycle shorts and trisuits 1.26 tonnes of waste to landfill and 4.2 tonnes of C02 emissions are avoided and 7 barrels of crude oil are saved. We keep our supply chain lean and transparent – this means that we know who makes our clothes and that they are treated fairly and as we don’t hold large quantities of stock this means we can keep waste to a minimum: good for our bottom line and for the environment!

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SMEs have a real opportunity to lead the agenda on sustainable growth and to build ethical and sustainable practices into their businesses early on. Not only can these be beneficial to society and the environment but should be seen as an opportunity to build brand credibility and set them apart.  There are many ways in which small businesses can make sustainable choices – this could be the energy suppliers they choose or looking for ways to reduce packaging, or creating a brand based around ethical and sustainable principles. 

There is a lot of support available to small businesses and the FSB is a crucial part of this. We were delighted to win the FSB’s Green Award for the North East at the FSB Awards last year which helped us to gain recognition for the work that we are doing and to showcase high-quality UK manufacturing. The FSB has given us tremendous support and advice as we have grown and developed the business and we are excited about the opportunities ahead!

www.grnsportswear.com / www.prescateamwear.com

Photos: David Partridge, Team Mind BMX and Andrew Mayo, East Cleveland Klondike