The trend gained traction and eventually spread to other sports, such as rugby, volleyball, handball, basketball and badminton, and to other equipment. The used shorts and jerseys were recycled into training equipment such as training cups, cones and hoops.
Although this type of eco-friendly equipment is still being made today, German sports equipment manufacturer Puma is currently testing an innovative recycling process that would use existing football jerseys to produce new ones. This initiative aims to reduce waste and pave the way for more circular production models in the future.
Creating new jerseys from existing ones
Until now, logos, embroidery, flocking and other club crests embedded in jerseys have made it difficult to recycle and transform them into new garments. Puma's RE:JERSEY project chemically breaks down used jerseys using the principle of depolymerisation. The colours are then filtered out, before the material is chemically regenerated to create a thread (repolymerisation) that has the same characteristics and performance as virgin polyester.
A more sustainable manufacturing method
This brand-new thread obtained by recycling end-of-life jerseys is used to make the brand's new football jerseys. Polyester from the RE:JERSEY recycling process makes up 75% of their composition. The remaining 25% comprises the recycled polyamide thread SEAQUAL ® MARINE PLASTIC1, which is made from marine plastic waste or, in some cases, used fishing nets.
Since late April, the new generation jerseys made from old kit have been worn on the pitch during pre-match warm-ups by famous PUMA-equipped clubs such as Manchester City, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Olympique de Marseille.