5. Recycling your worn cyclewear
At a certain moment the time has come that your cycling kit is worn out and you throw this in the bin. At this point the final part in the lifetime of your kit has come, and it's disastrous.
After sorting it will be either burned or put into the ground. This is awful right? At Velor we truly hate this process and that’s why we are working on a solution. We actually want to gather all the worn cycling wear and recycle these into new cycle wear. This would be a great solution but it’s also a tough one. It’s tough because there’s polyesters woven with elastane (this gives the stretch to a fabric) and then there’s also the coloring. If you want to recycle this, you need to separate them. And that’s extremely difficult.
However, it did not stop us. Our first step took place in summer 2022 when we took a cycling jersey and were able to recycle this into pure polyester pellets by partnering with a start-up company.
This means that we separated the coloring and elastane from the polyester. So on a lab scale we proved it could be done. A big step forward. In 2023 we will take the next step: we want to prove the concept of recycling old cycling jerseys into new cycling jerseys. This time we will take 300 old jersey’s and recycle those in polyester pellets. From these pellets we will try to spin yarns and from these yarns we will create fabrics. Once we are at this stage we can use the fabrics to manufacture cyclewear. If we succeed in this we will have a fiber to fiber closed loop and thus a great solution for old and worn cyclewear. This is HUGE! Because it means that we could stop burning cyclewear.
From a sustainable point of view this is the biggest mission we have: Create truly circular cyclewear.