Eco-Friendly Fashion

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In 2020 millions of water bottles will be removed from the environment to create uniforms for scholastic spirit squads, while on stages everywhere all star cheer and dance teams will sparkle in uniforms made with eco-friendly Swarovski crystals.

It’s a big job to create uniforms and outfit spirit leaders and athletes with quality and style, and Varsity Spirit Fashion and Varsity All Star Fashion do it with pride and with purpose. As a part of the Eco Spirit initiative, the fashion teams have been making a conscious effort to lead the way with new eco-friendly techniques and fabrics, reducing waste and reusing recycled materials to create cheer and dance apparel that teams can feel good in and feel good about. They see the importance of stepping up to the challenge and getting creative with ways to reuse and recycle while developing new styles and fabrics. 

If you’ve been in a uniform yourself – even a dance costume or band uniform – you know that it is so much more than thread and fabric. Uniforms connect us. They help us develop an identity, showcase school pride and team spirit. They are something to be proud of and feel comfortable and confident in. And that’s why the Eco Spirit initiative, to reuse, recycle and renew while creating uniforms and apparel is so important. 

Did you know that 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded every second in the U.S., and only about 30% of those make it to a recycling bin? Varsity Spirit Fashion Creative Director, Kim Williams, has been with Varsity for over 30 years and plays an important role in establishing eco-friendly goals to reduce the harm that comes from plastics and other pollutants. 

“We introduced new eco-friendly, sustainable materials and are taking other steps toward reducing our impact on the environment,” Kim said. “We want to lead the way in our industry as a champion of sustainability and feel it is our responsibility to have a positive impact and engage our customers, contractors, and vendors to make the journey with us to preserve our planet for the young people we serve and future generations.” 

The Varsity All Star Fashion team has also been hard at work over the past few years sourcing new, chemical-free fabrics and working with responsible partners like Swarovski, who create lead-free, environmentally responsible crystals for uniforms. To keep athletes performing at their best, a chemical-free thermoregulation fabric called Coolcore was sourced to enhance wicking and help keep athletes cool while they’re in action. In just two years, 96,000 yards of the Coolcore fabric has been sourced to create our practicewear designs.

“We know how hard all star athletes work on and off the mat and it is important that we offer the best in eco-friendly materials in our designs because it’s what you don’t see that matters the most.  I am proud of our partnerships with Swarovski and Coolcore because they share our commitment to athletes and our planet,” Leslie Standlee-Wright, Vice President and GM of Varsity All Star Fashion said. 

Back on the Varsity Spirit Fashion side, the team has been working hard on its Re:Action line to incorporate materials made from recycled water bottles. The line that’s putting water bottles back into action includes sublimated performafit campwear, uniforms and outerwear with braid and polar fleece outerwear. In just one polar fleece jacket, 32 plastic bottles are used to create the threads and fabric. The Re:Action line alone is expected to help remove millions of bottles from the environment in 2020. 

Aside from efforts to create eco-smart, sustainable textiles made from recycled water bottles, Varsity Spirit Fashion is also developing new techniques to ensure the catalog and printing is as eco-friendly as possible, by working with printers who use plant-based inks and recycle all paper waste. The catalog paper itself is even made from recycled materials. 

As leaders in the industry, Varsity Spirit is committed to forging the way in protecting our planet and the spirit and all star community we care so much about.  

To read more about our efforts to positively impact the community, visit our Varsity Spirit Cares webpage. 

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