In 2022, the Union Cycliste Internationale released the UCI Climate Action Charter, which lays out an action plan to advance the environmental sustainability of the sport with a specific goal to reduce waste. For that reason, the UCI turned to its official partner, Santini, to make the race bibs for judges, volunteers, commissaries and accredited photographers to wear during this year’s World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland that are 100% recyclable.
To fulfill this request, the bibs are “eco-designed”, which means they are specifically created to have a second life after use. Once the event is over, the bibs can be collected and sent to the environmental company, RadiciGroup, to be transformed into new material.
The production cycle
To optimize the production cycle of the bibs, the products must be eco-friendly from the very first phase. Therefore, the fabrics are made from Italian nylon yarn produced by the RadiciGroup, an infinitely recyclable thermoplastic. So, the RadiciGroup was able to channel its know-how and expertise in the field of chemistry to create “circular” bibs that are both recyclable and highly customizable thanks to the fabric’s ability to tranfer high-quality printing.
The yarn is later provided to the company, Sitip, to create its “ARAS NG” warp-knitted fabric (95 g/100 m2), a totally recyclable single-fiber material made from 100% polyamide.
The resulting fabric is the first nylon of its kind, designed to meet the transfer printing needs of the third project partner, EFI Reggiani, as well as the recyclability standards requested by RadiciGroup.
The choice of fabric was born from extensive research, whereby EFI Reggiani tested a wide range of fabrics to find the best color results and the best resistance to rubbing and perspiration. In addition to using the new GOTS-certified EFI Reggiani IRIS Plus water-based inks, EFI Reggiani opted for a printing solution on transfer paper that doesn’t consume water and requires a minimal amount of energy per square meter.
Finally, the white fabric from Sitip and the transfer paper printed by EFI Reggiani arrive at Santini, where the transferring of the graphics for the World Championships is done. Santini also took care to assemble the garments using only thread and components made from nylon or chemically similar materials, allowing the bibs to enter the recycling process at the end of their lives without any further processing.
A second life for the bibs
At the end of the World Championships, the bibs used over the course of the eleven days can now be transformed into new raw materials to be used again within the cycling world.
For more information, you can visit www.santinicycling.com
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