Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Largest Zero-Waste Sporting Event Just Debuted a Fully Circular Peter Millar Collection Made From Plastic Bottles

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In a collaboration aimed at pushing the boundaries of sustainability in sport, luxury clothing label Peter Millar has joined forces with Repreve and the WM Phoenix Open for a collection made by recycling plastic bottles into fabric.

The partnership between Peter Millar, Repreve, and the WM Phoenix Open was first announced at last year tournament; the WM Phoenix Open is the world’s largest zero-waste sporting event, routing 100 hundred percent of the tournament’s waste to recycling, composting, or donation facilities as well as converting trash into renewable energy.

The new collection sees plastic water bottles collected from the WM Phoenix Open last year turned into sustainable attire for this year’s tournament. The three-piece collection features a custom pattern designed by Peter Millar and pays special tribute to the bucket list-worthy golf tournament. 

Peter Millar shirt
Courtesy Peter Millar for WM Phoenix Open featuring Repreve fibers | Courtesy

As the world’s largest zero-waste sporting event for the last eight years, the WM Phoenix Open has established itself as a leader in environmental sustainability. The new collaboration is poised to build on this legacy by giving the plastic bottles used during the tournament a new life as part of a sustainable fashion collection.

The WM Phoenix has also focused on educating attendees and engaging them in sustainability practices, encouraging spectators to participate in recycling and composting efforts. By involving attendees in these practices, the tournament fosters a culture of sustainability that extends beyond the event itself. The tournament organizers are committed to continuous improvement in their sustainability practices. Each year, they evaluate the effectiveness of their initiatives and look for new ways to reduce the environmental impact of the tournament. This commitment to innovation and excellence ensures that the tournament remains at the forefront of sustainable event management.

Repreve, a brand under the parent company Unifi, has made significant strides in environmental conservation in recent years by recycling more than 35 billion plastic water bottles to date. This process involves collecting and cleaning the bottles, breaking them down into flakes, and then transforming these flakes into high-quality fibers used to create new fabrics. These fabrics are then supplied to leading brands across the globe, including Patagonia, Nike, and Asics, integrating sustainable materials into their product lines. This method not only reduces the amount of plastic waste but also lessens the reliance on virgin petroleum-based materials.

Courtesy Peter Millar for WM Phoenix Open featuring Repreve fibers
Courtesy Peter Millar for WM Phoenix Open featuring Repreve fibers | Courtesy

Jay Hertwig, Senior Vice President of Commercialization at Unifi, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration. “[We] are so excited to be helping make the largest zero-waste sporting event in the world, the WM Phoenix Open, even more sustainable with this partnership collection with Peter Millar,” he said in a statement last year. “Now, visitors to the tournament will rest easy knowing that the plastic bottles they use on site this week will have a second life that they can wear to next year’s tournament.”

The news comes as Unifi announced a profitability improvement plan, focused on further reducing the company’s costs. “In recognition of the current operating environment, we recently implemented an extensive Profitability Improvement Plan to optimize our resources,” Eddie Ingle, CEO of Unifi, Inc., said in a statement. “While this Plan came with difficult decisions, these measures will significantly improve profitability, helping to ensure Unifi has a robust foundation to foster growth and innovation, core tenets of the Company’s strategy.” Ingle says savings from these initiatives will be reinvested in the business. The company also recently introduced a new yarn dubbed ReComfort, which it says performs like cotton, acrylic, and nylon.

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