Tokyo 2020: Japan Olympic kit to feature recycled clothes

The Olympic torch will arrive in the Japanese capital on July 10, 2020. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Japanese athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will wear an official kit made in part from recycled clothes collected from across the country, sports firm Asics said on Friday.

The project was a way to engage the Japanese public in the run-up to the Olympics, the firm added.

“This is something we didn’t want to do alone. We wanted to bring the Japanese public into it as well,” Asics spokesman Keisuke Harada told AFP.

“We will use these clothes that people are attached to and make the products for the Japanese teams together.”

The Kobe-based company, a major sponsor of the 2020 Summer Games, is in charge of the official outfits that Japanese athletes will wear on the medal podiums and during other non-competition appearances.

Asics plans to collect some 30,000 used items of athletic clothing across Japan through May and use polyester fibres from them to manufacture base materials for the official kit, Harada said.

The firm also plans to use recycled PET bottles and other materials to produce the kit, he added.

Asics will “recycle clothing associated with precious memories from school teams, sports days and marathons into the official wear,” it said in a separate statement.

And the company says going forward it will only use recycled materials for the polyester in its sportswear and shoe uppers.

The move comes against the backdrop of Tokyo’s efforts to host a “sustainable” event, including by using recycled metals from discarded electronics to make Olympic and Paralympic medals.