Most cyclists enjoy being out in nature, experiencing the beauty of their environment. With that ingrained appreciation for the planet, they often look for sportswear that respects it. Sustainable cycling apparel aims to reduce the impact of its production on the earth as much as possible.
Sustainable sportswear involves a complex web of considerations. Brands must assess their use of materials, production processes, supply chains, and the packaging of their products and make educated decisions about each.
At this point, there’s no perfect solution to eco-conscious clothing. Most choices come with their advantages and disadvantages. It’s all about research and weighing up the options to come to the most effective solution.
If you’re looking for cycling gear that aims to be more sustainable, there are several things to look for. Transparency on each of these things is key.
Before making a purchase, it’s useful to explore:
- Fabrics and materials
- Supply chains and business partnerships
Choosing the right materials for a cycling jersey that is both high quality and more sustainable is challenging for cycling brands. Broadly speaking, there are two types of fabrics from which to choose.
Synthetic fibres are man-made and are the most durable, which is an essential feature of endurance sportswear. Garments made from synthetic fibres are likely to be fit-for-purpose and long-lasting, meaning there’s less reason to discard them so quickly. However, they cause a problem for the planet, as they use chemicals to manufacture and do not degrade easily.
Natural fibres, on the other hand, are easily renewable and biodegradable. However, as a result, they are more sensitive to wear and tear. For endurance sportswear, this causes an issue.
Here at Presca, we make our fabric choices based on a large number of factors. We’re also continually researching and evolving along with expert help to make sure our products pioneer the way for both performance and sustainability.
We use the versatility and functionality of nylon and polyester that makes it perfect for sportswear, but we obtain it from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, ghost fishing nets, and carpets. In this way, we strive for circularity and reduce the amount of resource and waste product our garments are responsible for.
We also use organic cotton and ecovero; both these natural fibres make excellent clothing material and have a cleaner reputation.
You can read more about our choice of materials here.
As cycling brands rely on many other businesses, it’s important to understand their partnership standards and whether they strive for sustainability too.
Supply chains must uphold the same values of the brand in terms of environmental concern and ethical conduct. Without considering this, control over sustainability is lost.
Reducing the overall carbon footprint of sportswear involves keeping supply chains as local as possible to remove the need for long-distance transportation and ensuring the factories use more renewable sources of energy.
From an ethical standpoint, all organisations must meet Fair Trade laws. Prioritising worker’s rights across the chain is an important thing to do.
At Presca, we have a code of conduct that all of our partners must sign before working with us. This way, we can be confident that organisations across our supply chain share our sustainability, workers-rights, and ethical values.
We have also chosen to manufacture our sportswear in the UK and Europe. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions, but it allows us to keep transparent relationships with our suppliers. Working exclusively with those who have the best technologies, skillsets, and quality control makes us confident that we are giving our customers clothing that will stand the test of time.
You can read more about our manufacturing and supply chains here.
What your product arrives in can help to define whether it’s part of a sustainable process or not. Unfortunately, it's most common for a clothing company to use a clear plastic polythene bag to protect their products during shipping.
Poly-bags are super cheap, sturdy, and light. They are helpful for the retailer, which is why they’re the go-to choice to package clothing. But they’re single-use. They are made from non-renewable petrochemicals and end up in landfill, or worse, in the ocean.
We’ve entirely phased out poly-bags and other single-use plastic from our operations. We’re now investigating a wide range of shipping options, from 100% recycled paper, to reusable packaging, to plastic bags that dissolve in water.
Read more about our packaging choices here.
Because we’re on a mission to make sportswear better, our cycling jerseys are all driven by sustainability and high performance. They're predominantly made from recycled materials, so our vast range offers a style for every level of athlete looking to be more eco-friendly.
Shop The Look
The Grand Tour Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey
As part of our Geometric Collection, this jersey is designed to be a subtle statement on the disappearing ice sheets. Made in collaboration with Pro UK Cyclists, it offers everything you need for advanced performance.
It’s lightweight and close-fitting, promising both comfort and aerodynamics. The jersey has highly breathable side panels and advanced wicking properties to balance body temperature and keep you cool when needed. The raw-edge cuffs, comfort seams, and silicone-trim elastic grip tape are designed to prevent chafing and avoid any ride up. With a smooth, high-quality zip, you can open it up when you want to cool down.
Our Grand Tour Jersey is made from 86% recycled polyester from recycled plastic bottles and 14% elastane.
Winter Cycling Jersey – Geo Celeste Peak
This long-sleeved jersey is perfect for Spring, Autumn, and Winter as its innovative recycled thermal fabric, long sleeves, and high collar provide a barrier from the cold.
The warp-knit thermal premium fabric is created from 84% recycled polyester and 16% recycled elastane, making it the right choice for endurance athletes who want to show respect for people and the environment.
Compared to other products, this garment saves 8.5 days of drinking water, avoids 7.1km of driving emissions, and recycles 25.1 PET bottles. Therefore, you know you’re making a positive impact on the planet when you purchase.
Grand Tour Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey Hex
In a bold and standout hex print, this short sleeve cycling jersey is made from the finest lightweight recycled fabrics to give you a sustainable product that goes the extra mile.
Perfect for warmer weather conditions, the highly breathable side panels and advanced wicking properties promise to keep you cool. The raw-edge cuffs and silicone elastic grip tape are there for comfort.
This reliable garment sets a new standard in performance and sustainability that will inspire you to expect more from all your cycling kit.
Long-Sleeved Black Winter Cycling Jersey
The simplistic, sleek design of our black cycling jersey features a hidden zip and reflects an athlete who pushes the limits of both performance and sustainability.
Premium in both look and feel, the Italian Re:Warm fabric has a smooth brushed interior to offer comfort and warmth throughout long days in the saddle.
Made from 84% recycled polyester and 15% recycled elastane, this jersey, like most, is defined as Net Positive, meaning any CO2 emissions created in its production are offset through other projects. You can explore more about what this means on the product page.
Presca is here for eco-conscious athletes looking to push their limits. That can be anybody. That's why we create sportswear that's not only high performance but is sustainably led, inspiring you to make the best choices for yourself and the planet. Presca produces sustainable sportswear for a range of activities, including cycling, running, and Triathlons.
Presca sportswear goes further. For you. For people. For our planet.
Blog curated by Guy Whitby (MSC) and Ironman Athlete
Guy Whitby is a medal-winning athlete and five-time Ironman finisher. He is Presca's Operations Director and Co Founder, and has drawn on Presca's wide network of professional athletes and sports expertise to collate these blogs.