We adhere to the principle that the most sustainable item of clothing is the one that never needed to be made. So we invest a lot of time, money and energy into designing high-quality garments that will stand the test of time whilst continuing to perform at the highest level.
High quality leads to longevity so for each constituent element from the zips, to fabrics, through to our manufacturing partners we are careful to choose the best option. We achieve this through choosing partners with many years of expertise operating the machines required for our garments, through process design, through strict quality control and rigorous attention to detail.
When developing any product particularly high-performance garments it’s important to us to be guided by our core sustainability and performance principles. Whilst it’s often suggested that we should add additional complex blends of fibres or technologies, we have to assess the impact of doing so. We listen to athletes and ensure that the decisions we make provide the most practical real-world performance whist not undermining our sustainability requirements.
In order to continue reducing the impact of our garments we are creating a Presca Design Philosophy, which will move our garment range towards circularity.
Our approach will be to design clothing in line with the principles of the circular economy:
- Made from recycled materials
- Designed to last
- Recyclable / biodegradable at end of life
In order to ensure that our synthetic garments are recyclable, we will focus on using mono-material construction where possible, and are looking at how we can phase elastane out of our fabric mixes, as this is a difficult fibre to recycle.
By avoiding the combination of synthetic and natural fibres we can ensure that our garments are either recyclable or biodegradable.
We’re currently investigating a range of anti-odour treatments that might reduce the laundry requirements of our garments. Before we make a decision on this kind of treatment we need to thoroughly investigate performance benefits of the treatment, alongside the environmental impacts.
Outerwear (jackets/gilets) can be troublesome environmentally – it often includes laminated fabrics that comprise a number of different fibres, and the coating applied to repel water and dirt (known as a DWR or Durable Water Repellent) can be damaging if it ends up in the environment. The industry favourite up until fairly recently was a long-chain PFC (PerFluorinated Compound) treatment. Some of these have recently been classified as carcinogens, and they are extremely persistent in the environment. They are known to accumulate on microfibres in the ocean (this is one of the main problems with microfibres – not the fibre itself but the chemical nasties that cling to it) and can then enter the food chain when ingested. One of these PFCs “PFOA” has been found in the bloodstreams of 98% of Americans, demonstrating quite how pervasive these types of chemical can become.
In order to minimise the impact of your garments we:
- Choose PFC-free DWR treatments
- Choose PTFE-free laminates (this is “Teflon”, and when it is incinerated it has been found to release Hydrochloric and Hydrofluoric acids)