Shimano and Partners Unveil Revolutionary Closed Loop Polyester Cycling Shirt at ITMA 2023

In a groundbreaking showcase of sustainable textile innovation, a Shimano-branded cycling shirt was revealed at the ITMA 2023 exhibition in Milan. Developed through a collaborative effort between fibre leader RadiciGroup, sportswear manufacturer Sportstex, and fibre recovery machinery specialist Pure Loop, this achievement marks a significant milestone in closed loop polyester garment production.

The project’s objective was to recover polyester textile waste, specifically uniforms from various sports, such as football and volleyball. By harnessing cutting-edge closed loop recycling technology, the partnership aimed to transform discarded materials into high-performance garments while minimizing environmental impact.

To accomplish this feat, the three companies embarked on an extensive series of tests. Initially, a mixed recovery technique was employed, combining recycled bottle granules with polyester granules from recycled fabrics. Through meticulous fine-tuning, the process evolved to yield a yarn that is 100% derived from recovered textile waste, paving the way for the creation of the remarkable Shimano cycling shirt.

The resulting garment possesses identical performance properties to those made from virgin polyester, demonstrating the full feasibility of closed loop recycling for polyester textiles. This breakthrough holds tremendous promise for the fashion and sportswear industries, offering a sustainable alternative without compromising on quality or functionality.

Joining forces with Erdotex, a specialized company in used garment sorting with facilities in the Netherlands and Belgium, the project now moves closer to future industrial-scale production. Erdotex’s expertise and specific procedures will enable the integration of a circular recycling process into the supply chain, further advancing the initiative’s sustainability goals.

Gianni Todaro, an R&D specialist at RadiciGroup Advanced Textile Solutions, emphasized the company’s commitment to sustainable textile innovation, stating, “Achieving increasingly sustainable textiles is at the heart of the strategy of Radici InNova. For some time now, we have been designing solutions with high technical performance that respect the environment, working in synergy with our customers and suppliers and sharing our knowledge in the recovery of textile waste.”

The unveiling of the Shimano cycling shirt serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, technology, and a shared commitment to environmental stewardship. As the fashion industry embraces sustainable practices, closed loop polyester garment production is poised to revolutionize the way textiles are created, paving the way for a more sustainable and circular future.

The ITMA 2023 exhibition in Milan continues to be a platform for innovation and inspiration, showcasing the transformative potential of the textile industry. As visitors marvel at the Shimano cycling shirt, the industry takes a collective step forward in forging a greener path for fashion and sportswear.



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