When plastic becomes sportswear
by The Circle Team on 2 June 2021

Please note that this is not an invitation to consume more because Circle sportswear is made from recycled or recyclable materials. But if you do buy new clothes, you might as well make them as sustainable and responsible as possible.

Less plastic, more planet

The fact is that 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year (not cool!).

According to a study conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, by 2050, if nothing is done, there will be more plastic than fish in the seas and oceans .

Breaking news (or not): Most sportswear is made of plastic!

Polyester compounds, polyamide or other synthetic materials (acrylic, elastane or Lycra) obtained by synthesis of chemical compounds from petroleum.

In short, it's plastic!

Live all naked or ...

  1. The first solution would be to stop wearing clothes (so living naked in the summer, why not, but we still advise against it all year round).
  2. The second solution is more accessible: buy clothes made from natural and sustainable materials, biomaterials, such as tencel, which is made from wood scraps that cannot be used for furniture and objects.
  3. Choose sportswear made from recycled materials, such as used plastic bottles. Wearing sportswear made from recycled materials helps to limit the ever increasing demands on our planet's limited natural resources.


At Circle, our products are created from 65% to 100% recycled waste or pre- or post-consumer nylon.

  • 49% recycled polyester from Italy from plastic bottles and nylon waste. The bottle is crushed into plastic flakes which are then melted into tiny granules and woven into yarn.
  • 43% recycled polyamide from Italy, made from nylon waste from production scraps. This innovative fabric required 90% less water consumption than a conventional polyamide fabric.
  • 8% recycled elastane from Germany made from nylon waste from production off-cuts. A process that allows over 90% of the yarn to be recovered during spinning, a great way to reduce waste on production lines.

In all transparency (like plastic): we are not perfect!

Firstly, because there is no such thing as zero impact, no matter what materials are used or what efforts are made to reduce carbon emissions, there is always an environmental cost to producing.

Secondly, because the problem does not end with the production of plastic for your sportswear: with each washing machine, micro-particles (smaller than 5 mm) escape from your clothes into the ocean (too fine for the purification systems).

Finally, plastic pollution does not only affect animals and corals.

It also attacks ... US, THE HUMANS (and this is the moment when the green sceptics are less clever) : studies have proven the link between reduced fertility, cancer risks, or congenital malformations (microparticles have recently been found in the human placenta, no less).

So even if the quality of the clothing reduces this micro-plastic pollution, using recycled plastic materials does not solve the problem.

We're not perfect, but we're determined. What we can promise you is that we will continue to be committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of pure eco-responsibility in sportswear.

In the meantime, you can use a Guppy Friend: a pouch for washing your clothes in the washing machine, which collects the plastic microfibres.

It's not a sprint, it's a marathon

Circle's business model is an alternative to fast fashion: clothes designed with a zero waste approach and a limited carbon footprint.

But above all, they are designed to last, otherwise our commitments to lucid and responsible consumption would make no sense.

Durable materials: Beyond quality and performance, we have ensured the durability of our products during exercise by testing them in over 20 sports with professional athletes.

Our essential designs: what's the point of designing environmentally friendly products if they're going to stay in the cupboard or you're going to get bored?

We put style at the heart of our collections, but always with timeless cuts and colours, so that your sportswear will always be your favourite!

What next?

Our fabrics last longer. We are working on the model of tomorrow, to be able to repair, upcycle, or recycle your aged Circle clothing. We'll let you know when this service becomes available.