"Green Athletics" is a movement that started on our campus at the beginning of Fall 2015, and our initiatives have included getting teams to wear recycled uniforms, plastic ice wrap recycling, and more. Current teams wearing recycled jerseys include volleyball, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's soccer.
Sustainable Uniforms: Inspiration, Fruition, & Impact
By Ellie Ezekiel, '16
"The Fall 2015 semester had just begun and we were searching for something original that we could accomplish -- some way that we could branch sustainability further out on our campus. I, Ellie Ezekiel, was a student-athlete at the time and so we were looking into ways that I could utilize my position to make sustainability more common on our campus. My boss, Dr. Sarah Dawson, suggested one possible route could be recylced uniforms. This was something she saw advertised by a DI sports team, and we hoped to follow in their path. What we discovered was that the advertisement was for a promotional few games, rather than regular season wear, but this did not slow up down. We decided that our volleyball team was going to be the first D3 school to wear recycled uniforms for regular season.
I took on the project and worked with a company that makes recycled jersey material out of plastic bottles. They had never done collegiate uniforms previously, but were very willing to begin reaching into this market. My volleyball team was the 'guinea pig' team - not only for our athletic department, but for this company as well.
The uniforms lasted the entire season, and there was a lot of positive feedback - not only from the volleyball team but from the entire Lancaster community. The colors remained vivid, the stitching remained crisp, and there was minimal damage from wear and tear. "
Sustainable Uniforms: Our Impact
"The jerseys from one volleyball team is the equivalent of 200 water bottles being reused rather than entering a landfill. This relatively easy change can have a huge impact, and we hope that this movement continues to spread. Below is an outline of how far these jerseys have reached."