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Asics to turn used clothing into Japan's Olympic uniforms

Novak Djokovic's feet, above the court at the Australian Open in 2018 Image copyright Getty Images

Sportswear brand Asics will recycle used clothing to make the official uniforms for Japan's Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The uniforms will be worn by the home team at next year's games in Tokyo.

Asics hopes to gather 30,000 items through collection boxes in stores and at sporting events.

It comes as the fashion industry faces increasing pressure to make more sustainable clothing.

Asics said the uniforms will be made from polyester extracted from donated items.

Other recyclable materials extracted from the items collected will be turned into fuel, among other uses, the firm said.

Sustainability push

The fashion industry more broadly has been under increasing pressure to make its practices more sustainable.

A parliamentary committee in the UK last year raised concerns about the waste the fashion industry generates, as well as its growing impact on climate.

Some brands, such as Burberry, have troubled environmental groups by destroying unsold clothes and accessories in an effort to prevent them from being stolen or sold cheaply.

UN concern

The UN said the global fashion industry contributes around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

To grow enough cotton for a single pair of jeans requires about 10,000 litres of water, which is enough to supply a person with drinking water for ten years, the UN said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Huge amounts of water are needed to farm cotton

Cumulatively, the fashion industry produces about 20% of global waste water.

About 85% of textiles end up in landfills or are incinerated.

However, the 2018 Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report found a 6% improvement over the previous year in general sustainability efforts across the industry.

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