Golf Magazine

There's No Such Thing as an Independent Sports Apparel Review

By Golfrefugees

There’s no such thing as an independent sports apparel review. The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Fundamentals of manufacturing textiles are based upon chemicals and sweatshops. So how come you never read about any of this when sports apparel is reviewed? Are these reviewers blind, stupid or paid directly or indirectly not to say anything negative? Rules of the reviewer game are; never mention sweatshop factories, never mention any of the hazardous chemicals used and never mention the pollution caused by untreated dye water. They all have such a narrow remit. The world’s population is increasing, more and more consumer products will have to be manufactured. How are we going to do this?  More efficiently, with less pollution, with focus upon cradle to grave design principles? It may be stupid of me to compare reviews of sport cars and sport apparel, but when I read about sports cars it always seems to mention their CO2 emissions. How technology is making them more efficient, year on year. I never read any of this about sports apparel. Hands up if you've ever read about the CO2 emissions of your polo shirt? Is there an explanation for this? Well, car manufactures have environmental obligations to meet. Across the range of vehicles they produce, brands have to meet CO2 targets. They also have to meet targets on recycling of materials for their products. Nike and adidas are the biggest names in the sports apparel business. They are also the biggest greenwashers. They both have ‘green’ PR strategies, which primarily exist to distract people’s attention away from the need to clean-up their supply chains. What about schemes from nike and adidias for recycling their sports apparel? Wouldn't it be cool to read that Tiger or Bolt or Ronaldo wear an ultra efficient, low carbon emission, low polluting shirt that can be returned and recycled?
Instead, they are sponsored to wear apparel manufactured in a sweatshop, infused with hazardous chemicals and where untreated dye water is washed away to pollute lakes and rivers in Asian countries. Obviously you are not going to read anything about the reality of textile manufacturing from independent apparel reviewers, only the brands marketing copy recycled by the numerous sport networks, channels, digital and printed media.

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