Team Estonia's Paris 2024 uniforms highlight sustainability

Estonia is proud to unveil Team Estonia's Collection for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics, designed by Estonian designer and researcher Reet Aus, Ph.D, and produced by Bangladesh Export Import Company (BEXIMCO).

Rowing Olympic Bronze Allar Raja and long jumper Ksenija Balta wearing Team Estonia kit. Photo: Reet Aus

Embracing the principles of a circular economy, this collection aims to reduce pre-and post-consumer waste and combat global warming. This innovative collection heralds a new era in Olympic clothing, combining industrial upcycling, recycling, and full transparency to create uniforms with minimal environmental impact. 

The Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK) is excited to partner with Reet Aus, a leader in sustainable fashion, to create this collection. "Choosing a sustainable path and collaborating with Reet Aus reflects our commitment to environmental responsibility. We are proud to support our athletes with uniforms that align with our values of sustainability and innovation," said Urmas Sõõrumaa, the president of the Estonian Olympic Committee. 

Rowing Olympic bronze, 5-time Olympian Allar Raja added that the clothes give him a retro vibe. „Very cool style, they are very light and fit athletes very well. I'm glad that they can be worn even after the Olympics.“

The Team Estonia collection features UPMADE®-certified T-shirts that are industrially upcycled, and denim products that are 100% recycled. The development of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Digital Product Passports for all items ensures complete transparency and traceability from production to end-of-life.

 Each product in the collection includes a QR code, providing full transparency about the manufacturing process, environmental impact, and guidance on repair, reuse, upcycling, and recycling. The LCA offers an overview of the collection's environmental and climate impact, ensuring every step of the production process is optimized for minimal environmental footprint.  

The T-shirts are crafted using UPMADE®’s industrial upcycling method, transforming production leftovers into high-quality garments. This process significantly reduces environmental impact, achieving remarkable reductions in water usage, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions compared to products made from virgin materials. 

Specifically, the production of the team's industrially upcycled T-shirts emitted just 0.6978 kg of CO2 equivalents, consumed 9.9050 MJ of energy, and used 0.0772 m³ of water, representing a 99% reduction in water use, 91% less energy consumption, and a 92% decrease in CO2 emissions.  

The 100% recycled denim fabric is developed at the BEXIMCO factory in Bangladesh. These products are composed of 50% recycled cotton offcuts from BEXIMCO, blended with 50% TENCEL™ Lyocell REFIBRA™ fibres for enhanced quality.

TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres, produced with REFIBRA™ technology, use pre- and post-consumer cotton textile waste in addition to cellulose. These cotton scraps would have otherwise ended up in landfills or been incinerated. The 100% recycled denim items use 98% less water in production compared to denim made from raw materials.  

This commitment to sustainability and circular design is exemplified in this groundbreaking collection. By leveraging industrial upcycling and recycled materials, the Team Estonia collection champions environmental responsibility and sustainability on the global stage.