Sloth9th May 2020
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We Interviewed Peter Lillie, the Commercial Director of Presca Teamwear about sustainability and the future of recycling.
Hi Peter, so what is it your company does?
Presca was founded in 2014, and we make performance-based sportswear out of recycled fishing nets and plastic bottles.
How does that work?
The plastic gets washed and melted down into pellets, then they get extruded into threads which can be used to make the material. Then it goes on to be cut and sewn into sportswear.
How important is it that we recycle?
The effort to reuse is critical right now. We need to start to see materials going to the right places. There are lots of useful and innovative ways to use recycled materials. We are reaching a point that we are starting to understand that we really need to slow down global warming, and recycling is a big part of that. The more we can and do recycle, the less we need to mine and produce new raw materials.
How did you get involved with this project?
My partners and I have backgrounds in commercial strategies, management, sports, and sustainability, and we all have the shared interest of cycling. It is a natural pairing as cyclists tend to love the environment too, so we wanted to find a way for sustainability and performance to work hand in hand. Without having to compromise one for the other.
You have sold to the consumer and made professional team wear, what is different about those?
It is tricky, we want to prove that those competing at the highest level can use our kit. Sports teams, all the way to the Olympics, what we make is technically advanced and suited to different activities. Even outdoor fitness and cycling, it might be recycled materials, but we have not made any compromise in ability. We want to show people that we make the best kit out there, and it is environmentally friendly.
What are the goals of Presca?
We have been going for 6 years and we are the only company we know of that does this and have done from the start. Other companies are starting to do it as a promotional thing, it gets good attention, but it isn’t their main goal.
Is the market improving or are people improving?
That doesn’t really matter, but I think it is a bit of both. What is important is that companies are now looking at sustainability and taking the issues seriously. It’s not just about recycling either, its about efficiency. Looking at how much energy we use to make something, which everyone has the incentive to do because that means saving money as well as the environment.
Are we on the right track?
I think so, people are open to change now and willing to make changes and difficult choices for the environment. We are getting better at it, and it is difficult but now is the best time. We need more leaders to signpost the way to a more sustainable future, the technology is getting there. There is a real want to make a difference now, and people are paying attention.
Do you have any favourite magazines?
Cycling Weekly and Outdoor Fitness, we’ve actually featured in both of them!
You can buy Cycling Weekly here.