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Agenda

The ambition of recreational and professional athletes worldwide is a very simple one – to live a healthy, joyful, merely a better life. And though, for many decades, the sports industry as well as almost everyone involved – customers, clubs, federations and especially sports brands – haven’t treated our planet as they should have. The impact on our climate and the pollution of our environment have been massive. WINQS SPORTS wants to change that.

Many categories of our daily demand have experienced a significant shift towards sustainable processes. Nutrition, furniture, fashion companies, even investment funds are changing following the expectations of eco-conscious customers. However, the sports industry seems to have stayed reluctant to this cultural evolution. Most of our functional textiles, shoes or accessoiries are being produced in the same conventional way as twenty or thirty years ago. Petroleum-based materials like polyester are still the most popular (because cheapest) resource of product design. The biggest difference from now to then is the accelerated speed in which new products are thrown on the market – and then disappear again to land on landfills.

Sure, there are several amazing projects making sports “greener”, aware of the urgent need to act to save our planet. Movements that control and certify a sustainable production of specific products, like the Ecoboard project in the surfing community. Or small brands trying to change single subcategories, producing recycled backbacks or eco-friendly socks. Unfortunately, many companies, especially big players and their over-ambitious challengers have discovered sustainability as a cheap marketing tool. Almost daily they are now launching greenwashing campaigns to mask their real environmental footprint.

Quantity instead of quality. Growth instead of responsibility. The sporting goods manufacturers have become a major driver of the fast fashion industry.

Of course, sustainability is a complex issue, a dynamic concept of intertwined economic, environmental and social agendas (perhaps best embodied in the 17 sustainability development goals of the UN). But if we want to identify the most urgent issue of our time, it is climate change. For example, when focusing on the category of athletic footwear only – talking about running, basketball or football shoes – it is estimated that the global sports industry produces a breathtaking amount 15 billion tons of CO2 annually – as much as the whole United States or Germany, Italy and France combined. And when this might change? The biggest sporting goods manufacturers have announced carbon-neutrality for 2040, perhaps 2050. Too late.

This situation demands action.

Therefore, we have decided to launch WINQS SPORTS, a new project aiming at changing this business into a sustainable and fair industry. Soon we will provide more details. Until then we want to educate, inspire and provide orientation to everyone who wants to make better and more sustainable decisions when dealing with sports equipment. Enjoy our content and subscribe to our newsletter to receive an immediate message when our project is revealed.

Thank you.

Jan Kratochvil
Founder

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