Bangkok Prep Drive to Create Sustainable Sports Uniforms
• Bangkok Prep is the first school in Thailand to partner with the global athletic leader New Balance to provide sustainable sport uniforms and leisurewear.
• At Bangkok Prep, currently there are about 700+ athletes across the whole school competing in 14 different sports, among the top league of international schools in Thailand, and around Asia, in BISAC and FOBISIA events.
Bangkok Prep is driving the use of sustainable fabric in its new range of sports uniforms – which are made-to-order fabrics created from 100% recycled PET plastic bottles.
It all started six years ago, when members of the Student Council expressed their concerns over plastic rubbish found on the playing fields. From there, Bangkok Prep joined the Eco-Schools award scheme which is one of the child-led initiatives and student-centred approaches to environmental learning at Bangkok Prep. Three years later, through much hard work and a visit from Eco-Schools, Bangkok Prep became the 1st school in Thailand, and 2nd in the world, to receive the Eco-Schools Green Flag Award – which is the highest level of recognition from the Eco-Schools organisation.
“Bangkok Prep’s Eco team has been working continuously to promote sustainability within the school,” commented Duncan Stonehouse, Head of School. “At the school shop, we have replaced plastic wrappers with recycled paper packaging. Everybody in the school uses refillable water bottles. We have installed solar rooftop panels with block chain-based energy trading within the community and many more environmental focused actions taking place at our school. This New Balance sustainable sports uniform will be our first milestone in bringing sustainability into the school uniform range.”
This new multi-year partnership with New Balance, serviced by KE Foundation, has pledged to help promote sustainability by using sustainable fabrics, supporting a reforestation project with 16,000 new trees planted every year, using recyclable cardboard boxes for the shipping and using no harmful chemicals or PVC in accessories. Also, all cardboard boxes used are made of pre- and post-consumer pulp and are 100% recyclable. All inks used on boxes are eco-friendly and are soy-based. The impact for Bangkok Prep’s upcoming school year is the repurposing of approximately 6,500+ individual plastic bags not used.
“New Balance is a leader in taking significant action in ensuring a healthier planet,” said Samuel Yang, CEO of The KE Foundation, the official New Balance licensee to supply schools throughout Asia with NB sports teamwear. “We are very excited to be working with some selective schools in Asia. Bangkok Prep is taking the lead in becoming the 1st school in Thailand to drive for the whole sustainable sportswear range.”
New Balance will supply Bangkok Prep with sports uniforms and accessories including the PE kit, coach and PE teachers uniforms, new ‘Bangkok Prep Bulldogs’ sports team uniforms for Basketball, Football, Rugby, Touch Rugby, Volleyball, Badminton, Tennis, Golf, Climbing, Netball, Athletics and Cross Country and a sports hat, gym and leisure wear, such as hoodies and leggings.
“New Balance’s quality assurance guarantee will be ensured through a fully collaborative process including graphic design, high quality fabric, sampling, inspection and delivery. Currently, we have 700+ athletes across the whole school competing in 14 different sports, among the top league of international schools in Thailand, and around Asia; in BISAC and FOBISIA events. This PE and sportswear collection, in collaboration with NB, will be a great addition to our sports department, where style meets quality and functionality,” stated Michael McFarlane, Director of Sport at Bangkok Prep.
Clare Magee, Bangkok Prep Eco Team leader, had the following to add: “Bangkok Prep sees the change of uniforms as an excellent opportunity to show that sustainability means more than just recycling water bottles, or sending rubbish to recycling centres: it’s also about what you wear.”