CEBIC leads conversation on sustainability in sport

Published: 27 October 2022
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From left to right: Annabel Sides from Green Planet Sport, Michael Elias from Upparel and Kate Dundas from Sustainability Victoria.

The Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC) recently supported a conversation on sustainability in sport. The Circularity of Sport event, led by partners Green Planet Sport and Let Me Be Frank and made possible by event sponsor Game On Recycling, brought the sports industry together on Thursday 13 October at Sustainability Victoria's office.

The event was the first of its kind and brought together a cross section of Australian sports organisations, grassroots clubs and design innovators who are leading the sports industry revolution.

Session one saw a stellar lineup of speakers discuss the opportunities and challenges of working towards a reduction in waste for uniforms, merchandise and sports equipment. The speakers for this session included:

  • Kate Dundas, Sustainability Victoria Acting Chief Operating Officer
  • Brad Morris, MYAMI Studio Founder
  • Amelia Crook, Ownershift Founder
  • Michael Elias, Upparel CEO and Founder.

Industry stakeholders and partners were invited to hear about the exciting opportunities evolving in circular sports business models and design. Session 2 covered the field of play equipment with the following speakers:

Encouraging global thinking and local action, the morning was filled with presentations, candid conversations and a hands-on mini hackathon. The hackathon used a 'Wheel of Action' to show the principles of designing out waste and pollution, and keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible.

The opportunity to include and engage sporting heroes featured in many of the talks. The power of their influence helps deliver messages around adopting design models that protect the future of sport and our environment.

Many sports organisations and brands are switching from a business model underpinned by growing consumption to leading sustainable sport design. They are also working to extend the life of products and materials, while adopting upcycle and recycle practices across the industry.

Better design can unlock opportunity, reduce waste, support circular practices and embed feedback loops to put innovators on the path of continuous improvement. For example, it was noted on the day that high-performance sports clothing doesn’t need to be made from plastic as there are natural fibre options available, such as compostable cotton.

The Circularity of Sport event kicked off an important conversation about waste in the sports industry through vast amounts of play equipment, merchandise and uniforms. It is part of a global movement guided by the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Get involved

We encourage you to sign up for the ongoing community of practice led by Green Planet Sport and Let Me Be Frank.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch a recording of the event.