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Sustainability is in the industry a long time ago, and in the last few years have been adopted by the sports industry. Equipment manufacturers have seen this as a great opportunity to grow more and become attractive for existing and potential customers, as well as taking care of the environment at the same time.
Renewable-based materials are being incorporated in sports products and footwear. All those products initially made with real animal leather were now replaced with healthier versions. Many products of the sports equipment have leather elements included, using animal skin.
For one sports game to be attended, thousands of animals needed to be killed in order to provide their skin for the leather parts. And that absolutely made a bad impact on the environment, making it a worse place for us, people to live in. Many organizations are supporting animals’ lives and have raised their voice so companies can use alternatives and save the planet.
However, some solutions appeared and somehow contributed to sustainability. Recycling, reusing the products, and incorporating biodegradable, natural materials are some of the best options. As the world went vegan, industries have turned to vegan production as well. Vegan leather is a very good replacement for real animal leather. It is man-made and certainly makes no harm to those innocent animals.
This type of leather appears in many various types. Some of them are justifying the name ‘vegan’, as they are produced out of natural fibers and materials. But there is also another type of vegan leather that does not contain natural elements. We are talking about faux leather that is made of synthetic materials – polymers. One of the two polymers used for synthetic leather products is PU (polyurethane), and the other one is PVC (polyvinyl chloride. As the names say, it is about a plastic material that can create a similar texture as real leather. Most importantly, they are very good at recycling materials. If you compare these two with the leather, you can notice that the harm all of them are making is quite the same.
However, there is one material that stands a step up from these 3 and it is eco-supported. TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, and it is produced of synthetic materials. Mostly similar to PU, this material might be the best for now in the sporting industry. Many companies have already been using it, showing a range of qualities and benefits.
Which sports products are made of TPU and what benefits it provides to the user?
Most soccer balls are made of synthetic materials, and TPU might be the best one. It is cheaper, and it provides wear and tears resistance. Good elasticity is another benefit it provides. We shouldn’t forget that low-temperature resistance is important for a soccer ball. The combination of TPU leather and other elements, such as foam layer is making the ball softer and definitely last longer, being resistant to stains and abrasion.
Both types of volleyball require different materials, in some cases similar. The best indoor volleyball is made of synthetics, with TPU as the main and most used. The elasticity and resistance to scratches are really good reasons to choose TPU for volleyball. Undoubtedly, the easy and slowly recycling process is what makes it more attractive to sports manufacturers. We should mention that TPU is a cheaper material, so the price for a volleyball ball made of eco material might not be a bad idea.
With more than one feature, TPU is a good sporting material even used for basketball equipment. The surface of the ball that is made of TPU offers good elasticity and has wear resistance. Apart from this, the benefits of being resistant to oil, cold, and water, TPU eco basketball becomes more popular and attractive. Best Indoor Basketball made with TPU should have high quality and long duration of the ball, that will provide the same lasting effect as the real leather does.
Using TPU is certainly a better choice than PVC and leather if you want to make a good impact on environmental sustainability. By purchasing and using eco-friendly sporting products you will help sports brands create more eco sports goods, and certainly in saving the environment