STAND Up!: Transforming tennis racket strings into quality sportswear, a new start-up seeing the light in Spain
At Infinite Athletic they’re in an atmosphere of celebration. François Devy, Isaac Nogués and Francesc Jiménez are the three textile executives who created the first 100% circular sport apparel brand for the world of tennis. After being one of the 40 start-ups selected in the STAND Up! training sessions taken place in the first semester, this innovative idea is launching its own website and is ready to sell recycled garments through their ready-to-buy online shop.
Tennis racket strings transformed into quality sportswear. Selected by the Spanish partner, TEXFOR, they have worked hard in the involvement of the community (players, federations and tennis clubs) to develop their business model, which is based from a collection centre for rackets strings to a collection centre for end-of-life garments within the proper tennis club.
This start-up relies on its own mission, the 3C: circularity, chain and community. The use of raw materials that went to landfills is the key element of this project, which is not using chemicals and has made an eco-conception of the garment so that it is 100% recyclable. “We were able to refine our initial idea with STAND Up!, to create an ecosystem of common interests in circularity and sustainability”, they recognise.
A totally local production chain in less than 100kms between the raw material and the recycling point is also a successful element. They use ecological means of transport and the social impact goes for non-profit organisations. A remarkable issue is that they respect the prices of the chain to have a win-win scenario. “They helped us plan the communication part and commercial channels”, they add. In addition to this, they have added on top some technologies that increase sustainable value proposition (80% saving on water and 70% on CO2 emissions)
During the first part of the year, STAND Up! participated in the launch of the product with mentoring carried out by circular economy experts. “It allowed us to structure the product roadmap and the product launch thanks to the methodology of its platform”, they say. The fashion and textile entrepreneurs had the chance to set up their business model through The Switchers.org platform, in the framework of the Switchmed methodology developed by the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Production and Consumption (SCP/RAC).
Collecting garments in their own club solves a logistics problem and, in this way, the engagement of the tennis community is working. “We were able to learn and confirm our values, the features of the product and how to communicate it”, the three entrepreneurs point. After two years of participation in incubators and research, they are happy to see their disruptive business model see the light. The main idea of the Infinite Athletic is that the final product can be recycled “infinitely”.