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Dutch soccer federation enlists FC88 to upcycle surplus uniforms into unique gear for fans

Professional sports teams go through loads of uniforms. Besides suffering the wear and tear of intensive use, kits are regularly redesigned, featured sponsors come and go, players are transferred, excess items are ordered... Which all adds up to a substantial amount of waste. A few years ago, startup FC88 started tackling the issue by upcycling surplus and outdated team apparel into fan merchandise: everything from fanny packs and laptop sleeves to bucket hats and button-down shirts.

After working with various teams, primarily for one-off projects, FC88 is entering the big league. Last month, it announced a partnership with the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), the governing body of soccer in the Netherlands, which will see FC88 upcycling overstock from the Dutch soccer federation for the coming years. Upcycled items will be sold as exclusive fan merchandise on game days and through KNVBshop.nl. The collaboration establishes FC88 as the world's first 'official upcycling licensee' for soccer. 

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Traditionally, sports memorabilia has been about preserving moments in time — a signed ball or a jersey from a key match. Upcycled merchandise, on the other hand, redefines memorabilia as not just a way to remember the past but also to impact the future. By reworking unusable soccer kit, FC88 and KNVB are reducing waste while engaging fans in a meaningful way.

The collaboration demonstrates how sports teams can effectively align themselves with a growing consumer demand for sustainable practices. Others in the industry: how could you enable your fans to showcase their team colors while contributing to a greener world?

Innovation of the day