Not only does the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) promise to be one of the biggest sporting extravaganzas in the country, it plans to keep the show small in its carbon footprint too.
And doing its bit to help the organisers achieve their goal is the famed hosiery industry of Ludhiana — otherwise notorious for its pollution record — with ‘green kits’.
Contracts have been received to produce the eco-friendly sportswear to be worn by IPL team owners like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, the Ambanis, their players and the lakhs of fans expected to buy them as souvenirs.
What makes kits eco-friendly
Carbon footprint is the measure of the ‘environment-killer’ carbon dioxide (CO2) released in any activity by way of energy consumed to produce goods or carry out any work.
And the specially designed “carbon neutraliser” clothing cuts down on the vital count at every stage of production — from raw materials to packaging. The result: from the average 6-8 kg CO2 released in the environment per garment, it will be as low as 3.5 –4.5 kg per ‘dri-fit garment’ being produced.
Different units have contracts to produce 16 lakh such kits.
Arun Dhand, owner of Ankita Impex, producing for Reebok, says: “We imported special raw materials, including polyester, which is sourced from recycling. Its carbon credentials have been scientifically established.”
Reebok is supplying to Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers, Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab. Another global brand, Adidas, has given the contract to two other city-based firms — Knitwell Apparels and Ankita Impex’s sister concern run by Dhand’s son Anuj — to provide the kits to Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils.
But a small carbon footprint is not the only quality of the green kits. These are also 16 per cent lighter than the previous year’s kits, and designed to keep the wearer drier, cooler and, thus, more comfortable. The fabric carries the sweat to its outer surface much quicker, thus facilitating fast evaporation. Then there are ‘ventilation zones’ — essentially, laser-cut holes — that enhance ‘breathability’ of the garment.
As this is the second time the local units are fabricating sportswear for the IPL, workers at the factories have their loyalties too. For Jugraj, it is Royal Challengers. “It was a proud moment when I saw team owner Vijay Mallaya wearing the shirt tailored by me. This time, I’ve asked to be again put on the unit stitching for Royal Challengers,” he says.
Sanjay has been inscribing ‘best of luck’ on every carton containing kits for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s daredevils.