MAYOR Ben Houchen has met two companies working together to create the first range of zero-waste sportswear after the revolutionary project secured £25,000 of funding.

The scheme is being led by Middlesbrough’s sustainable sportswear firm Presca, which was awarded the cash in the first phase of the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority’s Collaborative Networks Programme.

Working alongside recycling experts Poseidon Plastics, based at the Wilton Centre, and research experts at Teesside University, Presca is testing the technology and methods needed to recycle polyester fabric garments back into their constituent elements. This means the manufacturing process can begin again without the need for new materials, thereby taking a significant step towards creating a circular economy in the sportswear industry.

While the project was briefly paused due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first fabric tests have been completed with more currently ongoing. Following the proof-of-concept project Presca plans to launch the world’s first entire range of fully circular sportswear, starting with the announcement of the new Forever Tee which is now available to purchase at

Mr Houchen said: “Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are home to fantastic, innovative businesses, world-class research outfits and brilliant institutions - Presca, Poseidon and the University are excellent examples of these.

"We need to make sure all of our talent is working together to support each other’s growth and to drive the region forward in our ambitions.

"This collaborative spirit is all the more important as we begin to recover our economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We’ve seen the Tees Valley pull together with immediate responses to the outbreak, doing some great things in the process.

"Now we need to look to the future and back our businesses more than ever by giving them the funding they need to draw on expertise located right here and deliver on groundbreaking projects. Presca’s plans fit in really well with our clean energy ambitions. A lot of the time, we talk about low carbon and sustainability in terms of massive industrial schemes that may not mean much to the man on the street. But smaller-scale, more relatable, projects like this have the potential to revolutionise industries too."