The initiative is part of a sustainability programme implemented by the competition with the aim of promoting environmental awareness. The project is being run in partnership with Infinite Athletic, a start-up that for the first time is recycling polyester from racket strings to create technical sportswear for tennis.
Five strings, one shirt. That's the simple equation that Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals and the start-up Infinite Athletic have come up with for the 2021 edition of the competition, which will be held from 25 November to 5 December with Madrid, once again, as the main venue.
Innsbruck (Austria) and Turin (Italy) are added this time as co-hosts of the group stage, with the Spanish capital hosting the Group A and B competition, two quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.
Event organisers, in collaboration with the official stringers of the 18 competing teams, will collect the strings that are discarded daily once matches or training sessions are completed. In total, around 1,100 strings will be recovered and transformed by Infinite Athletic into 230 100% recycled and recyclable technical sports shirts; 80% of the strings are made of polyester. Once the production process is completed, the shirts will be donated to the Region of Madrid so that in 2022 they can be used to promote sports activities among children and young people.
Enric Rojas, CEO of Kosmos Tennis: "Apart from the number of T-shirts that can be created, what we want to encourage with this partnership is a message that promotes the commitment to an increasingly sustainable world. We are faced with lots of possibilities on a daily basis to improve the use and life cycles of the products we use. It is also an honour to have the best stringers in the world join this initiative. We know that each national team chooses its best available stringer to be responsible for getting the rackets ready. So we would like to thank them all for their collaboration”.
Francesc Jiménez, CEO of Infinite Athletic: "We are proud that the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals is joining our initiative with this collaboration involving the best teams in the world. In doing so, we hope to spread our values and commitment to sustainability and recycling in the world of tennis. Racket strings are a single-use material that have never been recycled before. We are transforming them into technical sports clothing for tennis players, designing these clothes so that they can be infinitely recycled at the end of their useful life".
The strings will be collected in the area set up for the stringers in each of the 18 team changing rooms.
In addition, representatives of Infinite Athletic will give an educational talk to more than 300 children who will take part in the Kids Day hosted by event organisers on 24 November, the day before the start of the competition.