Younger generations' engagement, participation and passion are critical to the future of any sport. Golf is fortunate to have a strong and dedicated youth development organization called First Tee helping shape a bright future for the lives of the youth and the game of golf.
Making a positive difference is core to the WYLD1 ethos. From day one we have been identifying solutions to minimize our environmental impact to help ensure golf’s future. Secondly, we felt it was important to demonstrate stewardship for the game of golf by partnering with organizations that help improve golf access opportunities. First Tee is a valued partner who is making a positive difference in the lives of youth and introducing them to the game of golf.
WYLD1 spoke with Justin Ratte of First Tee Greater Portland to help educate our members and followers on the great work of the First Tee and the status of youth golf.
“Since 1997, First Tee has brought character education through the game of golf to millions of young people from all backgrounds every year. We have a powerful mission to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices,” said Justin Ratte.
“In our youth development program, we focus on creating a fun and meaningful culture of selfimprovement, good sportsmanship, community, and supporting each other's growth. We seamlessly integrate the game of golf to teach life skills and reinforce values like integrity, respect and perseverance. Companies like WYLD1 that are actively improving the community are important for golf, and for us to achieve our mission of positively impacting the youth with life lessons.”
Golf experienced a strong resurgence during the pandemic. According to the NGF, golf saw its largest increase of golfers in 17 years with a record number of new players and the biggest gain in youth golfers since 1997.
Like all organizations, First Tee faced significant challenges in evolving operations to ensure the health and safety of participants and staff. During this time of significant golf expansion Justin and First Tee put in serious overtime to quickly implement new safety protocols and to help prepare the growing number of youth golfers for their life journey on and off the course. The hard work paid off with over 3.7 million youth directly impacted through First Tee in 2020.
WYLD1 couldn't be prouder to partner with this great organization and the amazing people who make it happen. The future of golf is in great hands.
We encourage everyone to learn more about the powerful work of First Tee and help donate to future game changers: https://www.firstteegreaterportland.org/
The word sustainable is defined as “capable of being sustained.” Sustainable apparel is a movement toward greater ecological and social responsibility. Holistically apparel sustainability is complex and multi-dimensional due to numerous parties directly involved in the textile system that also interconnect with social, financial, nature, and the future of our planet.
A few areas that are the driving forces behind the apparel sustainable movement which also correlate with larger climate change and social matters.
- Growing consumer apparel demand and synthetic fiber usage
- Global apparel produces 400% more apparel than 40 years ago
- Garment lifecycle has dropped to 7 uses before being trashed
- 65% of clothing produced is made from synthetic fibers derived from petroleum
- Greater apparel demand impacts a variety of ecological and social areas
- 23% of global chemicals developed are for textile industry
- 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile industry
- 1.5 trillion liters of water are used each year from textile industry
- 190,000 tons of textile microplastic fibers are going into the ocean every year
- 5.2% of waste in landfills are textiles
- 70 million barrels annually of oil are used to make polyester
- 72% of synthetic apparel fibers can sit in landfills up to 200 years
- 70 million trees are cut down every year to produce fabrics with wood basis
- 80% of leather production uses Chromium (toxic chemical)
- Soil degradation due to overgrazing of animals used for textiles and chemicals used to grow plants for textiles
- Increased labor force to build textiles that have led to many unethical and safe workforce practices and conditions
- It is estimated the the textile industry now contributes 10% of global carbon emissions and by 2050 growth projections could reach 25% of the worlds carbon budget
While we cannot verify all of these numbers from a variety of sources and there is certainly a need for additional scientific research to be conducted; it is straightforward that the global apparel resource needs and ecological impact are considerable based on its large size and high growth in the past 40 years.
Going back to where we started, brands with sustainability approaches are identifying and implementing means for heightened ecological and social responsibility. A few of these include:
- Designs that create less waste
- Designs and construction that helps garments last longer
- Wearing versatility to reduce the number of products you need
- Responsible materials and sourcing through
- Responsible production that helps reduce/eliminate greenhouse gas output, energy usage, hazardous chemicals usage and waste, water usage and waste; and employees fair and safe working conditions and pay
- Wear and care education to elongate life of the garment and reduce environment impact associated with washing
- Packaging that is biodegradable, recyclable or reusable
- Effective logistics to reduce transportation resources
- Afterlife education and programs to reuse, donate and recycle garments
- Awareness and education of apparel ecological and social impact
A few published benefits of brands adopting sustainable first approaches include:
- Recycled polyester production requires 59% less energy, emits 32% less carbon emissions than virgin polyester
- Organic cotton uses up to 71% less water than conventional cotton
- Auditing and certification to help end UNICEFs estimated 170 million children employed in textile industry
- Increasing clothing lifecycle/wearing by 9 months is projected to reduce carbon and water footprints 20-30% each
- Reduction of animal slaughtering for leather which is estimated at 430 million animals a year
Again, to be transparent we cannot validate these statistics from numerous sources but we can logically conclude that sustainable choices; and more conscious purchasing, wearing and caring choices reduces environment impact and can improve fair and safe work conditions.
WYLD1 is pioneering solutions through our carefully orchestrated Go Scratch sustainable-first approach to help the future of our planet and golf thrive. We recognize there is no perfect sustainable solution but we won't stop trying to find it. Below are a few of the sustainable and responsible solutions we employ:
- Low wasted designs
- High proportions of renewable, regenerative, and natural materials
- Partner responsibility certification requirements
- Durable construction and timeless designs
- Chemical management guidelines
- Carbon shipping offsets and carbon neutral goal by 2023
- Renewable energy powered office and warehouse
- Fair and safe work environment policies
- Recycled, recyclable and biodegradable packaging
We drive ourselves and our partners to raise the standard in responsible production. WYLD1 carefully selects our partners to ensure they have practices and accreditations that are aligned with our sustainability, safety and ethics vision. Key certifications we seek from our partners include bluesign, WRAP, GRS, GOTS, FLA, ISO, and OekO-tex. We also look for partners that go beyond certifications with human wellness; and water, chemical waste and energy management practices. Water usage and pollution, and carbon emissions are important climate impact areas we are driving to minimize with our Go Scratch goals.
Ultimately, we all play a role in building a better and more sustainable future by making conscious choices surrounding apparel. Below are simple ways we can all help:
- Selective purchasing
- Purchase less
- Seek sustainable brands and products with high quality levels and styles/designs that will last
- Identify more versatile pieces that can be worn across multiple wearing occasions
- Smart wear and care
- Reduce washing needs that also have negative environmental impact and can decrease the life of your product. Certain fibers such as wool have odor management properties that also help in decreasing need to wash your garment.
- Take care and repair products to elongate their life
- A 2nd Life
- Donate your clothes to charity, friend or family
- Sell your clothes through second hand retailers
- Recycle your clothes. 90% of discarded textiles can be recycled.
Golf as a sport and a community continues to make progress it helping make everyone feel welcome but barriers still exist. We would like to highlight a few programs and organizations that are helping to build a promising golf future for all:
- PGA Tour Diversity and Inclusivity
- USGA Future Leaders
- LPGA Womens Network
- Minority Golf Association
- Black Girls Golf
- American Junior Golf Association
- National Golf Foundation
- Mexican American Golf Association
- We Are Golf
- First Tee
WYLD1™ believes golf is for everyone. We will use our voice and business to help build an equal playing field for everyone to play golf, feel welcome and grow their love for the game. We feel every person should have the right to enjoy this unique integrity based outdoor sport that fosters camaraderie, and provides health and emotional benefits. We acknowledge barriers have and continue to prevent people from playing the great game of golf.
We seek partners with that share our inclusivity and diversity values. We contribute to clubs, courses and organizations who are helping improve golf access opportunities which currently includes several clubs and the First Tee.
Join us in this movement to build a better inclusive future for golf.
Golf has a rich history of social and environment stewardship.
Socially in Scotland, the birthplace of golf, most (590+) golf courses are open to the public and are regularly utilized for golf of course, but also walking and jogging. Professional golfing tours connection to local charities goes back 60+ years. The PGA recently announced it surpassed $3 billion in charitable giving and they set a goal to accelerate its future donations to another $1 billion in the next four years. This large level of philanthropic donations is the most of any major sport.
Professional tours and other golf organizations have also implemented a variety of programs build a better future for golf by continuing to open up access for more people to golf. Lastly, according to Forbes and NGF in the US golf generates $84 billion in economic activity that drives nearly 2 million jobs and $59 billion in compensation; reaches over 109 million people; and 34 million people participated in golf annually.
The rise of todays environment crises has put additional pressure on everyone to find new and innovative ways to reduce environmental footprint and golf is no exception. The future of golf will be at risk since as it is one of several outdoor sports that is directly interconnected with the health of our planet.
There are multiple organizations that understand this urgency and have developed sustainable programs to educate golf courses and golfers; implement new sustainable solutions to reduce water, energy, chemical and waste; and help natural habitats, wildlife and eco-systems. Below are a few of these sustainable programs and organization:
There are many areas that golf is actively working on to build a more sustainable future. A few of these areas include:
- Design: harmoniously integrate the natural environment with minimal earth movement; efficient grass species and reduced non-native grass; wildlife sanctuaries; effective water management plans; and lower maintenance requirements.
- Water conservation: reclaimed/recycled/gray water usage is growing and requires significantly less fresh drinking water which is becoming a large global environment issue; and designated and prioritized areas to receive watering.
- Grass selection: new grass species are being introduced across new and existing courses that require significantly (up to 50%) less water and maintenance.
- Water management: effective irrigation and drainage with modern effective technology; water harvesting; and watering in evening when evaporation levels are lower.
- Energy: greater use of solar power to recharge for electric golf carts and maintenance equipment; enhanced machinery and service to reduce energy usage; and devised management programs and reduce time and and resources.
- Soil: promoting natural soil biology with reduced needs for supplemental nutrients; and aids filtering and microbial breakdown of potential pollutants
- Maintenance standards: enhanced maintenance standards that outline how all aspects of a course are up-kept to reduce energy, pesticide protocols and resources.
- Waste Management: programs to compost all green waste; recycling of all maintenance and consumer waste; and utilizing specialized program for any chemical waste.
- Wildlife & biodiversity: designating protected areas and implementing management practices for wildlife and biodiversity
- Walking: eliminating or recommending walking rather than carts to reduce energy usage.
- Cultural control: natural environment utilization for maintaining course with timely and specified modern pesticide applications only when necessary that have reduced negative environment impact.
- Tree and shrub management: utilization of native trees and shrubs that require little to no additional water or nutrients; and proper placement to mitigate additional resources and nutrients needed to maintain grass and other vegetation.
Golf courses who want demonstrate their adoption and adherence to sustainability programs can receive certifications. The GEO Foundation and Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program (ACSP) are two of the most popular certifications.
We also want to point out a few examples of highly recognized courses have made strong efforts to become more sustainable:
- Pinehurst No. 2: a recent restoration integrated many sustainable enhancements including removal of all rough reducing managed turf 44% and improve water conservation; reintroduction of natural areas across 35 acres; 650 irrigation heads were removed; 200,000 native plants were added; seeding was eliminated during winter months; weed control was changed to integrated pest management (IPM) strategies with specific herbicides; and concrete cart paths were removed.
- Chambers Bay: built on a former gravel and sand mine Chambers is Certified Silver Audubon Signature Sanctuary that has made progressive sustainability efforts: converts bio-solid waste into fertilizer; ample wildlife habitat; reduced water needs by about 20% through a satellite-managed irrigation system with weather-monitoring; walking only; fine native fescue grass which is drought tolerant and requires minimal non-native nutrients; and public park integration.
- Pebble Beach: to help uphold its serene natural coastline setting Pebble Beach has implemented a many of sustainability practices: recycled water usage; organic slow release fertilizers; hand weed management; IPM strategy implementation; property recycling and composting practices; and1,000 acres of natural open space, including planting thousands of native, drought-resistant plants and trees each year.
WYLD1 felt it was long overdue that a golf brand also took a progressive approach to help protect the future of our planet and golf courses through a sustainable first apparel approach. We also didn't want people to have to feel they were compromising between the powerful apparel performance and sustainability.
Purchasing sustainable golf gear may not appear to directly relate to your role in helping to reduce environment impact and helping ensure a positive future for golf. It makes a difference. The global apparel industry is well documented environmental polluter by generating CO2, water pollution and waste.
WYLD1™ does our utmost to minimize environmental impact through our carefully orchestrated “Go Scratch” sustainable first approach. We recognize there is no perfect solution but we won't stop trying to find it. Below are a few of the sustainable solutions we employ:
A phrase WYLD1™ often uses is "The Future Is In Your Hands". This is a intentional double entendre as we have set out to build a new future standard of performance apparel that is sustainable produced but it also falls on all of us to accept the challenge to help make a positive difference on environmental impact to ensure a positive future for golf.
Thermal Drive™ fabric is a performance blend of graphene and spandex for superior stretch and auto-thermal regulation. Graphene is allotrope of carbon consisting of a single layer of atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice. Its an eco-friendly, sustainable solution found in WYLD1™ Quarter Zips.
Let's learn more about what makes Graphene a worthy SuperNatural Performance™ offering from WYLD1. Graphene is:
- The thinnest compound known at one atom thick
- The lightest material known
- The strongest material know
- The best conductor of heat at room temperature
- The best conductor of electricity
- Very flexible
Wow, thats a strong start! Carbon by mass, is one of the most abundant elements known in the universe. Its abundance makes it a potential great sustainable solution. However, it wasn't until 2012 that eco-friendly production of graphene was discovered by effectively separating graphene from a reusable metallic board which it is grown. This new process eliminated the toxic waste created from previous production options paving the pathway to sustainable Graphene applications.
There are also a variety of emerging eco-friendly Graphene production processes including using eucalyptus bark and tea leaves to extract in the synthesis of graphene sheets.
Graphene has huge potential to transform many areas due to versatility and superior properties. Significant global research is currently underway to understand how to utilize Graphene's power in batteries, water filters, energy, computers, DNA sequencing, electronic display screens, and textiles.
Enhanced Graphene textiles are just hitting the market and offer a number of incredible benefits including boosted thermal regulation, durability, self-cleaning, breathability, flexibility, protection, and tech integration. There is significant ongoing research and experimentation with Graphene use in textiles that will continue to push the boundaries on how this unique and all-powerful material could revolutionize future textiles.
We hope you are as excited as we were when learning about Graphene and now understand why it rightfully achieves Supernatural Performance™ standards for use in WYLD1™ gear.
WYLD1's™ Positive Energy is an innovative blend of natural SeaCell™, Supima cotton and spandex. SeaCell™ uses a patented process that embeds Knotted Wrack seaweed firmly within a natural cotton cellulose fiber. As a result, the positive properties of the seaweed are permanently preserved within the fiber. It's SuperNatural Performance™ benefits include maximum comfort, stretch, breathability, and skin enrichment and defense. Positive Energy™ can be found in our polos and tees.
Let's learn more about what makes SeaCell™ a worthy SuperNatural Performance™ fiber. It is regenerative, biodegradable and carbon neutral fiber ground from certified organic seaweed called Knotted Wrack (Ascophyllum nodossum), which is found in the Icelandic fjords.
The seaweed used in SeaCell is carefully harvested cutting above its regenerative base once every four years by Smartfiber AG. After harvesting they wash, dry and ground the seaweed without additional chemical usage.
Later, wood pulp is added and through Lyocell production process that includes a solvent-spinning process where the solution is filtered and spun to form filaments. Lyocell production is a top-notch Oeko-Tex Standard 100 sustainable process with no chemicals released as waste.
SeaCell™ has a plethora of signature benefits from the nutrients of seaweed being retained in the fiber including supreme comfort; soft touch against skin; breathability; biodegradability and vegan; moisture absorption; and is believed to facilitate transfer minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins to skin while also providing skin defense from environment.
While additional scientific evidence is needed to verify the believed skin enrichment and defense benefits of incorporating seaweed into fibers, the long list of comfort, performance and sustainability benefits of using SeaCell™ make it a fantastic SuperNatural Performance™ fibre for use in WYLD1™ gear.
Click here to learn more about SeaCell™ and various certification and tests conducted to verify its benefits and sustainability.
Merino wool is a key ingredient found in WYLD1™ polos? Why, many reasons:
- Biodegradability: wool is a naturally biodegradable fiber. It will biodegrade within a year when buried in the ground. Unlike synthetic fibers that won't actively biodegrade and remain in the environment for many years.
- Comfort: wool is flexible fine fiber that is soft, conforming and comfortable next to skin.
- Temperature Regulation: wool has very powerful active property that releases heat and cools based on the next-to-skin and external environment feedback.
- Moisture Management: wool absorbs moisture (up to 30% of its own weight) and proactively releases this moisture back as evaporation.
- Odor Suppression: wool absorbs odor based molecules trapping the smell.
- UV Protection: wool has natural UV protection capabilities that don't require additional fabric treatments
- Durability: the wave structure of wool fibers allows it to stretch up to 20% while still retaining form.
We take this ultra fine and soft merino and technically blend it with Innergy nylon which is functionalized with bio minerals that boost peripheral microcirculation and thermo comfort levels. The result is enhanced thermal regulation; structure retention; moisture wicking; and superior stretch to amplify active endeavors.
So what are the critical elements in place on responsible Merino sourcing? Great question. While WYLD1 doesn't have the ability to personally visit all the farmers, we proactively work with our sourcing partners and suppliers to ensure proper grower ethic standards are established and adhered. A few of these include:
- Strong grower history with accreditation and auditing
- Adequate land to allow sheep freedom to roam with shelter and shade
- Regular sheep health and welfare checks to ensure they are properly fed, have adequate water access and are free from illness and disease
- Humane practices for handling and shearing the sheep
A core value and purpose of WYLD1™ is to reduce environmental impact through sustainable gear development and practices.
Please join us in helping to continue improving sustainability through the following wear, care and recycling practices:
Taking care of your gear to increase its life is an easy way to reduce waste and gain extended value from your investment. To help increase gear life durability and life WYLD1™ uses robust fibers and development techniques such as reinforced seams and stitching.
In many of our products we utilize natural fibers that are breathable and odor resistant increasing ability to wear multiple times before cleaning is needed.
When your gear needs to be cleaned, please follow these guidelines to reduce environment impact and increase gear life
- Machine washing: use warm or cold water
- Turn garments inside out
- Use a friendly or mild soap/detergent
- Avoid bleach and fabric softeners as it can destroy many natural fiber benefits
- Avoid high heat as it can shrink garments
- Machine dying: we recommend air drying, or tumble dry on low
- When air drying use a drying rack or towel that will allow you to lay the garment flat and reduce potential shape distortion
- Removing wrinkles: we recommend steaming followed by ironing on low setting
- If ironing make sure to read garment care label as many synthetic fibers cannot be ironed
- Turn your garment inside out
- Holes or tears: if possible a needle and some thread can solve many small tears without refined sewing skillset. There are also professional tailoring and alteration businesses that can usually provide assistance at low cost.
- Dry-cleaning: most gear can be dry-cleaned but please read care label to double-check
Sadly Americans throw away about 81 pounds of clothing every year. Below are recommendations to follow to increase sustainability when departing with your gear:
- If the gear is still functional donate to someone in need who will give your gear its second life
- You can also sell your garments to thrift shops to extend the life of the garment
- Up-cycle and find a new creative use for the gear to give it a new life
- Recycle your garments. Yes you can recycle! Click the links below to find out more:
Earth Day continues to gain awareness and humanity is making solid strides to help our environment and support sustainability. We find it strange that this movement hasn't had a larger impact on golf since it is one of the few sports where the environment is critical to the future of the game.
A key purpose of WYLD1™ is to be proactive stewards of the golf game and the environment. We hope to bring awareness and inspire active change to how golfers view environment protection and sustainability. We don't claim to have the perfect sustainability solution but we intend to make conscious choices and plans to put us on a pathway to be seen as environment brand leader in the future.
We ask that you join us in making the decision to purchase gear with and eco-friendly approach to help the future of our planet and golf.
Lastly, don't forget the small details that add up (biodegradable tees, recycling, etc) and it doesn't hurt to ask the course you regularly play about their efforts to help our environment.
Its Always On Earth Day at WYLD1!