As a regular user of boxing gloves myself, I know that Everlast is a very popular brand that has a variety of affordable boxing equipment. Despite being a huge company, Everlast continues their unjust and unsustainable practices and turns a blind eye to all of this. Everlast has the capacity to do better, but for some unethical reason is unable to sacrifice any of their annual revenue of $57.9 million USD to improve the planet’s condition and help those living on it. Everlast’s Pro Style Training Boxing Gloves are currently priced at $44.99 as stated on their website. The only sustainable alternative available is Sanabul’s Los Cactus, which are partially biodegradable boxing gloves made organically with plant-based leather. The leather is made out of nopal cactus leaves and is currently priced at $250. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any sustainable alternative to Everlast’s gloves that are similar in price, which is more the reason to hold Everlast and other fitness equipment brands accountable for their harmful practices and evoke change!
These Everlast boxing gloves are made with synthetic leather and mesh. Synthetic or faux leather is made with PU (polyurethane) and or PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which are both plastics that are chemically processed to become a leather-like textile. Synthetic materials are not sustainable because they require so much energy to chemically process the material, contributing to pollution from fossil fuels. Additionally, synthetic textiles contribute to microfiber and microplastic pollution as they do not fully biodegrade. In comparison to genuine leather, synthetic leather is unfortunately more unsustainable. Both materials do not biodegrade easily, but in the long run, genuine leather is more likely to biodegrade because it is produced from organic materials.
Mesh fabric is sheer and has many tiny holes, and is made predominantly using polyester or nylon. Polyester and nylon are plastics derived from petroleum oil and are non-biodegradable. The petroleum oil industry negatively impacts the environment through greenhouse gas emissions and is actually the number one pollutant in the world. Both synthetic materials require a lot of energy and water to produce, and are overall extremely unsustainable.
Everlast could very easily use bio-nylon which is made from renewable resources as an alternative to nylon. For polyester, a popular alternative is recycled PET plastic which is made from recycled plastic bottles. However, the issue here lies in the fact that recycled PET plastic is still plastic and it does not biodegrade. It is embarrassing that Everlast chooses to use the most unsustainable materials for this product considering how popular the brand is for their boxing gloves.
Synthetic leather is chemically produced and is heavily reliant on energy from fossil fuels as it is often made from PU or PVC. PU is definitely more sustainable between it and PVC, as PU is at least recyclable. However, both materials are petrochemical-based, meaning that they are derived from petroleum--an extremely unsustainable industry.
The mesh used on these gloves is produced by plastics going through extensive chemical processes to achieve a fiber-like form. Then these fibers are woven to become different types of material, such as mesh. Because the production of mesh using nylon or polyester is very energy-heavy and is derived from plastic and crude oils, it is outright unsustainable.
Despite Everlast’s large impact on the boxing and fitness industries, they have chosen to use cheap materials that are harmful for the environment. This is extremely disappointing, as their profits are more than capable of sustaining materials that are better for the planet.
Everlast has one known manufacturing facility in Moberly, Missouri, and another that was in the Bronx, New York but has stopped its operation as of 2003. Their boxing equipment is manufactured at their Missouri facility. Other products are sourced elsewhere, but it is unclear as to where exactly their other products are manufactured. We can assume that they are sourced from Sports Direct. Unfortunately, it is also unclear as to where Sports Direct manufactures their products.
Sports Direct is Everlast’s parent company, a massive corporation founded in the UK. Sports Direct’s warehouses located in the UK have awful working conditions, as factory workers are not permitted lunch or bathroom breaks if they do not reach their quota. A former employee even got fired because she refused to work overtime without pay.
It is no surprise that Everlast has unethical practices when it comes to manufacturing their products. Judging by the materials they use, it is evident that Everlast only cares about low costs and high profits. Additionally, Everlast provides no direct information about how their products are manufactured. All of the information regarding their factories originate from outside sources. This lack of transparency is dangerous and definitely concerning.