• Kyodo

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Apparel-maker Asics Corp. began calling Thursday for donations of used sportswear items which it plans to turn into official uniforms for Japan’s team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The company will provide apparel for athletes in competitions and at medal ceremonies, and plans to extract polyester fibers from the collected items and turn them into fabric for clothing and footwear.

It aims to collect around 30,000 items for the project by the end of May via donation boxes at sports venues and sporting goods stores.

Recently retired wrestler Saori Yoshida helped kick off the collection drive by donating a T-shirt she wore when she competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

“Through this project, people from around the country can feel like they’re part of the team,” said Yoshida, a three-time Olympic and 14-time world champion.

“It feels nice to make a different kind of contribution to the games effort.”

Asics said other recyclable materials extracted from the donated items will be turned into fuel, among other uses.

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