Forest Green Rovers earned global headlines last week as they released the world’s first football kit made from bamboo.
The camouflage kits are inspired by nature and are designed to be more environmentally-friendly than other football shirts.
The Green’s new PlayerLayer kits are made from an innovative 50% bamboo material.
Most football kits are made from polyester, a man-made synthetic fabric essentially composed of plastic.
Football kit manufacturers are waking up to consumer demand for more sustainable and eco-friendly methods of production.
Adidas have paired with Parley, who spin plastic bottles reclaimed from the oceans into kits for the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Meanwhile, Hummel have trumpeted their “ZeroH2O” techniques which save 25 litres and 50% of the energy required to produce each individual football shirt. Multiply that over a few 1000 shirt sales per club and you start to have an impact – Right on!
Heralded as England’s only vegan club and with plans for a new wooden stadium, Forest Green Rovers are known for their green credentials; a factor which attracts a hint of snobbery and mistrust in some circles.
The zebra-print lime green and black home, and black away kits will be worn for the next two seasons in a further demonstration of the League Two club’s commitment to the cause of sustainability.
Added to this, a yet to be released third shirt will highlight the work of marine conservation charity Sea Shepherd.
The Gloucestershire club partnered with PlayerLayer at short notice last season after being let down by Hummel who failed to deliver their kit on time.
With time on their side, PlayerLayer have delivered a truly individual set of kits that perfectly fit in with the club’s ethos.
Yes we can sniff at the stars on the back of the shirt that signify an ambition to play Championship football, and we’re sure Sir Alex Ferguson may not approve of the idea of a camouflage kit; but we hope these kits are seen as the start of something noble rather than just a novelty.
It’s easy to be cynical and mock the intentions behind the bamboo kits, but we fully support the initiative and publicity The Green Devils and chairman Dale Vince have brought to the cause of sustainability in football.
Football can be a force for good and if we continue down this road, we may even need to reconsider our “Memories Are Made of Polyester” tag-line!