This week saw the early introduction of cult club St Pauli’s new home-grown and ethically sourced shirts for the 2021-22 season.
Faced with the problem of not being able to find a sportswear firm who met their standards of sustainability and social conscience, FC St Pauli decided to have a go at doing things for themselves.
The result, is the birth of their own-brand shirt label, DIIY, which they hope will go on to produce kits for other clubs seeking the same level of ecological and ethical assurance.
A statement on the official club website read:
“The club has been working on the project since 2018, looking for a kit supplier that produces performance wear sustainably and transparently and supports fair trade.
As no external provider was able to meet the criteria in full, the club will assume responsibility for production itself in future.”
Club president Oke Göttlich continued:
“DIIY, incidentally, is derived from the term DIY, or do it yourself. That’s exactly what FC St. Pauli is all about – not just moaning, but doing it better yourself.”
Ecologically, the new kits are made from 100% recycled, single source polyester which means they are also fully recyclable (though why anyone would ever want to throw one of these away is a mystery!).
Ethically, they are produced in a factory in Turkey that is socially audited by independent bodies and visited by the club on a regular basis to ensure standards around treatment of workers are upheld.
Economically, the DIIY design will retail for around €5 less than Under Armour’s current tops, showing that socially responsible and environmentally friendly fashion does not automatically mean it should have to be more expensive.
The shirts themselves are a timeless pinstriped affair in the club’s classically individual colours of brown, white and red but it’s the little details that really matter for the independent, member-run club.
The single thin red stripe running through St Pauli’s badge represents the love and passion flowing through Kiezkicker fans’ veins for the club and their home district within Hamburg.
The club’s “no football for fascists” attitude is stitched into the inside of the button-up collar, whilst a high quality 3D version of their badge is applied to the shirt instead of being sewn on.
There are no tribal patterns, no graffiti daubed across the middle and thus the only “gimmick” about these crowd-pleasing kits is the fact that the logo of sponsors Congstar can be customised by supporters to display their own message (within reason of course!).
After all the hard work that’s gone into this project over the past couple of years, we sincerely hope this new venture is a roaring success and we look forward to seeing more clubs like St Pauli looking at ways of producing more sustainable football kits.