Sustainable Soccer: Forest Green Spill Beans on Coffee Kit

Forest Green Rovers and PlayerLayer are stirring a revolution in the way football kits are manufactured, with the release of the world’s first shirts made from waste coffee grounds and recycled plastic.

Already recognised by FIFA as the “world’s greenest football club,” the ambitious League Two side will wear a prototype kit from made from discarded materials when they play Colchester United at the Innocent New Lawn on Saturday afternoon.

The Gloucestershire club who went climate neutral in 2017 with the United Nations, has been working with kit partner PlayerLayer to investigate new fabrics since unveiling the world’s first bamboo kit almost two years ago. 

Forest Green Rovers, Coffee kit, Player Layer
The Gloucestershire club went climate neutral in 2017

The coffee-based fabric is reported to be a lighter, more breathable and more durable alternative to their ground-breaking bamboo kit and will be given a proper EFL test this weekend. 

Should the shirts hold up to scrutiny, it’s likely that next year’s kits will be made from the experimental material and Forest Green Rovers’ chairman Dale Vince said:

“Our adventure in alternative materials continues.  When we pioneered bamboo with PlayerLayer two years ago it was considered a pretty revolutionary idea, and the thought of using coffee grounds is no less radical or surprising. 

“It’s time the world of football wakes up and smells the coffee about the future of the planet. If nothing else, this prototype kit will bring new flavour to that old cliché of grinding out a result.” 

Forest Green Rovers, Coffee kit, Player Layer
Forest Green Rovers are trialing a kit made from coffee bean waste

Quite apart from the fabric and materials used, the Green Devils have also set a more sustainable example in breaking with the annual cycle of kit releases, having worn their eye-catching luminous lime shirts in zebra-print for the past two seasons.

Nike, adidas, Hummel and Erreà are among a host of brands to have launched more environmentally friendly visions of how football shirts will be made in the future, but perhaps the time has come for the industry to come together and share production techniques for the good of the planet?

Football can be a real force for change and we sincerely hope that in years to come we remember the example of Dale Vince, Forest Green Rovers and PlayerLayer as a positive change that led to a wider movement within the game.

The challenge has been set.

Forest Green Rovers, Coffee kit, Player Layer
PlayerLayer and Forest Green Rovers are up for the cup (of coffee)

January Kit Highlights

January was an incredibly busy month with plenty of new shirts released. After a little break from Kit of the Week duties, here’s a rundown of some of our favourite shirts from the past few weeks!

Bamboo-zled by Forest Green’s Camouflage Kits

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…

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