Football: the Whites of Real Madrid go Green

Cristiano Ronaldo

The biocircular revolution takes another step forward, landing in the football pitch. Cristiano Ronaldo and colleagues will debut environmental jerseys on November 26 during the game Real Madrid-Sporting Gijón. The jerseys made by Adidas are water-based prints and made from recycled ocean plastic recovered on the coasts of the Maldives. The German sportswear munufacturer didn’t say how limited these will be, but the price will be $100 each and they’ll be available on November 24 for Real Madrid’s fans. Bayern Munich team, in Germany, wore the same environmental jersey on November 5 during the game against Hoffenheim, finished, for the record, 1-1. “I’m a child of the beaches of Spain, so I’m really happy to wear a shirt entirely made of recycled ocean waste,” said Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso, presenting the game. “It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the oceans”.

It is really a revolutionary initiative, which is the result of the collaboration between Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, an environmental organization that “adresses major threats towards our oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet”.

Parley – you can read on its website – “believes the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer, given he has a choice, and the power, to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries”. It has been created “to accelerate a process of change that is already in progress. No other big movement in the history of humankind has developed faster than the environmental cause. We want to make sure we are fast enough to meet the ultimate deadline and turn the ship around before we lose a treasure we have only just started to explore and still don’t fully understand: the fantastic blue universe beneath us — The Oceans”.

The fans who purchase one jersey find an Adidas x Parley label with an NFC (Near Field Communication) chip embedded, which gives more information about the joint venture. Team logos are hardly visible on the shirts, a decision made by both clubs and sponsors to fall in line with Parley’s commitment to the oceans and sustainability. The Adidas Parley Real Madrid kit is entirely white with tone-in-tone 3 stripes on the shoulders and subtle monochromatic logos on the front.

“This represents another step on the journey of Adidas and Parley for the Oceans”, Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands, said. “We have not only managed to make footwear from recycled ocean plastic, but have also created the first jersey coming 100% out of the ocean. But we won’t stop there. We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017 and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain.”

“At this point, it’s no longer just about raising awareness”, Cyrill Gutsch, founder Parley for the Oceans, said. “It’s about taking action and implementing strategies that can end the cycle of plastic pollution for good. Eco innovation is an open playing field. With the release of the Ocean Plastic jerseys and UltraBoost Uncaged Adidas x Parley shoes, we’re inviting every consumer, player, team and fan to own their impact under Parley A.I.R. (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign, editor’s note) and define their role within the movement.”

UltraBoost Uncaged Adidas x Parley shoes are running sneakers that also featured materials created from ocean waste. They will be available in both men’s and women’s size runs, while the familiar silhouettes of Adidas UltraBoost utilize new textiles that better represent Parley’s mission for sustainability. Knits and synthetics replace the usual plastic overlays on the cage and heel while Parley’s script logo can be found on the tongue, heel, and insole. The predominantly blue knit uppers pay homage to the waters that Parley helps protect. It is undoubtedly a great goal for the environment.


by Michael Burgundy

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