“We all need to change the way we think and act towards our oceans."
Whilst their rivals from across the city are celebrating a record points Premier League triumph, Manchester United have at least taken a lead in sustainability. Their third kit for the 2018/19 season has been unveiled, and as well as being a rather fetching navy blue (a tribute to a 1968 European Cup win), it is also made from upcyled plastic waste intercepted from shorelines, beaches and coastal communities. The kit is made by German sportswear giants adidas, with the plastic from Parley Ocean Plastic in partnership with Parley for the Oceans. As well as creating awareness of the issue of plastic in our oceans, adidas and Parley also create footwear and clothing from the same waste. Richard Arnold, Group Managing Director of Manchester United, said: "It’s great to be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s first European Cup win. This jersey represents an important moment for our club - when we became the first English team to win the competition.
"Adidas continues to demonstrate how forward thinking they are. We are all acutely aware of the threat of plastic to the environment and we are delighted to be able to raise further awareness with this recycled kit, which I am sure the fans will love."
Oliver Nicklisch, Category Product Director at adidas, said: “We all need to change the way we think and act towards our oceans. It is this core belief that we all share at adidas, which is the reason why our innovative partnership with Parley for the Oceans is so important to us.
“By working with Manchester United to create new, stunning jerseys made with Parley Ocean Plastic, we hope that we can highlight the issue of plastic damaging our oceans, and ultimately encourage and inspire football fans to join us in creating a better environment for everyone.”
Manchester United aren’t the first club to use football shirts made from ocean plastic waste. In 2016 adidas and Parley for the Oceans ( @parleyxxx ) launched kits for sporting giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. These shirts were made of plastic waste recovered from clean-up operations in the Maldives, while the club crests and shirt sponsor logos are printed with water-based eco-friendly prints.
Whilst Nike have also made kits using waste plastic, for among others, the U.S. Women's National Team to wear at the 2015 World Cup, with each shirt made using an average of 18 recycled bottles.
Nike said when this was launched: “Each piece of the kit -- the jersey, shorts and socks -- is constructed with recycled polyester, which is made from recycled plastic bottles that are melted down to produce fine yarn used to create the fabric… Since 2010, Nike has diverted more than two billion plastic bottles from landfills into recycled polyester -- enough to cover about 3,500 football pitches. By using recycled polyester Nike is also reducing the energy consumed in the manufacturing process by up to 30 percent compared to virgin polyester.”
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