Sustainable Football Fashion: How the Game’s Fashion is Becoming More Eco-Friendly

Global warming is arguably the most significant problem today, with the amount of damage increasing at staggering rates. The fashion industry is one of the largest culprits responsible for this. Global carbon emissions from the fashion industry form a significant percentage of the total emissions, and football fashion is one of its polluting branches.

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Granted that the move to sustainable fashion is not an easy one, however, there is an undeniable need to get a conversation started to protect the environment from future damage. Simply incorporating processes like the three Rs: reducing, reusing, and recycling can make a major difference in how the world of fashion affects the global environment.

In recent years, more spotlight has been shed on these impacts and has led to some environment-conscious authority figures in the business to make more sustainable changes. This article will discuss how Football Fashion is becoming more eco friendly in the modern world:

Shirts Go Green

From coffee beans, to plastic that is collected from the oceans and recycled, big names like adidas and Forest Green have started to look into materials that are much more sustainable than the regular materials that have been previously used.

Parley Ocean Plastic: Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create football shirts made from recycled ocean plastic. The shirts are made from up-cycled marine plastic waste, which is collected from beaches and coastal communities before it can reach the ocean.

Recycled Polyester: Adidas has been using recycled polyester in their football shirts since 2012. The material is made from recycled plastic bottles and reduces the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills.

Organic Cotton: adidas uses organic cotton in their football shirts to reduce the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, which can harm the environment.

Tencel is a fabric made from wood pulp that is produced in a closed-loop process, meaning that water and chemicals are reused and recycled. adidas uses Tencel in their football shirts to reduce water usage in production.

Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) Cotton: Adidas is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative, which promotes sustainable cotton production. BCI cotton uses less water and fewer chemicals than conventional cotton.

Sustainable Dyeing Techniques: Adidas uses sustainable dyeing techniques, such as the DryDye technology, which eliminates the need for water in the dyeing process, reducing water usage and pollution.

Adidas is committed to sustainability and has set ambitious targets to reduce its environmental impact. The company aims to use only recycled polyester in all their products by 2024, and to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Eco-Friendly Shirts

Several other brands have also been incorporating sustainable materials into their football kits. Here are some examples:

Nike has been using recycled polyester in their football kits since 2010. They also launched their “Move to Zero” sustainability initiative in 2019, which aims to make all Nike products sustainable.

PUMA has been using recycled polyester in their football kits since 2018. They also launched their “Forever Faster, Forever Cleaner” sustainability program in 2019, which aims to reduce PUMA’s environmental impact.

New Balance has been using recycled polyester in their football kits since 2017. They also have a program called “NB Renew” which aims to reduce waste by using recycled materials in their products.

Hummel has been using recycled polyester in their football kits since 2016. They also have a program called “ZeroH2O” which aims to reduce water usage in the production of their products.

Joma has been using recycled polyester in their football kits since 2019. They also have a program called “ZeroWaste” which aims to reduce waste in the production of their products.

Green Accessories

For fans of football who like showing off their love for their teams through different accessories such as tote bags, headbands, banners etc, there have been massive improvements in how sustainable the accessories have become.

Fans have also resorted to the process of ‘thrifting’, in which they buy used kits, accessories and even clothes so as to decrease the overall demand of football fashion, resulting in lesser need to produce more products. This ultimately decreases the amount of energy that is used in production and also enables products to be recycled multiple times so that they can be maximally used.

Some initiatives have also begun to recycle accessories that are in too bad a condition to be reused. The raw materials of these products are then either utilized in completely different items, or reused in making new football fashion products.


Sustainable football fashion has finally become the kind of conversation it should have been ages ago, however, there is still a long way to go before we can truly be satisfied by the advancements that have been made in this category.

The initiatives currently underway are thankfully a right step in the direction and give a positive reflection of what is to come.

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