So Ni-keeeee are at it again

12 05 2012

Manchester United are going to have a new kit. Naturally a wonderful article has been written about it;

“MANCHESTER UNITED will play in a new home kit inspired by the city’s industrious past this season. The 2012-13 shirt will feature the iconic gingham check that hailed from Manchester’s famous cotton mills.

Manchester United Football club’s success has been founded on the traditional values of respect and hard work. Those values are what made Manchester the city it is and from the mid 18th century the cotton mills there were prolific in the industry. From those mills came the gingham fabric, an iconic check that like Manchester United is famous around the world and is now – for the first time – used on a Manchester United home shirt. 

The tonal gingham in traditional and iconic red gives the home shirt a bold new look.  The black v-neck collar gives the shirt a contemporary look. The inner back neck graphic on the shirt reads, ‘Forged in Industry, Striving for Glory’; paying tribute to the cities industrial past but also the club’s hard-working ethos.

The outer neck graphic is the iconic devil symbol so synonymous around the world with Manchester United whilst a diagonal hatched graphic on the white shorts is a subtle link to the gingham used on the shirt.

The socks are black with a red detail on the top and a white devil icon. They offer a new and innovative design featuring an updated cotton footbed offering the support and comfort enjoyed by professionals to all that wear them.”

The article then becomes a succession of wholesome statements;

Whilst the kit combines modern sport and youth style to give the club an iconic new look, Nike’s innovation gives the team our most technologically advanced kit to aid athlete comfort and performance…………….Nike’s most environmentally friendly kit ever produced………..Each kit (shirt and shorts) is made using up to thirteen recycled plastic water bottles………………………. Since 2010 Nike has used an estimated 1115 million recycled plastic bottles to create its high performance kits…………23% lighter fabric……………. 20% stronger knit structure …………..Kits have bonded re-enforced t-bar junctions that support critical …….. inner welded seams………….. flat finish construction ………… Temperature regulation …………ventilation zones……………. a series of tiny laser cut holes ………Whilst fans and players can enjoy the Nike’s Manchester United Sportswear collection off the pitch, inspired by the club’s heritage.”

Seeing as Nie-keeee have designed a special kit that reflects the “traditional values of respect and hard work” it’s entirely fitting that they produce the kits in factories that reflect tradition, the traditions of the Feudal era.

You can call me “extra picky” if you like but I don’t quite see the environmental credentials of the kit. If Nike have used “an estimated 1115 million recycled plastic bottles” to make “high performance” football kits this surely means that “an estimated 1115 million recycled plastic bottles” will be needed to replace the bottles that Nike have used. When I was in school the Chemistry teachers told us that Plastic mainly comes from oil. I checked this on wikipedia and found that it was still correct; “Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals”.

If “an estimated 1115 million recycled plastic bottles” are needed then more oil is needed. If more oil is needed then stores of a non-renewable energy source are further depleted, the kits begin to leave a sizeable carbon footprint. The size of the footprint grows when you consider the energy needed to extract the crude oil and the environmental damage involved in the extraction, transport and fractional distillation of the crude oil. When we add in the energy needed for the process that changes the plastic bottles into threads of fabric the carbon footprint becomes crater-like.

If this is Nike’s “most environmentally friendly kit ever produced” then I’d hate to see them at their most wasteful. I’m no sandle-wearing, lentil stew chomping expert on “Green matters” but I always thought that “Environmental ideas” were the opposite of unchecked consumption. I thought that they were about conservation, sustainable development and caring about your fellow man. Nike’s claim is just another layer of bullshit that they think we all accept without questioning.

Anyway, here’s the gingham kit in all it’s glory;

Stop sniggering at the back you.

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7 06 2012
Kit design for dummies, part 2 « Llandudno Jet Set

[…] approach they took with next season’s Celtic kit is an aberration. Ni-kee usually go for the approach they adopted with Man United’s new kit; using aspirational bullshit to bestow magical qualities upon base […]

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