When the US Women’s National Soccer Team takes the pitch this summer in Germany, they will be wearing Nike’s most environmentally-friendly and technologically-advanced uniform. Each kit is made entirely from recycled polyester, produced from up to eight recycled plastic bottles per jersey. The team unveiled the new black away kit on-pitch in this past weekend’s friendly against Japan.
Recycled plastic bottles were diverted from landfills sites and then melted down to produce a new DRI-FIT yarn that was ultimately converted to fabric for the jerseys. This process saves raw materials and reduces energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to manufacturing virgin polyester.
Considering the environment doesn’t mean sacrificing the innovative performance elements of Nike’s kits. For this summer’s tournament, the kits were designed to keep players drier, cooler and more comfortable, allowing them to maintain an optimum body temperature and perform at their best.
The kit is designed specifically for the female athlete, to enhance the range of motion and create a uniquely feminine silhouette. Capped sleeves and a high neckline with v-neck piping were added to create a striking aesthetic.
Improved Nike DRI-FIT fabric, now 15 percent lighter than previous Nike kit fabrications, also helps keep players dry by drawing sweat to the outside of the garment where it evaporates. Ventilation zones have been strategically placed in those areas that are physiologically the most important for cooling. Each side and back of the jersey features enhanced breathability increasing air flow by up to seven percent compared to previous kits.
The away kit features a black bodice and red piping inspired by the beautiful but deadly Black Widow spider. Similar to the spider, the US Women’s National Team will have a unified and bold look but they will need to be deadly on the pitch to win the tournament. The home kit design is white with black piping and the goalkeeper kit will be worn in night purple, wolf grey and vibrant yellow.
The U.S. Women’s National Team kit and a collection of styles inspired by the kit will be available at select soccer specialty stores, Niketowns and at www.nikestore.com beginning in April 1, 2011 with wider distribution on May 1, 2011.