By Jayme Monsanto, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Nike have finally presented their new Brazil football uniform for the forthcoming South Africa World Cup. The iconic yellow shirts are made entirely from recycled polyester, with each one produced from eight recycled plastic bottles collected from Japanense and Thai landfill sites.
According to Nike, the recycling process uses 30 per cent less power than manufacturing new polyester, so it not only helps to save raw materials, but also reduces energy consumption. But will it help them lift the trophy?
The company claims the new strip is 15 per cent lighter than the previous one, and once again uses their famous Dri-fit technology to reduce the accumulation of sweat and increases player comfort. The shirt also has a hi-tech ventilation method consisting of 200 tiny laser cut holes in its side panels to help disperse body heat.
“This summer in South Africa Nike will give footballers an edge by providing the newest and most innovative product for the game’s greatest players,” said Charlie Denson, President of Nike.
“With today’s announcement, we are equipping athletes with newly designed uniforms that not only look great and deliver performance benefits, but are also made with recycled materials, creating less impact on our environment.”
Not only Brazil but all of the national teams sponsored by Nike received the new environmentally-friendly jerseys. Athletes from Portugal, The Netherlands, The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, Slovenia and South Korea will enter the South African soccer fields in June using ecologically responsible uniforms.
The presentation event was held at the Battersea power station in London, and top players from each of the participating countries attended to model the uniforms.
Representing Brazil at the event was young striker Alexandre Pato. Currently playing for Milan, he has been out of national coach Dunga’s plans recently and many Brazilian journalists were quick to scoff that this would be the first and last time he would use the new uniform.
Back in Brazil during Carnival celebrations, Santos’ striker Robinho and musician Carlinhos Brown were chosen to present Brazil’s second uniform in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia respectively.
The new uniforms are already available at sporting goods stores around the world and in total the initiative is set to divert nearly 13 million plastic bottles, totalling some 254,000 kg of polyester waste, from going into landfill sites.