Reading FC has unveiled its new home kit for the upcoming season, featuring ‘warming stripes’ on the shirt and shorts designed to show how climate change has driven an increase in local average temperatures over the 151 years of the football club’s history.
With the 2022/23 season set to kick off on Saturday, the Championship club released the first photos of the bold new home kit, which includes a polyester shirt that is entirely made from recycled plastic bottles, while the garment is also itself completely recyclable. , it claims.
Moreover, the kit has also been designed to help raise awareness of scale of humanity’s impact on the planet’s climate among football fans, by utilizing a bold pattern on the shirt sleeves and sides of the shorts based on the famous ‘warming stripes’ created by University of Reading professor Ed Hawkins.
“Last week we all endured the hottest day on record in Reading and that heatwave aptly underlines how vital it is to spark a conversation about climate change and environmental sustainability,” explained Tim Kilpatrick, head of commercial at Reading FC.
“We are not perfect, but this is the start of a journey,” he continued. “We will not aim to change the world overnight. But we want to aim to reduce our carbon footprint as a football club and give our fans the opportunity to come with us on the same journey. Featuring the climate stripes in the design of our home kit is one way we hope to inspire more climate conversations amongst our supporters and our local community.”
Since it was first created in 2018, Hawkins’ hugely influential and deceptively simple original design has won widespread plaudits around the world for helping to communicate the stark changes in average annual temperatures around the world since the industrial revolution.
The stripe design uses shades of blue to indicate cooler-than-average years and red stripes to show years that are hotter than average, with the overall trend clearly demonstrating significant temperature rise as the stripes gradually shifting from blue to red over time.
The new Reading FC kit utilises the same design on, except rather than showing average global temperature rise, the color of the stripes are based specifically on temperatures in Reading since the football club was first established in 1871.
The ‘climate stripes’ design created by Hawkins has found greater prominence over the past four years, even recently featuring on clothing at London Fashion Week, and on stages at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. The design is also being used to decorate the front cover of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg’s new book.
“The climate stripes are intended to start conversations about climate change – and making them visible to thousands of football fans across the country every week brings that to a new audience,” said Hawkins. “Support is a powerful thing in football and this collaboration makes it a key theme for the season. We hope Reading Football Club’s fans will push them on to success this season, while at the same time the players and the club will be supporting climate action and recognising the science.”