The 23 MLS teams will all adopt upcycled jerseys made from ocean plastic waste for their fixtures the weekend starting Friday 20 April.
Working in conjunction with Parley for the Oceans, as part of the MLS Works Greener Goals scheme, the stunt will convince with Earth Day Weekend.
Last year, Adidas created limited edition MLS kits from upcycled ocean plastic as part of its green efforts, four MLS clubs – New York City FC, Orlando City SC, LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC wore them. Building on this, now all the players will adopt the jerseys on the pitch. Furthermore, the kits will be made available for the public to buy from the Adidas store.
JoAnn Neale, chief administrative and social responsibility officer for MLS, said: “In partnership with Adidas, we’re excited to bring the MLS Parley kits to all 23 clubs as part of this season’s MLS Works Greener Goals initiative.
“MLS is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and raising awareness about environmental issues, including plastic pollution. We’re proud to support Parley for the Oceans and encourage the soccer community to create a cleaner, healthier environment.”
The plastic was reportedly collected from plastic intercepted on beaches and in coastal communities, which is then broken down into fibres which can be used to form the kits, both jerseys and footwear.
Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, added: “Creating change and playing soccer feels very similar. You strategize, you dive into the game and give everything you have. That’s why you never truly lose. You just get better and better. And suddenly victory is yours, as if it is the most normal thing in life.”
As part of the drive, Adidas has also committed to use “eco-innovative materials” such as Parley Ocean Plastic, in particular replacing virgin plastic.
Is it possible to completely phase out harmful plastics with plastics like those used above? The Drum's Katie Deighton explored whether the FMCG's could feasibly clean up their act while continuing to deliver their products.