It may be hard to reconcile while we're in the dead of winter, but the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are mere months away. Today, Nike is ready to start dishing on what its athletes will be wearing. From country to country, garment to garment, the Olympics will signal a huge push toward sustainability for the sports apparel giant.
At the core of the effort is the Move to Zero collection, of which every piece hits a 90 percent or better market of efficiency by using recycled materials. The wide range of apparel includes a full-zip hoodie, T-shirt, joggers and shorts with a mix of at least 60 percent organic and recycled materials. Cotton in the collection uses less water and fewer chemicals, and improved farming techniques match or surpass the quality of standard cotton. Consider this a springboard for more sustainable efforts from Nike in the future. Already, the company also announced a pair of kicks made from recycled trash.
Medal ceremonies — Nike has reimagined its iconic Windrunner in 100 percent recycled polyester. This time around, the signature national team logos will be stamped with recycled Nike Grind rubber, which Nike typically utilizes to create playing surfaces. Team USA will also wear pants made of 100 percent recycled nylon, as well as a 100 percent recycled polyester mesh lining. The drawcord tips, zipper pulls, and Swoosh branding are all made from Nike Grind.
The first Olympic skateboarding uniform — Nike will outfit the American, Brazilian, and French teams for the games' first skateboarding events. The Dutch artist Parra, a skater with a long-standing relationship with Nike, collaborated on the designs. Each kit is made from 100 percent recycled polyester and features colorful landscape designs unique to their respective countries. USA's uniform takes inspiration from basketball jerseys and features a bald eagle stitched onto the lower left, as well as "USA" on the left sleeve. Brazil's goes the soccer route, with graphic hits of a toucan and "BRA" on the same spots. A tennis jersey informs France's, which features a rooster on the left chest and a French flag on the same sleeve.
USA Women's Basketball — On the court itself, US's women's national team will wear a uniform constructed with 100 percent recycled polyester. Design wise, it's inspired by the 1996 team that first wore an all-red uniform. A light blue stripe runs along the collar, and 12 stars on the side panels represent the 12 Olympic Games that the team has competed in.
Nike's track and field teams will wear 100 percent recycled yarn, but no further details have been released. There's still a lot of gear left to be announced, but the emphasis on recycled materials is an exciting starting point.