More than a Jersey
- 5 August 2021 -
In New Zealand, the black jersey is everything. It’s our identity, an icon, a symbol of pride. But there’s something we value more - and that’s our environment.
By creating the new adidas All Blacks’ and Black Ferns’ replica jerseys out of Primeblue (Made with Parley Ocean Plastic), the black jersey takes on something that represents so much more - not just to us, but the world.
This week adidas and New Zealand Rugby unveiled two stunning, new jerseys for the All Blacks and the Black Ferns, packed with innovative new features and cutting-edge design, resulting in high-performance uniforms fit for the equally high-performing teams.
For the first time in the Black Ferns’ 30-year history, adidas have created a dedicated, bespoke design with the team, specifically tailored to accommodate the demands of the women’s game.
Over the last two years, Black Ferns players took part in innovative body-mapping sessions, material testing and also gave feedback on what they wanted in a jersey. The players said presenting themselves as women on the field was equally important as presenting themselves as the fierce, rugby athletes they are. The result of these insights is a bespoke jersey that supports this desire in the form of a sleek, athletic and feminine silhouette. The jersey features PRIMEBLUE, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic, and PASMO CHILL, a knitted material that allows for temperature regulation, allowing the players to keep cool on the field.
Black Ferns senior player Lesley Elder commented: “It’s hard to put into words what this moment means to our team. I’m excited to be part of the journey towards elevating the women’s game and seeing our sport get the recognition it deserves. This jersey is designed to inspire the future of our game and we cannot wait to wear it on the field and motivate the next generation of girls and women in New Zealand to pick up a rugby ball and chase their dreams.”
All Blacks players also gave feedback on their jersey design, and adidas has equipped them with an innovation-fuelled jersey which provides them with superior strength and fit as they play. For the first time ever, the All Blacks match jerseys are made with super-strong Dyneema® yarns, which offer enhanced durability and are 15 times stronger than steel.
A new-collar sees the return of a primarily black collar with white detailing and the classic Mandarin collar design, while the new modernized cuff construction is designed to improve comfort and shaping around the bicep. The match jersey is also 35 percent lighter than previous designs, providing an improved fit without compromising on strength, and is designed to react and stretch with the player as they move on the field.
All Blacks Captain Sam Cane commented: “What we wear and what that represents is a huge part of our nation’s heritage. There is a responsibility that comes with wearing the All Blacks jersey and we take that responsibility seriously. The jersey is iconic for us, not only in way it looks, but also in how it supports us when we’re playing on the field. That’s why we’re always keen to be involved in the development of any new jersey. We love working with the team at adidas to ensure each new design is refined to reflect the modern needs of the game, so we can make the iconic jersey even more special.”
As part of adidas’ continued efforts towards ending plastic waste, the bespoke Black Ferns jersey as well as the replica All Blacks jersey available to purchase feature PRIMEBLUE, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic, intercepted on remote islands, beaches, coastal communities and shorelines preventing it from polluting our oceans. Products made with PRIMEBLUE use a minimum of 40 percent recycled content
Matthew Fielding, Category Director - Global Brands, adidas, commented: “The All Blacks and Black Ferns jersey launches are about recognizing a need for change and addressing it. By launching the jerseys together for the first time, we wanted to focus on addressing our ambition to be the most sustainable brand in rugby and celebrate the diversity and inclusion within the world of rugby. We hope to continue our dedication to creating sporting apparel that is not only functional and innovative but sustainable, while inspiring the next generation of players, particularly female players, to know that anything is possible.”