By Rob Carey
League 1 promotion hopefuls Ipswich Town unveiled their “most sustainable kit ever” ahead of the new EFL campaign, but a colour-clash meant that the 2019-20 change strip had to be sustainable in a different way.
The new adidas away kit is primarily a shade that mixes grey with sky-blue, joined with white in the new Condivo 20 template. To us, it’s reminiscent of the 1992-94 Coventry City home kit made by Ribero, but that’s not the main headline here, however. The Tractor Boys’ new strip is made from recycled plastic collected from beaches and coastal areas around the world.
Town’s director of retail Lee Hyde said that the “expansive coastline” of Suffolk meant that the club wanted to “endorse and support the fantastic work which adidas and Parley For The Oceans are carrying out”. The rise of sustainable manufacturing is one that has been welcomed throughout the world of football, with its ability to have a transformational impact on the wider environment.
Primeblue is the game-changing material that is being used to improve the sustainability of adidas’s high-performance football kits and other sports kits too. It is manufactured using a considerable percentage of Parley Ocean Plastic – plastic which has been upcycled having been dumped into the oceans and washed up onto our treasured beaches and coastal communities. In doing so, Primeblue is helping to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our seas, with every Primeblue kit comprising of at least 40% of Parley Ocean Plastic.
The iconic German sportswear brand has opted to develop the Primeblue material as part of its plans to remove all new plastics and polyester in its kits by 2024, replacing them with fully sustainable plastic materials.
2020-21: A make-or-break season for the Tractor Boys
This season, Ipswich will also be adorning a new main shirt sponsor, the Carers’ Trust, following a decision made by the club in collaboration with its previous main shirt sponsor, Magical Vegas. The new away kit will be worn in the club’s second consecutive season in League 1. The Suffolk side were relegated from the Championship in 2018-19 and despite being many pundits’ favourites for an immediate return to the second tier, Ipswich flattered to deceive after an extraordinarily strong start. This year, with the pressure rising on boss Paul Lambert, the pundits believe Ipswich will remain playoff contenders at the very least. Football expert Ryan Elliott, who provides daily picks and accumulator advice, correctly tipped the Blues to defeat Wigan with a -1 goal handicap on the opening day of the League 1 season.
This was followed up with a solid 2-0 away victory over Bristol Rovers – a victory which saw Blues midfielder Jon Nolan named in the League 1 Team of the Week and boss Paul Lambert named Manager of the Week. However, against Rovers’ blue and white quarter, Town were unable to wear the new away kit, which meant that last season’s Barcelona-esque second strip was given one more unexpected outing.
The new 2020/21 home kit is also an important one for Ipswich, given that it is designed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Suffolk side winning the UEFA Cup under iconic boss, Sir Bobby Robson.
The kit, which was designed in collaboration with adidas, carries the club’s historical yellow-trimmed club crest which was worn on their kits up until 1995, when the bade was given a makeover. As well, the shorts are blue, as they were in the 1981 Uefa Cup final second leg against Alkmaar. As with the 2020-21 away kit, Ipswich’s home strip is developed with Adidas’ sweat-wicking ‘AEROREADY’ fabric, using 100 percent recycled polyester.