The Canadian Premier League unveiled eight new kits on Thursday, showing off the primary shirts that will be worn from coast to coast during the 2022 season. Something that you can’t see just from looking at the kits is that they have been made with a new environmentally friendly material, as part of manufacturer Macron’s commitment to help the environment, an initiative called Macron 4 The Planet.
The 2022 CPL kits are made from Macron Eco Fabrics, a polyester material made of 100% recycled plastic. Plastic is shredded into small pieces, before being turned into the thread needed to make the fabric, and then the kits. The process also takes less energy to produce compared to other kits as well. According to Macron it takes approximately thirteen 0.5L bottles to make each kit. You can read more about Macron 4 The Planet here.
“We started a new project called Macron 4 The Planet, which is based around the idea that we need to be doing something more for the environment,” Ross Cook, Macron’s Senior Sports Marketing Manager told CanPL.ca. “We built a new HQ facility, and the facility was custom-built for ourselves, so we put in things that we specifically needed — one of them being solar panels all across the roof. We are completely self-sufficient as well as giving power back into the grid. The full company is run off recycled water, we have a recycled rainwater reservoir outside, we have electric car rechargers. That’s just specifically within the company itself.”
“We’ve developed a new thing called Eco Fabric, which is what we’re utilizing for the matchday kits for the CPL. We also have the ability to do Eco Fabric for the socks, and there’s a lot of things that we’ve got developing in the future. We’re actually developing this across a full range — a full training range, a full travel range.”
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Macron has also committed to more environmentally friendly packaging, with Cook telling CanPL.ca that Macron is focusing on using biodegradable materials to package and ship products. By streamlining packaging and using 100% recyclable material to store the items that they’re sending out, the company is hoping to “keep driving this project going forward,” according to Cook.
The process for creating Eco Fabrics has been a few years in the making, and has now been adopted by the Canadian Premier League for the 2022 season. Ross also described the process of how a kit is designed, and the process from a kit being an idea to actually being worn on a pitch in Canada.
As early as eight months or more in advance of a new season, the CPL and its clubs are in contact with Macron with plans for the designs.
“Nobody knows the clubs more than the clubs themselves, so what we ask is for each club to give us a detailed brief of what it is that they’re looking to get out of it,” Cook said. “We work with over 90 clubs across the globe, and there’s very few people who do as detailed a brief as the Canadian Premier League.
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“The Canadian Premier League even speaks to the fans, getting as much feedback as possible and trying to tell a story throughout the actual garment, so that’s a great start. It gives our designers a great idea of how they can develop what is the initial concept into an idea. It’s all about the little details, what is something that can make it just specifically for that club. Our designers absolutely love it.
“This is the exciting bit where we actually get to see them worn out for the first time, and see the fans’ reaction.”
There are trends in the kit world that pop up every now and again, and other things that may have an impact on how Macron designs different kits for for different markets. Regional differences and how other clubs are creating their kits are also a part of the design process.
“In the last season in the UK market, it went down the very retro style, that was something that a lot of clubs did, looking into their past and how can they develop that through to their future,” Cook said. “Each market tends to have its own idiosyncrasies. The Italian market is much more traditional. Talking about the Eco Fabric, there was a campaign that went very well with Lazio, but because they’re used to such traditional ways of doing things, the campaign was slightly out there and a bit left field, and got the fans a bit riled up — in a good way because they were excited to see what was going to be coming out.
“Each individual market has their own way of doing things. What our designers do is they have to look at the trends in each individual market. Our designers are looking already for the 2023-24 kits, and are looking at designs in architecture and fashion.
“We try to take inspiration from all across different markets and from there bring that into the garment and try to tell a story.”
After being released on Thursday, information about all eight primary kits can be found at CanPL.ca/kits. Kits are now available for purchase at CanPL.ca/shop.