Ahead of competition in Tokyo, Nike debuts progressive new collections featuring sustainable materials for all athletes. As the growing climate crisis continues to disrupt competition and training, Nike’s sustainable innovations signal the brand’s commitment to helping protect the future of the planet — and, consequently, the future of sport. Highlights include uniforms for USA basketball, progressive advances in track and field kits and exuberant styles for those federations ushering skateboarding into the games.
The United States of America Women’s Basketball Team has a near-peerless renown in international competition. Its domination on the world stage is cemented by records and distinguished by an exclusive red uniform (both men and women’s US teams share a white uniform, and the men’s alternate is a navy).
The women’s red uniform features classically blocked typography on the chest. The laurel line on the neckline is reminiscent of the uniforms from the ’96 women’s team in Atlanta, a team that broke a gold-medal drought and started a dynasty, and mirrors the wreath traditionally placed on the heads of victors. The navy side panels are an ode to the past, as is the script emblematic of the ’96 team on the short. Twelve stars, six down each side of the jersey, stand for the number of players on the team. A hidden detail on the short’s side vent reveals the number of players throughout the federation’s history (84), the team’s number of international appearances (10) and the number of gold medals won (eight).
Track and field
The 2020 Athletics Uniform pieces are engineered from an entirely new Nike Dri-FIT Aeroswift material that helps athletes manage sweat and feel more comfortable while limiting seams and minimizing layers. Nike Dri-FIT is a unique construction that supports the body’s natural cooling system by wicking away sweat and dispersing it evenly throughout the surface of the garment; sweat evaporates quickly, helping athletes to manage heat and moisture. New for 2020, Nike Aeroswift features an updated lenticular design that reimagines color in an entirely new way by turning static shades into dynamic hues that shift and change while the body is in motion. The new material employs a mesh engineered with knitted structures and subtle ridges, creating a garment that’s breathable and that moves with the athlete — it also provides 25 percent more stretch from previous kits.
“We take great pride in designing a system of dress that not only helps athletes perform at their best, but one that’s worthy of these athletes’ incredible achievements,” says Janett Nichol, VP, Apparel Innovation.
For skateboarding’s debut on this summer’s global stage, Nike SB will introduce kits on the forefront of sustainable design. Athletes representing Team USA, France and Brasil will compete in uniforms designed with 100 percent recycled polyester, pattern efficiency for minimal waste and bright, bold styling (crafted in collaboration with Dutch artist Parra) to celebrate each nation’s unique skate culture.