While the design feels like an afterthought, I am intrigued by the idea of using recycled materials to create hockey jerseys. So many have to be manufactured every year and if we can clean up some of the pollution in our oceans while creating game-worn collectibles, who could complain about that?
Yet I’m torn. I love the idea of environmental responsibility in jersey production, but here it clashes with my love of great hockey sweater design. What Adidas seems to be saying is we can have one or the other. Not both. I find that hard to believe, but here we are.
Sure, Adidas defends the monochrome design by saying it’s “inspired by the colors of the game – crisp white, like a fresh sheet ice and contrasting black, like a brand-new puck.” But that’s a tough sell when you consider they brought the exact same palette to the MLS last year. (Yeah, I get that a soccer ball is black and white too, but really?)
The Adidas press release goes on to say that “the environmentally-conscious uniforms create an instantly classic aesthetic that pays homage to tools of the game” – proving that “instantly classic” is the oxymoron that you sense it is. If I was being an ass I’d call them “instantly disposable.” Which is maybe part of the point.
To some fans, the NHL All-Star game is a disposable event. Why not make the temporary jerseys out of garbage? Only the jerseys aren’t disposable. They’re not eco-friendly in the sense that they’re biodegradable. You can not, for example, throw them into the ocean in the way they’ve been showcased in the promotional photos above. They’ll be there for as long as the plastic bottles they’re made from.
I love seeing an artist create something beautiful out of junk or found materials. That was the opportunity here. Adidas could’ve put every NHL All-Star into – I do not know – a bright pink jersey if they’d told us they’re made from trash that’s no longer killing baby seals. Instead, an old adage comes to mind: “garbage in, garbage out.”
All right, all this negativity is fun to get off my chest, but the truth is there’s stuff to like about this year’s All-Star set. The striping may be a bit boring, but they tried to liven it up a bit with that heathered pattern that was such a hit on the Team North America jerseys at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Credit there.
Each player’s individual team crest is a great touch! I’d love to see that repeated in future All-Star games. I do not even mind the black and white that much, to be honest. I almost prefer it here. Take the color out and maybe it helps a little when you have to high-five a division rival after a goal. Plus, if I buy a Nikita Kucherov All-Star jersey, I get to have a Lightning logo on the front instead of a generic NHL shield.
Hm, after two paragraphs I seem to have run out of compliments. I’m sorry, I mean even the name and number fonts on the back are as generic as they come.