The Arsenal away shirt for the 2011-12 season, which is navy and turquoise blue in colour, features a bespoke crest that marks the club’s 125th anniversary year – and looks forward to the club’s next chapter as the most environmentally-friendly kit Nike has ever produced.
Founded in Woolwich in 1886 and called The Royal Arsenal, the celebratory crest design combines the graphic of 15 laurel leaves to represent each of founding fathers and 15 oak leaves to mark the location of its foundation in a bold white print and carries the anniversary dates of 1886 and 2011 on the heart of the shirt. Underneath the celebratory crest sits the word ‘FORWARD’ as a tribute to the club’s first motto.
The front of the new away shirt is divided into two halves, one in navy blue and one in turquoise blue, inspired by the away kits worn by Arsenal teams from the past. The diagonal line represents the gnomon, the pointer which casts the shadow on a sundial, inspired by the original Dial Square sundial on the site of the Arsenal munitions factory in Woolwich, where the Club was first conceived in 1886.
The back of the shirt is entirely navy blue, while one sleeve is navy blue and the other turquoise blue, with a stripe in three parts on each to once more represent the Dial Square sundial. On the back of the shirt below the neck reads ‘’Arsenal’, while inside the front, on the back of the crest, is a graphic that reads ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’, (‘Victory Through Harmony’), Arsenal’s Latin motto, which was previously featured on earlier versions of their club crest between 1949 and 2002. The away shorts are navy blue whilst the away socks are also navy blue with the year of Arsenal’s foundation, 1886, printed in white on the back of each calf.
While the history and tradition of the club is present in the shirt design, the new away kit is made from Nike’s ground-breaking recycled polyester – which for the first time includes both the shirt and shorts. Each complete kit is made up of up to thirteen reclaimed plastic water bottles. This new manufacturing process reduces energy consumption by up to 30% compared to manufacturing traditional polyester and saves nearly 100 million plastic water bottles from being dumped at landfill sites. The light weight kits (13% lighter than previous versions) actively regulate the players’ body temperatures on the pitch to keep them dry and cool at all times through use of Nike Dri-FIT technology. This technology draws sweat away from the player’s body through the material where it can evaporate.
Temperature regulation is helped by ventilation zones, consisting of hundreds of tiny laser cut holes from the under arms to the waistband, allowing air to circulate to keep players dry, cool and comfortable. For the first time the club crest on the front of the shirt is heat transferred, making it even lighter and crucially allowing this area to now be ventilated as well. The shirt has a new aerodynamic fit this season, now slimmer and more athletic, providing 17% more stretch than the Arsenal shirt of two years ago. A bonded hem offers a streamlined look that reduces irritation caused by chafing.
To compliment the new match day kit Nike has launched a unique Arsenal line of training and lifestyle clothing for both players and fans to wear on and off the pitch.
The kit and extended line is available for pre-order from June 28 and will be available in stores from July 28.