Forest Green are the world’s greenest club and when it comes to what they wear they demand a similarly eco-friendly jersey. Nottingham based sportswear company PlayerLayer stepped up to the task in wild fashion when they created the first ever football shirt made from 50% bamboo charcoal. In addition to its fabulous sustainability credentials, the eye-catching neon zebra stripe design looks just as cool off the pitch as on it and reflects that link back to nature.

“Our mission statement is to use sport as a driver for change. Sport is a cultural platform, like music and art that can drive change without the use of politics. And we’re going to continue along that bend. We are developing some completely natural fabrics which will change the sports clothing industry forever.”

Roderick Bradley, founder of PlayerLayer

In light of the fantastic eco-friendly work PlayerLayer had done at Forest Green they were the obvious choice to manufacture our very own National Football Museum shirt, produced to coincide with the exhibition launch. Exhibitions Manager Jon Sutton then approached Mancunian illustration wizard Stanley Chow to design the shirt and suddenly the NFM x Stanley Chow x PlayerLayer collaboration was born.

The design brief was as follows:

– Create something striking

– Be representative of society

– Illustrate how football is the game of our lives

– Be bold in design

– Incorporate our branding

– Dazzle as an eye catcher

Chow set to work and quickly realised that the Musuem’s logo did not lend itself to a football shirt crest. He therefore reworked his favourite club crest, Inter Milan, incorporating ‘NFM’ and the Urbis building into the design. Once the crest was complete, Chow thought about the brief and tried to simplify it even further to focus on two key themes.

“Create something striking and create something that reflects today’s society were the two things that stood out for me in the brief, so naturally a lightning bolt was the first thing that sprang to mind. I may have also been subliminally influenced by the Nike Arsenal kits of the mid-90s which have a lightning bolt as part of the design. I was recently commissioned by Nike to illustrate a portrait of one of their designers, Drake Ramberg, who incidentally designed that kit. As for reflecting society today, the country is so divided politically, I wanted to show a split of some sort too so naturally it had to be half and half of sorts.”

Stanley Chow

PlayerLayer once again manufactured the shirt in their bamboo mix materials which gave the shirt a futuristic feel and allowed the colours to become even more vibrant. For Chow, producing his design in an eco-friendly fabric made the experience even better as it’s a subject close to his heart.

“I think it’s really important that it’s environmentally friendly and 50% bamboo charcoal. We have this situation where fast fashion is taking over, we do really need to look after the environment. I’m doing my best bit on every level from becoming a vegetarian to our family not buying new clothes and either buying second hand or sticking with what we have. This is an important issue, an enforced issue that our kids have enforced on us and if they are so aware of what is going on, if they are aware to save the planet for their future then us adults have to be responsible to try and do something. It’s great that the shirt is environmentally friendly and hopefully in the future all football kits will be recycled or made from reusable materials”.

Stanley Chow
A National Football Museum team member models the new PlayerLayer shirt.


  1. David Cook
    17th April 2020

    Where can I buy this shirt?

    • Tim
      18th April 2020

      Hi David, do you mean the National Football Museum shirt? If so, we should have stock in the museum shop, but at the moment it is closed. We’ll update this article when the museum reopens and include a link to purchase.

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