It’s what we’ve all been waiting for - the home strip is finally here!
The club have teamed up with the University of Reading to raise awareness about climate change and, as part of their partnership, the latter institution’s ‘climate stripes’ infographic are visible on our shirt sleeves to indicate how the planet’s temperature has changed over the years.
✅ 100% from recycled bottles— Uni of Reading (@UniofReading) July 25, 2022
✅ Kit is completely recyclable
✅ Highlights climate change in Reading@ReadingFC is doing its bit to fight climate change, and we're delighted to support them. #ShowYourStripes #HoopsForTheFuture
More on our climate work: https://t.co/ZaJrEIjO11 pic.twitter.com/tMkjLwQ87c
In fairness, the rest of the kit hasn’t caused too much controversy, but the sleeves have certainly sparked a major debate, both regarding the design and the message behind the stripes.
We can bicker about whether we like the kit or not all day long - that’s nothing new with many strips over the years dividing the fanbase - most notably the 2015/16 African Violet wonderfulness.
Personally, I believe this kit is a grower. I like it already and I’m sure the majority of people will warm to it when they see it in person and/or get used to it over time. It’s something different and, for that reason, I’m a big fan.
The white shorts also give me 2011/12 promotion-winning vibes - and the blue socks aren’t too shabby either. Reading - I believe you’ve done a decent job.
Others will disagree - and I totally respect that.
We’re proud to unveil our 2022-23 @MacronSports home kit. Alongside the classic blue and white hoops this season, sit stripes!— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) July 25, 2022
We can’t do everything, but we can’t do nothing. Let @UniofReading warming stripes start your climate conversation!#ShowYourStripes #HoopsForTheFuture
On the issue of climate change, it’s one that’s going to cause division and it’s a real shame.
All fanbases argue among each other on Twitter and that’s something that you learn to accept - but it’s disheartening too because this social media platform and politics has caused a minority of people to have a real lack of respect for each other in recent years.
Some people believe it’s important to tackle what they believe is an important issue - and others just want football to be their escape from the realities and strain of life.
I fall into the former category but it’s also important to understand both points of view. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: Ding to get promoted and a messy night in the Purple Turtle.
It’s important not to forget that we’re all fighting for a common goal - and what binds us together is the fact we’re supporters of the club. That should keep us together ahead of what could be a difficult campaign - and the team needs us more than ever.
We can say what we want about Dai Yongge in recent years, I certainly have, but coming together to support the team will be extremely important, both on social media and at the SCL Stadium.
If we can stick together regardless of our differing views on the climate, we can create a good atmosphere both for fellow fans and players on social media. Platforms like Twitter are more powerful than many people realise, so this good atmosphere will be important.
PSA: Calling out misinformation is important - but we can do it respectfully.
Actions speak louder than words
Moving on to the actual issue of climate change itself, the club needs to be fully committed if they are to pursue this goal of raising awareness.
People are fed up of performative activism from big companies, so the Royals need to make a real change if they are to make this partnership with the Uni of Reading an effective one.
Starting a conversation is one thing - but practising what you preach is another.
In fairness, they have revealed the kit is 100% recyclable - and have already taken further steps to be more environmentally friendly. With this, it seems as though we’re on the right tracks, so fair play to the club for taking on a big issue and backing up words with action (so far).
Hopefully, they can use their influence to ensure stakeholders and sponsors are doing everything they can to make our planet a better place to live.
The cost of living
The price of this new strip also highlights another issue - the cost of living crisis.
Football shirts have been expensive for some time now and that’s nothing new - but I hope those who are currently struggling financially manage to get their hands on a top at some point this season.
At the end of the day, football is nothing without supporters and at this time, we all need to stick together.