Although Earth Day has now passed – why isn’t every day Earth Day, we wonder… – we’re doing our little bit to keep the “movement” ongoing by highlighting the efforts adidas and Parley for the Oceans, a creative initiative focused on ending marine plastic pollution, have been doing this month. If you’ve been following either platforms or our Instagram stories, you’re already in the know about their ongoing collaboration’s latest campaign that brings Major League Soccer back into the mix, which ties perfectly with its “MLS WORKS Greener Goals” initiative.
officially dubbed “Earth Day Kits,” the three-way collab steps it up a notch from last year’s effort that picked only four clubs to create jerseys for. This year we saw the inclusion of MLS’ full roster of 23 clubs, each receiving a unique jersey constructed out of “upcycled plastic waste intercepted on beaches and in coastal communities.” As for our own efforts, we brought in the help of Norweigan-born pro soccer player Ola Kamara, who recently joined LA Galaxy, to model his new club’s adidas x Parley kits.
In addition to the photo editorial, we sat the man down to ask him about his new move to LA Galaxy as well as Los Angeles, the city he now calls home, what he thinks about the adidas x Parley x MLS kits, the brands’ environmental efforts as a whole, his personal opinions on saving the planet – seeing as Norway is pretty hands-on with ocean clean up, and more. Check out our interview with Ola below:
From our own research, Norway, which of course sits be the Norweigan Sea, does a lot in terms of cleaning up the ocean, so we can only imagine that it’s something you were conscious of growing up. Are you still aware of its current environmental efforts?
Coming from Norway, I think we’re doing a lot; there are not that many cars anymore. They’re actually pushing to get electric cars in and stuff like that, so hopefully it’s still getting cleaner. For me, thinking about the environment, even with clothing now, it’s a new step and it’s good innovation. As a [soccer] player, I think you always have to be creative and take that creativity to these types of efforts. adidas has been doing this for a while with their products, and it turns out that people are in fact interested in these kinds of the products and the thought and messages around them.
What about specifically what adidas, Parley and the MLS are doing with the eco-friendly kit campaign?
Well, my new teammates and I really like all the stuff adidas and Parley have been doing. We actually talk a lot about the environment and I think this initiative is all about that – getting the conversation going and being a positive effect on the community. I think that’s the thing that makes you proud of being a professional athlete, to be in a position where you can help promote action like that. It’s incredible that [adidas, Parley, and the MLS] are putting that effort out there for this particular cause. We’re all of the age now where we can think of the future, we can think of what our kids are going to be living in.
Aside from being eco-friendly, adidas and Parley have always been very conscious of the actual design of their products. It’s great that they’re using recycled waste to make the jersey’s but from what we’ve already seen of the kits, the design is on point – and always has been with the ongoing collab. Are you about the aesthetics of it all yourself?
To be honest I think the designs are fantastic, and really everything to do with the branding behind the whole recycling project. I was at adidas’ 747 event here in LA, and the build-out for Parley and how we got to see the whole construction process for the shoes was incredible! So yeah, of course the stuff looks good and it’s supposed to. When I go in to buy stuff from adidas, I’m looking at stuff that looks cool. The fact that the Parley stuff has that initiative that’s positive for the environment is just a bonus! The fact that they can make it look that good is fantastic.
What are you main comments on the Jerseys themselves?
Oh man, I’m excited about the Jerseys! They feel good. The one I have on now feels like I’m able to score some goals in it, so that’s always good!
Speaking of goals and soccer, can you bring us back to that first moment when you heard the news that LA Galaxy wanted you? Can you walk us through what was going on in your head?
Honestly, it was actually a long process. I think the moment it was clear that it was happening, it was amazing, but it was almost like I wanted the process to be over and I can actually get started being out here with LA Galaxy. When I actually got here in LA, that was when it was more like a game changer for me. like, I’m actually here and I’m going to play for LA Galaxy!
So how’s everything been since arriving here in LA?
It’s been busy the first couple of months, especially with needing to go back to Europe for the green card, and then only one week later back to playing with the national team, and then trying to find a place here in LA… It’s a lot of stuff that’s happening, but now I’m kind of settling in and my body is starting to feel a little bit better, so hopefully now it’s all about playing good, performing well and then also hopefully scoring goals! Outside of soccer though, it’s been amazing.
What about you and getting familiarized with the LA Galaxy team. How’s the rapport going? Are you fitting in with everyone?
I really like the guys! It’s been a lot of fun. Right now the team is in second place, and I don’t even think we’ve reached our full potential yet.
To get to know you personally a little better, what kind of things are interested in outside of soccer?
I’m big into hip hop right now. I think hip hop culture has a way of influencing you in terms of style and swag and everything. But I’m also a father, so you have to think about how you act and how you come across while enjoying all these things. And that actually ties back into the whole Parley thing, you know? I’m at a point where I’m thinking about what the next generation are going think. That being said, my son is only 2 years old, so all this stuff like hip hop and of course the soccer style and the sporty side of me is still all there – I’ve always been an active kind of guy. I love sports.
Well now that you’re living here in LA, which has a long history of hip hop, is there anything or anyone that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Hopefully I can see Kendrick Lamar! Maybe at their Champions Tour… So I’m looking forward to that, and then you actually have Nico and Vinz out here. The “Am I wrong” guys. So I guess you have some kind of Norwegian hip hop out here in LA!
Lastly, I wanted to ask if there’s anything going on in your life that you wanted to talk about perhaps a message to share with our readers. Anything at all.
Think about the environment, work hard, and enjoy life.
Photos by Brandon Ferlin