A greener game of rugby means choosing rugby balls that are made from Fair Trade, plant-based materials, and using organic ways to keep the rugby pitch in good condition. Rugby is a very different game to football, although many people are fans of both (over 800 million people follow the game worldwide – of course we are all familiar with the Haka dance by the New Zealand All-Blacks).
It uses a unique oval ball that can be passed by hand, and was first created at Rugby School in the Midlands. It can be very rough (one player was killed during a match in 1871) and yet today it is safer. England is renowned for being one of the best teams – it is still the only team north of the Equator to win a Rugby World Cup. There is also a women’s rugby team too.
- Finisterre Rugby Shirt (above) has custom stripes and signature corozo nut (tagua nut: vegetable ivory) buttons, and a reinforced woven collar. This relaxed fit has an embroidered Finisterre logo and is machine-washable. You can also buy an organic cotton rugby scrum t -shirt from Invisible Friend.
- Rugby balls were originally made from pig bladders, and even today many are made from leather. Although many are now Fair Trade, you still have to search for an animal-friendly rugby ball. Some of Bala rugby balls are made with leather, but they also make Fair Trade latex and synthetic rugby balls, including mini-versions for children.
- Many rugby boots are made with K-leather. Animals Australia reports the boots are made by shooting kangaroos, then clubbing or decapitating the joeys left in the pouch (if they escape, they starve or get eaten). Switch to vegan rugby boots (and donate to a kangaroo sanctuary).
- You can buy used rugby kits and boots for children at Old School Uniform & Uniform Swap Shop.
- Green Gazelles is England’s first vegan rugby club! If you thought that vegans were tiny skinny weedy people you could knock over, try playing rugby against this lot! They don’t just eat plant foods, but all their kit and boots are animal-friendly too. Vegan rugby players include Ireland’s Anthony Mullally and Johanna Jahnke.