Climate change meets fashion on the world stage.
The USA ski team stepped out this week at the World Championships in Courchevel and Meribel, France, with new blue-and-white uniforms. The patriot colors also have another message — one that warns about global warming's impact on Earth.
The blue-and-white pattern on the suits is based off a satellite photo of melting ice caps.
Designed by apparel partner Kappa and the nonprofit organization Protect Winters, the team put together the race suit specifically for the alpine World Championships, running Feb. 6-19.
Winter is the fastest warming season across the United States, and other parts of the world are also seeing rapidly rising winter temperatures. These higher-average temperatures are resulting in declining snowfall, which presents a direct and immediate threat to winter sports.
In the 2022-23 winter, ski teams around the world have dealt with canceled races due to lack of snow, courses made entirely of machine-made snow, and unsettling conditions that have skiers and snowboarders racing in 50-degree temperatures. This is happening all over the world, with European regions especially hard hit.
Sophie Goldschmidt, president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, the governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboard in the U.S., said in a news release that the suits are meant to elevate the conversation around climate change.
"Although a race suit is not solving climate change, it is a move to continue the conversation and show that U.S. Ski & Snowboard and its athletes are committed to being a part of the future," Goldschmidt said.