November 11, 2016

Adidas turns Ocean Waste into Shoes

Adidas turns Ocean Waste into Shoes

The German sportswear manufacturer Adidas has created new sneakers from ocean waste. Photo Credit: Adidas

Ocean waste has plenty of legs, and not in a good way. There is just so much of it in our seas that our oceans are on the verge of drowning in all that waste. Now the German sportswear manufacturer Adidas has come up with an idea: Why not turn some of that waste into something useful? Like fancy new sneakers, for instance.

In collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, an organization devoted to tackling the problem of plastic waste in our seas, the manufacturer has done just that: create running shoes made from plastic waste.

The upper part of the new concept shoe boasts 95% content of plastic waste taken from the ocean near the Maldives. The rest of the shoe is also mostly made from recycled waste materials. Its midsole, for instance, has been 3D-printed using recycled polyamide and content gained from recycling gill nets.

Photo Credit: Adidas

Photo Credit: Adidas

The company has made 7,000 pairs of its new running shoe and will be selling them this month for $200. But these few thousand shoes are just the beginning. “We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017, and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain,” Adidas has pledged.

By transitioning to industrial-scale recycling of plastic waste, the German manufacturer seeks to lead the way in transforming its industry in the direction of increased environmental friendliness. “The industry can’t afford to wait … any longer,” said Eric Liedtke, a Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands at Adidas. “Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes,” he added. “We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems.”

In line with this august aim, Adidas, one of the world’s most prominent  sportswear manufacturers, will also start phasing out the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores worldwide in order to avoid adding to the massive amounts of plastic waste in the planet’s oceans.

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