In 2016 Adidas leaped into the sustainable clothing market to clean up toxins in their shoes and help reduce ocean pollution. They announced that they arrived at a milestone of one million pairs of running shoes made using ocean plastic waste sold this past year and count on seeing that amount to increase this year.
Adidas carries on to making progress in endeavours to fight plastic pollution and is extending its collaboration with environmental conservationists Parley for the Oceans. Each pair of shoes uses around 11 plastic bottles and incorporates recycled plastic into the shoe’s laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers.
These shoes are practically indistinguishable from a regular pair of Adidas shoes, however the invisible advantages of how they are manufactured may have long-term significance on the future of footwear. By having an upper made of 95% ocean plastic, Adidas continues to expand their line of Ultraboost, Ultraboost X, and Ultraboost Uncaged shoes.
“Adidas says its work with Parley rests on a three-point strategy: avoid the use of virgin plastic, gather plastic waste from the environment when possible, and redesign footwear and apparel so that it is both sustainable and performs better.”
Eric Liedtke, head of global brands at Adidas, stated that the target is a “moonshot” knowning that five million pairs is “a drop in the bucket.” Nevertheless, he is convinced that it is time for no new plastic materials to be made whatsoever. Although it was a good invention, “it was made to never go away, so all that has been made is still floating around the world today.”
In 2016, Adidas also pledged to phase out plastic bags in its 2,900 retail shops all over the world, saving 70 million plastic shopping bags by changing to paper bags in its stores.