Adidas makes over 400 million sets of shoes every year. Production that many shoes requires a lot of resources. However constantly producing brand-new materials isn’t terrific for the environment. So Adidas is turning to a different source.
Professionals anticipate that in 30 years, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. And one study estimates that 90% of seabirds have actually taken in some form of plastic waste. All that pollution on beaches and in the ocean is hazardous to both marine life and humans. So Adidas is trying to stop some of that plastic before it reaches the ocean. In 2015, Adidas partnered with the ecological organization Parley for the Oceans. Their goal? To turn marine contamination into sportswear. And they have actually made substantial progress.
In 2019, Adidas anticipates to make 11 million sets of shoes with recycled ocean plastic. That’s more than double what it made in 2018. Adidas says the partnership has prevented 2,810 lots of plastic from reaching the oceans. However how are these shoes made?
All of it starts at the beach. Parley and its partners gather trash from coastal areas like the Maldives. The waste is then sorted, and the recovered plastic is sent to an Adidas processing plant. Adidas uses plastic bottles that contain polyethylene terephthalate, or ANIMAL. And if it’s something Adidas can’t use, like caps and rings? Those get sent out to regular recycling facilities.
The processing plant crushes, cleans, and dehydrates the waste, leaving nothing but little plastic flakes. The flakes are warmed, dried, and cooled, then cut into small resin pellets. Generally, polyester is made from petroleum. But Adidas melts these pellets to create a filament, which is spun into what they call Ocean Plastic, a form of polyester yarn. Adidas uses Ocean Plastic to form the upper parts of shoes and clothing like jerseys. Each product in the Parley collection is made from a minimum of 75% obstructed marine trash. And they still fulfill the same performance and comfort standards of Adidas’ other shoes. Recycled polyester utilizes less water and fewer chemicals and assists prevent plastic pollution.
Adidas’ objective is to replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester by 2024. Presently, more than 40% of Adidas’ garments utilizes recycled polyester. You may have seen Adidas’ recycled sportswear without even discovering it. Clothes made with Ocean Plastic has been used in college football, baseball, the NHL, the Australian Open, and more. However this does not eliminate plastic contamination completely. Washing polyester clothing can produce microfibers, which may end up in the ocean. Adidas recommends that customers wash their clothes less frequently, utilize cold water, and completely fill the device each time.
But this is just the initial step. Adidas is likewise developing a 100% recyclable shoe called the Futurecraft Loop. This shoe is made to be remade. Since it can be returned and broken down to develop a new pair. Futurecraft Loop is expected to be offered in 2021.
With the help of Parley for the Oceans, Adidas is using readily offered material to produce brand-new products. Which is a big action towards a sustainable future.