Help Clean the Earth by Buying These Adidas Shoes Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic
Technology| | By Robin Milling
Recyling plastic is a movement that’s been going on now since the 1970s. Four decades later the problem with what to do with our plastic waste still exists, and unfortunately one of those garbage dumps has become the ocean floor.
However, an organization called Parley for the Oceans aims to clean up marine debris and recycle it into something sustainable for humans while being environmentally friendly, and at the same time save us from eating fish that have ingested plastic particles.
Parley’s mission is to collect plastic that has washed up on beaches and shorelines before it gets sucked out into the vast ocean where it will become almost impossible to find. Part of their efforts have focused on reclaiming plastics that have been deposited in the Indian Ocean and are washing up on the shores of the Maldives. Adidas, the global sportswear company has run with this concept and partnered with Parley to create the UltraBoost Uncaged shoe trainers made from 95% ocean plastic.
Adidas has announced they will release close to 7,000 pairs of the recycled plastic trainers into the market, with a projected goal to produce one million ocean plastic pairs of trainers by 2017 . The first batch of footwear was revealed November 15 and according to adidas’s executive board member of global brands, Eric Liedtke, the company also promises to eliminate virgin plastic from their supply chain.
Here’s a look at the origins of taking ocean plastic and turning it into trainers:
Even adidas employees have been recruited to scavenge for plastic waste located along 1,000 coral islands off the western coast of India. It’s part of their initiative to support Parley for the Oceans in its education and implementation of their Ocean Plastic Program, ‘A.I.R.’ The acronym stands for ‘Avoid, Intercept, and Redesign,’ intended to end ocean plastic pollution. Collecting the waste was adidas’ effort to complete the ‘Intercept’ portion.
In November 2015, 20 employees attended Parley Ocean School, a unique program that blends ocean activism with experiential learning and activities in a marine environment.
The ‘Avoid’ phase has been to eliminate the use of plastic bags in its own retail stores. According to adidas’ news site, the company has already discontinued using plastic bottles for meetings at its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. The third phase ‘Redesign’ is evident in their new 3D-printed ocean plastic shoe mid-sole. But prior to that, adidas and Parley for the Oceans celebrated their partnership at United Nations headquarters in July 2015 which showcased a world first – a shoe upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.
The recycled ocean plastic doesn’t stop at footwear. Adidas has also increased its efforts to source marine waste as a resource for its soccer apparel. World-renowned clubs Bayern Munich and Real Madrid recently joined adidas in their “plastics to performance wear” movement. Both teams have modeled adidas jerseys and shorts made from Parley’s ocean plastic during matches.
Adidas is taking one step at a time to improve the environment. Parley for the Oceans’ founder Cyrill Gutsch hopes other corporations will follow in their footsteps.
“Nobody can save the oceans alone. Each of us can play a role in the solution. It’s in the hands of the creative industries to reinvent faulty materials (such as plastic). With this shoe we demonstrate what’s possible. It’s even more than a shoe. It’s a flag, an invitation to join our movement,” said Gutsch.