Sustainable Shoes

Global athletic brand, Adidas, has partnered with Parley in an effort to create an innovative product using 3D printing and ocean plastic waste. In their latest prototype, they’ve developed a shoe made up of filaments and yarns from reclaimed plastic waste from the ocean, proving that recycled materials can be used to create functional and comfortable footwear.

However, it takes its concept design to the next level. Adidas is now combining ocean plastic for the shoe’s upper part and is using a 3D printing to create a midsole using recycled gillnets and polyester.

"2015 is our year, the year of the Oceans: the ocean movement successfully brought the cause onto the COP21 agenda in Paris," said Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, in a release. "Protecting life underwater became the 14th development goal of the United Nations. With a framework of political goodwill in place, it is the right moment to transform words into action. Therefore, Parley in Paris is all about updating knowledge, sharing visions, fine-tuning strategies, creating concepts and forging collaborations in order to kickstart change. We are really excited to have adidas supporting us in this journey and showing how you can take concrete steps in the right direction."

Next Steps

The move to create more sustainable products comes after Executive Board member, Eric Liedtke stated at the Paris Climate Change Summit that the industry will no longer be able to wait for instructions regarding next steps from world leaders.

"World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn't need to be told to do the right thing," said Liedtke. "The industry can't afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. The 3D-printed ocean plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason of what we create. We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems."

Together with Parley, the brand is now taking actionable steps to create sustainable materials that can be used by consumers as well as athletes. In addition, the brand is also addressing non-biodegradable pollution by phasing out the use of plastic bags across all its stores on a global scale, set for full implementation before 2017.

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