Adidas continues to make strides in efforts to combat plastic pollution and is expanding its collaboration with environmental conservationists Parley for the Oceans. Adidas first debuted their collaboration in 2015, with a prototype made from ocean plastic harvested off the coast of West Africa. With an upper made of 95% ocean plastic, Adidas has continued to expand their line of Ultraboost, Ultraboost X, and Ultraboost Uncaged shoes.
During an initial run in 2016, there were 7,000 pairs made. With the effort being so successful, they manufactured—and sold—1 million pairs in 2017. In a collaboration that proves recycling doesn't have to be unfashionable, designer Stella McCartney even got involved, putting her touch on several pairs of women's Ultraboost shoes. The newest addition to the collection, the NMD_CS1 Parley Primeknit shoes, have a minimalist, lightweight slip-on design and are available for $220. Each shoe contains 11 plastic bottles' worth of recycled plastic, and also incorporates recycled PET.
Adidas' commitment to environmental health doesn't stop with their shoes. Several years ago they also eliminated plastic bags in all their stores, and believe that through example they can make their customers more mindful of environmental issues. “We not only see sustainability as an opportunity to get a competitive advantage,” CEO Kasper Rorsted told The Independent. “We see it as an obligation for us as a global company to do business in a responsible and sustainable way.”
Well on their way toward their final goal of eliminating virgin plastic from their supply chain, Adidas is leading the way for businesses to think about how they can integrate recycled plastics into products. Shop the full Adidas Parley line, which also includes shirts and joggers, via Adidas' website.