Since 2015, Adidas has partnered with environmental conservationists Parley for the Oceans to create a line of footwear and apparel that does its part to keep our oceans clean. Made with plastic waste intercepted from the beach before it enters the water, the Adidas x Parley line has been wildly successful and is continuing to grow.
With consumers clamoring for these environmentally-friendly sneakers, Adidas is prepared to ramp up production in 2019. “With Adidas products made from recycled plastic, we offer our consumers real added value beyond the look, functionality, and quality of the product, because every shoe is a small contribution to the preservation of our oceans,” said Eric Liedtke, Adidas Executive Board Member. “After one million pairs of shoes produced in 2017, five million in 2018, we plan to produce eleven million pairs of shoes containing recycled ocean plastic in 2019.”
Not only are the Parley shoes sustainable, they're also fashionable with several models now available. Ranging in price from $160 to $220, they aren't cheap, but they rate well with consumers. For instance, the Parley Ultraboost rates highly on running sneaker review site Run Repeat, with over 1200 reviews. They're particularly noted for their comfort while running, as well as the variety of colors available.
Aside from shoes, Adidas is also partnering with designers like Stella McCartney to create stylish, sustainable sportswear. But the initiative doesn't stop there. It actually runs through the entire manufacturing process and in Adidas' offices. In manufacturing, Adidas focuses on using sustainable materials, cutting CO2 emissions, and waste prevention. They estimate that in 2018, they were able to save 40 tons of plastic waste in their offices, retail stores, warehouses, and distribution centers by seeking more sustainable solutions.
While Adidas admits that it's not possible to get rid of all plastic, citing transport plastic as an example, they do try to offset these usages. They've donated €1.5 million (about $1.7 million) to Fashion for Good, a platform for sustainable fashion, to counterbalance the environmental impact of their plastic usage. By stepping up, Adidas is leading the way for other fashion companies to innovate in the use of materials and to examine their own practices to make our planet a better place.