Adidas and Parley for the Oceans conservation group partner up in manufacturing sport shoes made of ocean retrieved plastic waste.
In an overarching environmental effort, Adidas decided to create sport shoes under its brand made by knitting illegal confiscated gill nets, as well as other plastic waste collected from ocean waters.
Parley for the Oceans, a conservation group working to keep the oceans clean are a most fitted partner for the German sport shoe manufacturer. Benefits thus come twofold. On one side, harmful plastic waste is removed from the ocean, albeit a small percentage of all the waste plaguing the waters.
On the other hand, less new waste is created as the materials used are recycled. Eric Liedtke, the executive board member of global brands at Adidas group stated:
“Knitting in general eliminates waste, because you don’t have to cut out the patterns like on traditional footwear. We use what we need for the shoe and waste nothing.”
What Adidas needs is the filaments and yarns of the nets for the upper shoe part. For now, the Adidas plastic waste shoe is not hitting the markets. It is just a prototype intended to show the world that where there is will, there is a way and that should be the motto of environmental efforts such as that deployed by Parley for the Oceans.
The focus of Adidas shifted in this case from mass producing and marketing to showcasing a technique that is at least partly sustainable: collecting plastic waste from the oceans and reusing it for creating sport shoes while hindering the creation of new waste.
Cyrill Gutsch, the founder of conservation group Parley for the Oceans explains why the effort, albeit welcome and commendable is only partly sustainable:
“We’re going to end ocean plastic pollution only if we’re going to reinvent the material. We need a plastic that is not the current plastic-it’s a design failure. It causes a lot of problems. Plastic doesn’t belong in nature, it doesn’t belong in the belly of a fish, it doesn’t belong out there.”
Mr. Gutsch’s statement pinpoints the concern that when the recycled plastic Adidas shoes will be worn out, they could well end up in the oceans again, reiterating the same issue.
For Adidas, the reused plastic shoes are not the first attempt at creating a more sustainable industry, while not reducing the quality of products. In the past years, Adidas touted its patterns and recycled materials used to create a more sustainable industry.
Other shoes makers are also joining the ranks. New Balance for instance boasted the company’s own recycled plastic shoes back in 2011.
Timberland also boasts the eco-friendly rubber used for the soles of the company’s shoes, as well as shoe linings and laces made of recycled plastic bottles.
Image Source: ibtimes.co.uk