Adidas uses ocean trash to make footwear – and a statement
The world’s oceans are in peril due to a combination of pollution, overfishing and climate change. Recently, the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, a German center for polar and marine research, sent out a strong warning about fundamental changes that are occurring in those ecosystems. But awareness is growing and the fight to preserve the oceans has found an ally in Adidas, which has teamed with conservation group Parley for the Oceans to create footwear made with trash harvested from the ocean.
Parley for the Oceans works with partners such as Adidas to come up with creative solutions to spread the word about the crisis facing the world's oceans. With this goal, Adidas will produce a line of footwear with uppers made of yarns and filaments recycled from ocean waste and deep-sea gillnets used by illegal fisheries. Marine life activists Sea Shepherd, another Parley partner, retrieved the nets during a 110-day-long poaching vessel hunt that ended somewhere off the West African coastline.
For now, Adidas has created a unique prototype, and the photos released give eco-minded Adidas fans an idea of what’s to come later this year. The prototype was shown during a launch event at the United Nations as part of the Parley Talks series. Titled "Oceans. Climate. Life." the event saw a range of experts give the audience a view of the chaotic state of the oceans and the consequences of climate change.
"At Parley for the Oceans, we want to establish the oceans as a fundamental part of the debate around climate change," said Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch. "Our objective is to boost public awareness and to inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans. We are extremely proud that adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool".
This is not the first time a major company has looked to raised awareness about the degradation of the world's oceans by creating artifacts out of trash. Back in 2010, Electrolux created a limited edition vacuum cleaner from this type of debris. Elsewhere, UK-based Studio Swine and Kieren Jones created the Sea Chair out of oceanic pollution.