Adidas runs with first batch of ocean plastic footwear

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Adidas and Parley for the Oceans devised a means of turning plastic reclaimed from the ocean into technical yarn fibers(Credit: Adidas)

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The first batch of Adidas footwear to be produced using ocean plastic has been made available. The sportswear brand partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create the Adidas x Parley, which is made with plastics collected in coastal areas of the Maldives, as well as illegal deep-sea gill nets.

Adidas announced its partnership with Parley for the Oceans in April 2015 and showcased the Adidas x Parley at Parley Talks 'Oceans. Climate. Life.' later in the year. The two organizations devised a means of turning plastic reclaimed from the ocean into technical yarn fibers that can be used for making performance products.

The recycled plastic material produced has been christened Parley Ocean Plastic and is used for the upper part of the Adidas x Parley. In addition, the shoe has been manufactured using Adidas' Tailored Fibre Technology production method, which allows designs to be customized to the needs of the eventual wearer.

The Adidas x Parley is said to be one of a number of products that Adidas is now able to produce using Parley Ocean Plastic. One of the main goals of the partnership, however, has been to develop and support new technologies to up-cycle ocean plastic debris, thereby providing a use for plastic waste that is retrieved from the oceans.

"We are creating new standards, new materials and technologies that are so different to those the sporting goods industry is used to," says Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch. "It is an ongoing challenge, but we achieved the first step. Now we can replace new plastic with recycled marine plastic debris."

There are 50 pairs of the Adidas x Parley being made available to begin, but they cannot simply be bought. To get their hands, or feet, on a pair of the shoes, individuals must enter a video into an Instagram competition that shows how they pledge to avoid single-use plastic items and to support Parley's Ocean Plastic Program. Participants have until the end of July to enter.

Adidas says the use of Parley Ocean Plastic will be phased into its product categories. The first commercial footwear made using the material is expected to be made available to buy in the second half of this year.

The video below tells the story of the Adidas x Parley running shoes.

Sources: Adidas, Parley

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