Adidas spread the company’s efforts for more environmentally aware manufacturing by designing a pair of shoes manufactured of plastic waste.
The German shoe manufacturer teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, a conservation group to retrieve plastic waste such as fishing nets and use it to create shoes that perfectly wearable, fashionable and comfortable.
Ocean waters are burying tons of plastic waste yearly. As plastic is not degradable, this material lingers in the water inflicting devastating effects on marine wildlife and its habitat. As such, Parley for the Oceans decided to collect plastic waste that is plaguing the ocean waters, albeit a small fraction of it and put it to good use.
Adidas and Parley for the Oceans struck the deal to recycle ocean retrieved plastic waste in an overarching effort to raise awareness of what could be done. So, the fishing nets became material for knitting the Adidas shoes.
As the design of the shoes does not follow traditional manufacturing methods, the benefits are twofold. Once, plastic waste is collected from the ocean. Secondly, new harmful waste is not created. Eric Liedtke of Adidas Group explained:
“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.”
Thus, Adidas uses for instance both the yarns, as well as the filaments of the nets to create the upper part of the shoes.
Do not expect to see these environmentally friendly shoes on the market any time soon. For the moment, Adidas declared that the plastic waste shoes are simply intended to pinpoint the concept of sustainable manufacturing.
Marketing and mass production made way for knitting plastic waste to create one pair of Adidas shoes. A commendable effort that meets environmental concerns at least half way. Cyrill Gutsch of Parley for the Oceans underlined how it 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.”
Plastic is indeed problematic. Ending up in the ocean, plastic waste is destroying habitats and affecting marine wildlife. What happens when the Adidas shoes are worn out? They could end up back in the ocean.
Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time Adidas takes on environmental awareness support through its footwear. The plastic waste shoes add up to the list of modified patterns designed to reduce waste creation, or the use of other recycled materials.
Thumbs up for Adidas supporting an increasingly sustainable shoe manufacturing industry and setting an example.
Image Source: fastcompany.net