From trash to training wear: how adidas is raising the bar

To stop plastic from polluting our oceans, adidas will shift entirely to recycled polyester by 2024.

Reducing the environmental impact is an essential priority for adidas. Polyester is the most used material in their products due to its properties for sports performance because it dries quickly and is super lightweight. The transition could not happen overnight of course, but they are committed to phase out the use of virgin polyester entirely over the next years.

It all started in 2012 at the London Olympic Games, where adidas equipped all volunteers with uniforms made from recycled polyester. In 2019, the majority of their football jerseys and running shoes are made more consciously. By 2024, they aim to have all of their shoes and clothing made with recycled polyester. They promise to deliver the same style, high-performance and durability while significantly reducing the impact on the environment.

adidas vs plastic

adidas is a firm believer in the power of brands to use their influence and act in response to environmental issues. Using creativity and imagination, they have found ways to reduce their environmental footprint, and create products that turn plastic trash into something more useful. Together with environmental organization Parley for the Oceans, they took up the challenge of using marine plastic waste as a raw material, unveiling a first concept shoe at the United Nations in New York in 2015. The upper was made of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea fishing gillnets. Since then, adidas have developed a range of clothing and shoes that is made with plastic trash intercepted from remote islands, beaches and coastal communities around the world. The plastic is collected by Parley and its global clean-up network, before being cleaned and processed into a thread that can be used to make shoes, high-performance sportswear and other clothing. Since the first generation of adidas x Parley products hit the market in 2016, they’ve produced over five million pairs of shoes made with marine plastic trash, and they plan to make 11 million more in 2019. That’s more than 2810 metric tons of plastic trash that has been prevented from destroying our oceans.

adidas X Parley Collection

Every piece is made of plastic trash collected from remote beaches and coastal communities.

The Alphabounce+ Parley are designed to give you all the comfort and support your run needs, with tuned forging and an optimized fit. They are also designed to save the oceans, with a woven upper made from upcycled plastic trash.

From trash to training wear

adidas x Parley training wear is made of at least 75% upcycled plastic trash. Produced with a low energy, low water printing process, it offers all the support and breathability you need. Now you don’t have to choose between better performance or a better planet.