• Adidas has unveiled two proof-of-concepts – a 100% recyclable hoodie and a tennis dress created with Microsilk and cellulose blended yarn.
  • The prototypes are the latest step in Adidas' longstanding commitment to reducing the industry's environmental impact, going beyond the promise of repurposed plastics to the possibility of biodegradable.
  • The concepts were developed in collaboration with Evrnu and Bolt Threads.
The Adidas by Stella McCartney Infinite Hoodie has been created in partnership with advanced textile innovations company Evrnu

The Adidas by Stella McCartney Infinite Hoodie has been created in partnership with advanced textile innovations company Evrnu

As part of its continued drive to solve the problem of product waste, German sportswear giant Adidas has unveiled two new Adidas by Stella McCartney performance apparel prototypes, including what it claims is the first 100% recyclable hoodie created from garment waste.

With the world producing an estimated 92m tonnes of textile waste every year, Adidas by Stella McCartney and partners are working to turn the problem into a more sustainable design solution.

Unveiled today (5 July), the new eco-conscious products were developed as part of Adidas' open source approach to creation in collaboration with advanced textile innovations company Evrnu and US-based biotechnology company Bolt Threads.

Using NuCycl by Evrnu technology, the new Infinite Hoodie is made from 60% NuCycl and 40% organic cotton that has been diverted from landfills. The technology works to extend the life cycle of single-use textile fibres by extracting the molecular building blocks of the original fibre in a way that pristine new fibres can be created, again and again, according to the firm's website.

Meanwhile, the Adidas by Stella McCartney Biofabric Tennis Dress is a prototype concept incubated in partnership with Bolt Threads, a company that specialises in bioengineered sustainable materials and fibres. The tennis dress is the first of its kind, made with cellulose blended yarn and Microsilk, a protein-based material that is made with renewable ingredients, like water, sugar, and yeast and has the ability to fully biodegrade at the end of its life.

The inspiration behind the products, Adidas says, is simple: create product that not only performs for the athlete, but also for the world at large. To realise this ambition, Adidas is exploring ways to minimise waste via three focus areas:

Made with Repurposed Plastic targets one of the biggest challenges facing the brand today – reducing the dependency on virgin use plastics and CO2 emissions associated with production. The first solution to this problem was seen in 2015 with the launch of the first Adidas x Parley prototype shoe, created from upcycled marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets. In the four years since, Adidas has built a supply chain for scale and will make 11m pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic by the end of 2019, with the goal to use only recycled polyester in products by 2024.

Made to be Remade is the next step, creating a completely circular loop where products won't end up on beaches or landfills in the first place. Through closed systems, raw materials can be broken down and remade into high-performance sportswear, as seen earlier this year with the launch of Futurecraft.Loop, a recyclable performance running shoe that can be returned and repurposed into another shoe, and today with the reveal of the Adidas by Stella McCartney Infinite Hoodie.

Made to Biodegrade is the future-gazing ambition to create a bionic loop where products have the capability of being completely biodegradable and return to the natural ecosystem. Using materials developed from natural resources or made from cells and proteins in a lab, as seen with the Adidas by Stella McCartney Biofabric Tennis Dress concept, Adidas has demonstrated the possibility to create products using materials that are made with nature, and is a step in the brand's journey to explore innovative solutions that can, at some point, also return to nature.  

"Creating products with upcycled plastic waste was our first step. The next challenge is to end the concept of waste entirely," says James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation at Adidas. "Focusing on three core areas, we will explore ways to create products that can either be fully recyclable or biodegradable.  We don't have all the answers and we know we can't do it alone. By collaborating with partners who share our same vision, as we've done with Evrnu and Bolt Threads, we can combine adidas' sports industry expertise with specialist knowledge to bring about a waste-free world."

Stella McCartney adds: "Fashion is one of the most harmful industries to the environment. We can't wait any longer to search for answers and alternatives. By creating a truly open approach to solving the problem of textile waste, we can help empower the industry at large to bring more sustainable practices into reality. With Adidas by Stella McCartney we're creating high performance products that also safeguard the future of the planet."

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