German sportswear giant Adidas is turning to consumers to help better understand how it can close the loop by asking them to trial its fully recyclable performance footwear as part of its ‘Made to be Remade’ project.
The company will give 1,500 members of its Creators Club a pair of its new UltraBoost DNA Loop running shoes to trial as part of a “sustainability micro-community”, tasked with providing feedback over the course of a 21-week programme.
Participants commit to returning the shoes – which are ‘Made to be Remade’ from the outset, by using one material type and no glue –to be grinded, shredded, and turned into something new.
“We don’t think of UltraBoost DNA Loop as simply a high-performance running shoe, but as an experience where every owner plays a vital part,” explains James Carnes, Adidas vice president brand strategy.
“To make this a success we need to understand the human element – how people can be encouraged to return the shoes to be recycled – because while we control the creation, we can only influence what happens when the shoes leave us. We can’t get there alone – we’re looking for 1,500 committed individuals to help us change how we create.
“UltraBoost DNA Loop is not just a shoe, it’s a movement and we want our community of creators to help us define a better future where products are ‘Made to be Remade.'”
The project is aimed at tackling the problem of plastic waste, using recycled materials, and creating closed-loop or circular manufacturing models, where raw materials can be repurposed again and again. But not just repurposed into a water bottle or a tote, but into high-performance products.
Each component of the UltraBoost DNA Loop is made from 100% reusable TPU, spun to yarn, knitted, molded, and clean-fused to a Boost midsole.
This means that, once UltraBoost DNA Loop come to the end of their first life and are returned to Adidas, they are washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with less waste.