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January 30, 2019

Adidas to double production of shoes with recycled plastic

By Hannah Abdulla

Sportswear brand Adidas is to more than double the number of shoes produced containing recycled plastic waste to 11m pairs during 2019.

Through its partnership with environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans, the German sporting goods giant produced 1m pairs of shoes using recycled waste in 2017, increasing this to 5m pairs in 2018.

Under the collaboration, plastic waste is intercepted on beaches before it can reach the oceans. That upcycled plastic waste is made into a yarn becoming a key component of the upper material of Adidas footwear. In addition to footwear, the company also produces apparel from the recycled material, such as the Champions League jersey for FC Bayern Munich and Alexander Zverev’s outfit for the Australian Open.

“With Adidas products made from recycled plastic, we offer our consumers real added value beyond the look, functionality and quality of the product, because every shoe is a small contribution to the preservation of our oceans,” the company says.

It recently signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action at the UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, and agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. In addition, Adidas is committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by 2024. And as a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative, Adidas sources only sustainably produced cotton. 

“Sustainability at Adidas goes far beyond recycled plastic,” adds executive board member Gil Steyaert, responsible for global operations. “We also continue to improve our environmental performance during the manufacturing of our products. This includes the use of sustainable materials, the reduction of CO2 emissions and waste prevention. In 2018 alone, we saved more than 40 tons of plastic waste in our offices, retail stores, warehouses and distribution centres worldwide and replaced it with more sustainable solutions.”

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