While there have been some amazing advancements with technology and sneakers this year, we think that Adidas’ partnership with Parley For The Oceans is one of the most exciting! Earlier this year the companies unveiled the Adidas x Parley sneaker in front of the U.N. General Assembly. The entire upper of the sneaker was constructed of recycled ocean plastic and seized deep-sea gillnets (if you haven’t read the story of how Parley obtained the 45 miles of gillnet for the prototype, it is incredible). While the sneaker shown was only a prototype, Adidas announced that they were working with Parley to make the Adidas x Parley a consumer product. The idea was great, with every sneaker purchased you helped the oceans to be cleaner.
But Adidas and Parley For The Oceans clearly thought they could do better. The two companies used the COP21 conference to unveiled the next step in their eco-friendly sneakers. The new sneakers continue to feature an upper constructed from recycled ocean plastic but have added a new midsole. Adidas and Parley designed a 3D printed midsole that consists of recycled polyester and gillnets. The result is a sneaker that is almost entirely made from ocean waste. While there is no timeline to bring the sneakers to market, Adidas and Parley continue to state that is the ultimate plan.
At this week’s COP21 Adidas’ Group Executive Board Member, Eric Liedtke, took the stage and said, “World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need to be told to do the right thing. The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer.” Fashion is one of the most environmentally harmful industries on the planet and it is amazing to see a company like Adidas working to lessen its footprint. 3D printing appears to be a great step forward from an ecological standpoint; products can be created on demand with zero waste and zero pollutants. But not only is Adidas working hard to develop products are eco friendly, they are also using materials that result in actually improving the world around us. We cannot wait for a commercial version of these sneakers!