Turning Ocean Plastic into Sportswear

Adidas produces shoes using upcycled marine plastic waste and invests in the education of future generations. Image Source: adidas

In 2018, Adidas created a global movement with Run For The Oceans, uniting nearly one million runners from around the world and raising $1 million for long-term partner, Parley for the Oceans. To date, the money raised has helped directly educate and empower 100,000 youths and their families living in coastal areas affected by plastic pollution to take action as part of the Parley Ocean School Program. The partnership saw 5 million pairs of shoes created using recycled ocean plastic in 2018 alone.

The German based company announced that it was going to accelerate the pace of change this year. The introduction of the 2019 Parley range will see the company produce a landmark 11 million pairs of shoes using upcycled marine plastic waste. As the sportswear manufacturer reports, this year’s campaign will also unite more runners in more locations than ever before, and inspire them to lace up and “Run For The Oceans” to reach its increased goal of $1.5 million.

“The marine plastic crisis we’re facing has become critically urgent. We effect it daily through the plastics we use and throw away. Every minute, the equivalent of a dump truck of plastic waste enters our oceans and by 2050, this could mean there may be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans”, says Alberto Uncini Manganelli, General Manager Running, Adidas. “We know the stats and we’re aware of the issue. Now we need action. Back in 2016, we created the first performance products with recycled ocean plastics and went on to produce six million pairs of Adidas x Parley shoes by 2018, with a goal of making 11 million units this year, intercepting vast amounts of plastic from entering our oceans. We’ve come a long way and won’t stop there. As a business, we have committed ourselves to use only 100% recycled polyester by 2024. We are challenging our business and those around us to think about the decisions they make and how they impact the future, of not just our industry, but our planet.”

“Run for the Oceans is an opportunity to celebrate the oceans, a place where runners unite to dedicate their time and energy and generate investment towards saving our oceans – this year, for our new activist platform, a global stage for the next generation of creators, leaders and thinkers”, adds Cyrill Gutsch, Founder and CEO, Parley for the Oceans. “As the voice of our future, our youth make the most convincing teachers and best ambassadors, educating parents, industry leaders and politicians, and using media in the most native way. Youth are our biggest hope, since they are driven by the strongest of all motivations: their own survival.”

Through their partnership, Adidas and Parley have intercepted vast amounts of plastic waste from marine environments and coastal communities, turning ocean plastic into sportswear since 2015.

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