When shoe brand adidas made its first running shoe from upcycled plastic waste in 2015, it was just the beginning of its partnership with the environmental organization Parley for the Oceans. The collaboration has worked to intercept plastic waste on beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean, turning the waste into adidas x Parley products. The company’s recent shoe collection uses a yarn that contains at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic™. The other 50% of the yarn is recycled polyester.
adidas made it its mission to transform retrieved plastic gill nets into workable material for a shoe. The deep-sea gill nets were hand cleaned, dried, prepped, and sent off to textile suppliers to be turned into yarn for that original Ultraboost prototype shoe upper. Since that time, the company has decreased the use of virgin polyester and has crafted more than 30 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic. It has set a goal to stop using virgin polyester entirely by 2024. Photo: adidas