Adidas wants to sell 11 million pairs of recycled plastic shoes


German sports brand Adidas is a strong believer in circular economy: the company has been selling shoes made out of recycled plastic since 2017 and hopes to sell 11 million pairs of those this year.


Double the amount of 2018

Last year, Adidas sold 5 million pairs of shoes made entirely out of recycled plastic which was collected from oceans and beaches by an organisation called Parley for the Oceans. Out of that material, threads can be spun which Adidas uses to construct a shoe. This year, the group wants to take it to a whole new level, according to Eric Liedtke, the member of the executive board who is responsible for global brands.


"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," said Liedtke. "After one million pairs of shoes produced in 2017, five million in 2018, we plan to produce eleven million pairs of shoes containing recycled ocean plastic in 2019."


40 tons of plastic waste saved

"Sustainability at Adidas goes far beyond recycled plastic," adds Gil Steyaert, another member of the executive board. "We also continue to improve our environmental performance during the manufacturing of our products. This includes the use of sustainable materials, the reduction of carbon 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."


Adidas is not the only company to upcycle plastic litter, by the way: The North Face and Stella McCartney have been experimenting with the use of such material in their clothing, and so has Waste2Wear. Last year, the latter made recycled polyester out of over two million plastic bottles from oceans and disposal sites for the autumn and winter collections of such fashion brands as Claudia Sträter, Oilily, Promiss, Expresso, Steps and Wehkamp.