‘Environmentally friendly’ is probably not the phrase that springs to mind when you talk about sportswear. Yet Adidas is changing the face of sustainable footwear with three new sneaker releases.
Since 2015, Adidas has been partnered with Parley – an environmental organisation dedicated to the plight of our oceans. Parley have teamed up with industry leaders all over the world, from art to fashion, developing lucrative business strategies that make sustainable products profitable for major companies.
In the two years since coming together with Parley, Adidas have discontinued the use of plastic bags in stores. They have also released a small selection of swimwear products in the collaboration. Just last month Adidas by Stella McCartney launched the Parley UltraBoost X; a shoe made entirely from recycled plastic. Taking the idea one step further, on May 10th, Adidas will be releasing three different sneakers made from the 740 tonnes of plastic pollution Parley pulled from the Indian Ocean just last year.
The UltraBoost, UltraBoost X, and UltraBoost Uncaged have all had an eco-makeover. Adidas look well on their way to fulfilling their pledge that at least one million pairs of shoes will have been made using intercepted marine waste, by the end of this year. Inspired by the shades of the sea, each trainer comes in a fresh blue colourway and will use on average 11 plastic bottles per pair.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see a large brand like Adidas taking environmental issues seriously. It is a nod to the quickly growing market of environmentally conscious fashion. Young people are willing to spend more on responsibly sourced clothing and the transparency of companies supply chains is becoming increasingly important when consumers choose brands to buy. There are clear financial incentives for businesses to make considerable efforts in this area.
If the three new kicks being released by Adidas sell out quickly, it will add to the growing evidence that suggests ‘green clothing’ is on the rise and becoming the major factor in the industry today. There’s no doubt that there’ll be more to come in terms of sustainable and ethically sourced fashion from Adidas. What will be interesting, particularly in the trainer market, is whether any of their rivals follow suit.