Plastic is a design failure disguised as an incredible material. It is cheap and strong, and it can be turned into a thousand different forms. These characteristics are what make plastic so attractive to manufacturers and consumers alike. They are also what make plastic one of the most ubiquitous pollutants on our planet. So much of the plastic we throw away ends up in our oceans, with the effects spreading to every corner of the globe. Plastics enter the food chain, harm marine life, destroy environments, and even affect our climate. There is literally nowhere on earth, or in our oceans, that is not affected by plastic pollution.
If we want to survive as a planet and as a species, we need to tackle the rising tide of plastic trash. Therefore, Adidas is working with Parley to fight against the plastic pollution that is damaging our oceans by using plastic trash collected from remote beaches and coastal communities as the raw material for an entire range of sportswear.
The plastic flakes after being collected are then heated, screened, cleaned and dried before being extruded, cooled and chopped into resin pellets. These pellets are melted into a filament that can be spun into Ocean Plastic®, high-performance polyester yarn with all the qualities you’d get from virgin plastic. The yarn is used to create a range of shoes, tees, tights and more. Every piece in the collection is made of at least 75% intercepted plastic trash.
This is just the beginning of Adidas’s work to remove plastic from its business. Adidas has pledged to replace virgin polyester in our products with 100% recycled polyester by 2024. The longer-term aim is to move away from plastic as a material altogether, to help save our oceans, our planet, and every single one of us.