Adidas will only be using recycled plastics for all their products beginning in 2024. Earlier this week, the Financial Times reported the move that will feature the company removing new plastics from their athletic wear, which includes polyester. It’s the latest sustainable move by Adidas, who has sold one million shoes that were made with recycled plastic from the oceans.
Polyester is currently found in 50 percent of Adidas’ products, which has become a popular material to create athletic wear with. It’s due to the lightweight nature of the product that also keeps athletes cool when working out. They’re also longer-lasting, don’t wrinkle as much, and there’s not much to worry about when throwing them in the washing machine.
While it’s a less expensive option for clothing manufacturers, there’s some significant environmental problems. It’s a very hot process to create new fibers, which requires more energy. Once people throw these away, they’re also nearly impossible to break down, and the petroleum trapped in the material will give off carbon dioxide if burned.
One way to minimize the hazards is by reusing plastic to create athletic wear. Next year’s spring and summer clothing line will feature 41 percent recycled polyester. There’s a goal for 100 percent by 2024. Should it pan out, Adidas will be using 40 tons of plastic less in their supply chain, be it offices, warehouses, or distribution centers.
“To truly be sustainable, companies like Adidas need to produce less, more durable and repairable products,” Kirsten Brodde, “Detox my Fashion” campaigner at Greenpeace, told the Huffington Post. “To solve our plastic waste problem, we need to stop producing so much plastic from the start, and in order to make fashion more sustainable, rethink a fashion system that hypes new trends every week.”
Adidas has paired up with an organization called Parley for the Oceans, which began as a sneaker made of recycled plastic from ocean pollution. It’s blossomed to its own shoe line, and the company announced that it reached the one million milestone in sales last year. The company has also eliminated 70 million plastic bags from stores.
The selection of Adidas x Parley has not only added more shoes, but men’s and women’s apparel which brings the collection to over 100 different items. Products range from running shoes, training shoes, football cleats, yoga, swimwear, and outdoor attire. They expect to sell over five million pairs of shoes alone this year.
To raise awareness, Adidas and Parley held a “Run for the Oceans” event from June 8th to July 8th. They were going to donate $1 per kilometer tracked on the Runtastic app, up to $1 million US. Out of 942,237 runners that were registered, the total kilometers run went well past that mark at 12,402,854 km.
Adidas joins other major corporations that are cutting down on virgin and single-use plastics. Starbucks is planning to get rid of plastic straws altogether from their drinks, as is McDonald’s. Ikea is planning to eliminate single-use plastic be it from their restaurants or selling them on the shelves.