Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are rethinking design, material use and 3D-printing in their running shoe made from ocean plastic.

Environmental organization Parley for the Oceans have partnered with German sports brand Adidas to create an innovative and sustainable shoe. The upper part of the trainer is made entirely of yarns and filaments from reclaimed ocean waste: the green wave pattern across the shoe uppers is made from reclaimed – and often illegal – gillnets; whilst the rest of the upper is made from plastic collected from beaches on the Maldives. After collection and processing of the plastic, the shoes are brought to life using 3D-printing technology.

By cleaning up beaches and removing illegal fishing nets, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are turning ocean debris into a valuable material for the fashion industry. The two organizations plan to create one million shoes using Parley ocean plastic by the end of 2017, and have also recently launched a new line of commercial swim-wear made from the same materials. In March 2017, Adidas and Stella McCartney launched a new running shoe, Parley UltraBOOST X, featuring yarn from reclaimed and recycled ocean waste.

We at Adidas didn’t partner with Parley to take incremental small steps. We partnered with Parley to make big bold steps, to fix big global problems.

Eric Liedtke – Adidas Group Executive Board member.

Why you should care

Launched at COP21, the concept shoe brought attention to the issues of plastic pollution and illegal fishing activity in the oceans, demonstrating how industry and environmental organizations can work together to create new sustainable materials and products to combat ocean plastic pollution.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Responsible consumption and production
The solution helps repurpose some of the estimated 4 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste that enter the oceans each year, championing responsible production.

Life below water
Removing fishing nets and other plastic waste from the oceans and along coasts helps reduce plastic pollution that damages marine ecosystems and chokes marine life.

Partnerships for the goals
This public-private partnership is helping a global brand utilize harmful waste to create a high value product, reinforcing multilateral action to lead by example.