Adidas announced a new milestone for 2020 in which more than half, or 50 percent, of the polyester used in its products will come from recycled plastic waste.
Since the year 2000, the second-largest sportswear manufacturer has reported its sustainability progress in its annual reports, demonstrating leadership in reducing plastic reliance in its supply chain — even being an early signature onto pledges such as Kering’s Fashion Pact, which counts more than 250 brand members and formed last year.
Prior to that, the sportswear giant partnered with Parley for the Ocean, launching the first prototype of its recycled polyester performance shoe, which employed old gillnets and ocean plastic in its fibers, later producing a mass-market collection in 2016. Its first fully recyclable running shoe, the “Futurecraft Loop” has been in testing since last year and will make a market debut in 2021, if all goes according to plan.
The consumer will see a new kind of Adidas, as the company vows to only use recycled polyester in all of its products and on every application where a solution exists from 2024 onwards.
But as overall shoe production increases, so the share of virgin plastic decreases as recycled plastic — combed from beaches and coastal regions — increases to replace it. Last year, Adidas produced more than 11 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste and has goals to produce “a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste” this year.
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