Last year, Adidas unveiled a concept sneaker made from 3D-printed recycled ocean waste. Now, it’s going on sale, with some 7,000 pairs to be made available in Adidas stores and from the company’s website in mid-November. Each pair will cost €200 ($220).
The sneakers are made in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, an environmental group that wants to draw attention to pollution in the ocean. Each shoe’s upper (the part that goes over the top of the foot) is made from 5 percent recycled polyester and 95 percent waste plastic dredged from the ocean around the Maldives. Each pair of shoes contains 11 plastic bottles, and most of the rest of the sneaker (including the heel, lining, and laces) is also made from recycled material.
Although the original concept sneakers were 3D-printed, this part of the process seems to have been dropped for mass production. The recycled waste is still being turned into usable yarn, but Adidas isn’t saying how exactly, mentioning only "new technologies" used to "up-cycle marine plastic debris." The name of the shoe is the UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley: a reference to both the design’s environmental backers and the popular UltraBOOST range of light-weight running shoes.
Adidas is doing ocean waste soccer kits, too
The shoes are only being made available in limited quantities, but Adidas says it plans to make many more. "We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017 – and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain," said Adidas exec Eric Liedtke in a press statement. As well as the Parley sneakers, the company is also making limited edition soccer kits for Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, also made using recycled ocean waste.
Cyrill Gutsch, the founder of Parley for the Oceans, added: "Nobody can save the oceans alone. Each of us can play a role in the solution. It’s in the hands of the creative industries to reinvent faulty materials, products, and business models. The consumer can boost the demand for change."
To find out exactly where the shoes will be available and when, you can sign up for more information from adidas.co.uk/parley.