Literally, they’re garbage. Sure, they’re sleek, stylish, comfortable . . . but Adidas’ latest footwear is made of rubbish: recycled plastic bottles fished out of the ocean.
The sportswear label has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans — a conservation group that fights to clean pollution out of the sea — to release the UltraBOOST Uncaged Parley, trainers that are 95 per cent repurposed waste removed from waters off the Maldives (the other five per cent is recycled polyester). The shoes use the equivalent of 11 plastic water bottles in the laces, lining, webbing and sock-liner.
Adidas released 50 pairs of Parley Ocean Plastic runners in July — a cool green thread over a white background to reference the fishing nets Sea Shepherd used to gather the plastic that was used in production — for a limited release, but there will be 7000 pairs of UltraBOOST produced, accompanying the announcement that Adidas would be making limited edition sustainable Parley plastic football kits for European giants Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Adidas have pledged to produce one million pairs of trainers incorporating Parley Ocean Plastic by the end of 2017 — their first step in a publicly stated target to eliminate virgin plastic from their supply chain. That’s a huge call, but recycling 11 million water bottles for shoes next year is a serious first step, and a serious chunk sliced out of the estimated eight million metric tonnes of plastic currently floating around the globe’s oceans.
The clean white, silver and teal trainers will be available before Christmas for €200 (about AU$290).
Check out Adidas and Parley’s slick YouTube video — titled ‘From Threat to Thread’ — to learn more about the process of transforming plastic pollution into high-performance sportswear.