Adidas Is Saving the Ocean in Style

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Now a fresh pair of kicks can do a lot more than make your fit. Thanks to Adidas, your next shoe purchase just might help save the ocean.

Last year, Adidas teamed up with Parley, a collective of “creators, thinkers, and leaders” dedicated to addressing “major threats towards the oceans,” to put out three new versions of its popular UltraBoost design that used over 11 plastic bottles in each pair. After selling over 1 million pairs of the Adidas x Parley sneakers, Adidas plans to sell 5 million more this year. That’ll keep a lot of bottles out of the sea and net Adidas over a billion dollars in revenue.

The sportswear giant takes Parley Plastic, “upcycled waste from beaches and coastal communities that is intercepted before it reaches the ocean,” and turns it into a type of thread that the brand can use in sneaker uppers, T-shirts, and running shorts.

“Upcycling” is looking like a fully-fledged fashion trend. The surf brand O’Neill and designer Stella McCartney have both collaborated with Parley to create clothing and accessories made out of plastic waste collected from the ocean. Everlane’s new outerwear line, ReNew, touts the number of bottles that go into each garment. And the outdoor brand Patagonia has been using recycled bottles in their fleece jackets since 1994.

But Adidas’ environmental efforts go beyond footwear. They’ve made the switch from plastic bags to paper in all of their retail stores and are now taking steps to eliminate all “virgin plastics” from their products.

Less plastic in the ocean. More dope kicks. It’s a big win-win. Or win-fin.

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