17 Million Adidas Sneakers Will Be Made Out of Recycled Plastic Waste in 2021

More than 60 percent of Adidas products will be made with sustainable materials.

You may have missed this: In the last few days of The Most Difficult Year Ever, sportswear giant Adidas laid out its roadmap toward achieving the goal of ending plastic waste. This year, the sportswear giant makes more than 60 percent of its products from sustainable materials (recycled polyester) and, in 2024, it plans to only use recycled polyester.  

Photo by Adidas.

A big part of this commitment is Adidas’ amazing partnership with Parley for the Oceans, the environmental organization with which it creates sneakers out of marine plastic waste. From producing one million pairs of shoes out of upcycled plastic ocean waste in 2017 and then 15 million in 2020, Adidas now commits to making 17 million shoes and other products with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions in 2021. (The pair claimed almost 7,000 tons of plastic waste last year.)

If you are a friend of Mother Earth, consider only Adidas products marked with Primeblue and Primgreen labels as these are made with recycled materials. The Ultraboost DNA Loop, for example, is “made from one single material from sole to laces and is welded without glue” and can, later on, be shredded for its materials to be reused. The green sneaker was a one-off in 2020, but more will be made of its latest iteration, which will be introduced this year.  


Adidas Ultraboost DNA Loop

Photo by Adidas.

And if you are looking for a white sneaker update, check out the redesign of the immortal Stan Smith, whose Primegreen version is made with “high-performance recycled materials:” 50 percent of the upper is recycled, while the outsole is made from rubber waste.

Adidas' other green initiatives, done in cooperation with partners, include expanding its vegan products, banning the use of fur, and developing plant-based leather (“a purely biological alternative”) and recycled cotton from used clothes. 

Adidas Stan Smith

Photo by Adidas.
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Photo by Adidas.

Elsewhere, the company employs photovoltaic systems to generate green electricity. Another long-term goal is achieving global climate neutrality in its entire supply chain by 2050. In a world where more things seem to be going down the drain, it’s good to know that big companies like Adidas are doing something right.




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Clifford Olanday
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