Adidas Plans to Make 17 Million Pairs of Shoes With Recycled Plastic Waste in 2021 — Here Are Its Other Sustainability Goals

Peter Verry
·2 min read

With 2021 just around the corner, Adidas revealed some of its sustainability plans for the year — and the goals are lofty.

The German athletic powerhouse stated today that more than 60% of its products will be made with sustainable materials in 2021. This marks the next step in Adidas’ mission to end plastic waste.

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Also, Adidas — a partner of environmental organization Parley for the Oceans — said it will look to produce 17 million pairs of shoes with recycled plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions. (The partnership with Parley started in 2015, which was announced in New York City at the United Nations. During the event, Adidas revealed an UltraBoost prototype made with recovered, illegally dumped ocean waste that was created in Germany in just six days.)

In 2020 alone, Adidas stated it made more than 15 million pairs of shoes with the waste product and collected alongside Parley almost 7,000 tons of plastic waste.

Also regarding footwear, Adidas revealed it will launch the successor to the UltraBoost DNA Loop that was raffled to consumers in October in a larger volume in spring ’21. In October, Adidas revealed the model, which was constructed from a 100% reusable TPU material that’s spun to yarn, knitted, molded and attached to a full-length Boost midsole without ever needing to use glue.

Looking forward even further, Adidas noted it will shift to using only recycled polyester from 2024 onward. (It has been using exclusively sustainable cotton since 2018.)

“Sustainability is an integral part of the Adidas business philosophy. We have continued to invest in sustainability initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic and we will significantly expand our range of sustainable products in 2021,” Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted said in a statement. “To this end, for example, we have worked with our suppliers to create the structures that make it possible to process recycled materials on a large scale. Not only does our commitment make adidas more sustainable, but it also drives the development of the whole industry.”

Additionally, the athletic giant revealed plans for its vegan product line — which it includes in its sustainability goals — which includes its expansion. And after launching vegan versions of several classic sneakers including the Stan Smith this year, is developing with partners a biological leather alternative made from mycelium that will be used in footwear. Also, Adidas has banned the use of furs from the manufacturing of its products.

Today’s statement also revealed Adidas’ goal — in partnership with its suppliers — of achieving global climate neutrality by 2050, and stated that it is working with suppliers to implement climate and environmental protection measures at the sites of partners in the supply chain. The efforts include projects to reduce carbon emissions and water consumption as well as preserve an intact environment.

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