Adidas’ Plan to Help End Plastic Waste

Common Share Editorial TeamCommon Share Editorial Team
June 22nd, 2021
10:52 AM

With the intended goal of becoming a circular fashion company, Adidas is pulling out all the stops to end its plastic waste via its Three Loop Strategy.

In a bid to end plastic waste, global sportswear retailer Adidas has vowed to replace all virgin polyester with recycled versions by 2024. As a brand recognized worldwide, Adidas feels that it has a responsibility to change how it does business, ultimately influencing the rest of the industry. Plastic is currently a huge issue within the realm of sustainability. It is estimated that one-ton plastic, with 80% becoming plastic waste for every person on the planet. The Problem with Plastic Studies show that an estimated that only 6% of total plastics that enter the ocean are visible to the human eye because much is broken down into tiny microplastics that sink to the seafloor. This mainly consists of plastic coming from synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, and rayon that pollute the ocean and marine life.In 2016, textile fibers accounted for 65 million tons of plastic, making up 20% of the total plastic production for that year. What's more, plastics present in the fashion industry are responsible for generating vast amounts of wastewater, that contribute to high quantities of carbon. Adidas' Commitment to Sustainability Aware of the growing demand for sustainable practices, Adidas has innovated new products and processes, joining forces with sustainable partners such as Stella McCartney, Parley for the Oceans, and the U.S. International Space Station. The sportswear brand introduced a single shoe at the United Nations in 2015, the long-term partnership with Parley for the Oceans leads to over 15 million pairs of sneakers produced with Parley Ocean Plastic®. This is an organization that creates material made from upcycled plastic that is intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before they reach the ocean. This year, Adidas will also launch its Primeblue and Primegreen performance wear, made with new sustainable technologies made with 100% recycled polyester. Primeblue is made with Parley Ocean Plastic®, which is used in Adidas' most renowned and iconic performance products including the Ultraboost 20, and is even used in sports uniforms for some of the biggest teams around the world.  The Three Loop Strategy 

Adidas' plan to reduce its plastic waste is broken down into three steps or "loops":

Loop 1 - Recycled Materials

Adidas is committed to using recycled materials for its products. Since partnering with Parley for the Oceans in 2015, Adidas is making greater strides in sustainability than they ever thought possible, creating over 30 million pairs of sneakers. 2020 also marked the year that Adidas began to incorporate high-performance yarn also containing 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. The yarn is used in some of the brand's most popular performance collections, such as the Ultraboost 21. 

Loop 2 - Circular Activewear 

Adidas has begun to upcycling its plastic to be used for other products once it's come to the end of its lifecycle. In a truly circular fashion, Adidas is extending its products to be remade into new products. In order to achieve this. Adidas plans to continue to produce its garments and footwear so that when they're used and worn out, they still have the properties necessary to be made into new products. In April of this year, Adidas released the UltraBOOST DNA LOOP, a high-performance running shoe that is made from a single material with zero glue, so that when they reach the end of life stage of the product's cycle, they can be returned to Adidas to be made into a new pair.

Loop 3 - Regenerative Fashion 

Adidas' third and final loop represents the brand's sustainability goals on the whole: for their apparel to be produced via renewable resources and natural processes. Meaning, that if any of them do end up being dumped into the environment, the damage will be minimal. To achieve this, products will be made with natural materials that can biodegrade when returned to nature.