Adidas to Eliminate the Use of Virgin Polyester by 2024

Editorial TeamEditorial Team
August 16th, 2022
9:07 AM

Adidas' commitment to the environment is seen in its various products that are made from sustainable materials as well as its third-party certifications.

German sportswear company Adidas has announced that it will only use recycled plastic by 2024. The commitment to eliminate the use of "virgin" plastic includes polyester. Used in everything from T-shirts to sports bras, the material is popular in sportswear because it dries quickly and weighs little. Company director Eric Liedtke announced the decision saying that the company’s goal is to stop using virgin polyester by 2024. This is a huge step, considering that 50% of more than 920 million articles are made of this material. "With this kind of volume, we can't get rid of polyester overnight. But we have entered into a transition process". Without going any further, the clothing line for spring and summer 2019 will already contain around 41% recycled polyester. Adidas has shown its deep commitment to reducing textile waste with its certifications of the Global Recycle Standard as well as the Recycled 100 Claim Standard, by Textile Exchange. Adidas uses plastic collected from the ocean and coastal areas is converted into a yarn fiber called Econyl, which offers the same properties as the nylon used to make swimming costumes. It’s important to note that it’s possible to make over 1,000 swimming costumes from a single large fishing net.  

  Adidas’ Commitment to Reducing Plastic Adidas’ commitment to the planet goes far beyond a simple collection of basic garments, as is often the case with many apparel brands. By 2021, the sportswear brand committed itself to use more than 60% recycled polyester, with the aim that by 2024 this will be the only material used in its products. As for other fabrics, the brand is developing vegetable-based leather and committing to the use of recycled cotton. It is even starting to use recycled plastic in some of its products with the Parley for the Oceans project. In addition to its apparel, Adidas has also announced that it would stop using virgin plastic in its offices, retail shops, warehouses, and distribution centers, a move that would save an estimated 40 tonnes of plastic per year, having started to implement measures to do so in 2018.  

  Coinciding with the London 2012 Olympic Games, Adidas made the volunteers' uniforms out of recycled plastics, specifically recycled plastic water bottles. But it didn't stop there, on 26 November 2016 Adidas dressed Real Madrid in shirts made from recycled materials from the ocean. As these initiatives have been ongoing over time, the company expects a strong increase in sales of its Parley shoes: while still representing a small portion of its global sales, Adidas expects purchases to increase to 5 million pairs this year compared to 1 million in 2017.