About six months ago, the internet was buzzing over new Adidas footwear made from recycled plastic. On November 4, Adidas and partner Parley for the Oceans unveiled the first performance-intended products to be mass produced using Parley Ocean Plastic.

The products are football jerseys for clubs Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, and an UltraBoost Uncaged Parley running shoe.

Both products are made from up-cycled marine plastic waste recovered via Parley interception and clean-up operations in coastal areas of the Maldives, with the aim of driving global awareness and comprehensive solutions to the threat of plastic pollution in the oceans.

The Adidas x Parley jerseys were worn when Bayern Munich faced TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on November 5, and will again be worn when Real Madrid plays Real Sporting de Gijón November 26. Along with the up-cycled marine plastic, the kits use water-based environmentally friendly prints.

As for the running shoes, only 7,000 pairs will be made available. The shoes feature a knitted upper made from a mix of 95 percent Ocean PlasticTM and five percent recycled polyester. The rest of the upper – laces, heel cap base material, heel webbing, heel lining and sock-liner cover – is also made of recycled materials. Its design was inspired by ocean waves, the company said.

Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group executive board member responsible for Global Brands, said, “We have not only managed to make footwear from recycled ocean plastic, but have also created the first jersey coming 100 percent out of the ocean. But we won’t stop there. We will make one million pairs of shoes using Parley Ocean Plastic in 2017 – and our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain.”

Adidas’ 2017 target will mean that at least 11 million bottles retrieved from coastal areas by the Parley Global Clean-up Network will be recycled and repurposed into elite performance sportswear.

Photo courtesy Adidas