It is not often that efforts to protect the planet also result in cool new products too. But a collaboration between Adidas and nonprofit organization Parley for the Oceans has created the first performance sportswear made from plastics that were recovered from the ocean, proving we can be environmentally conscious and develop better athletic apparel at the same time.
Since its founding in 2013, Parley for the Oceans has been dedicated to raising awareness of the threats that the Earth’s oceans currently face. Those threats include climate change, over-fishing, pollution, and acidification, among others. Part of the organization’s efforts has focused on reclaiming plastics that have been deposited in the Indian Ocean and are washing up on the shores of the Maldives. Those recovered materials have now been recycled and used to make performance fabrics for use by Adidas in creating sports apparel.
This new performance sportswear first made its debut in the form of soccer jerseys worn by professional European clubs Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. The two teams met one another on November 5, with each club decked out in shirts that were created from materials that were completely recycled from ocean waste and used water-based environmentally friendly prints as well. Real Madrid — which won the match 1-0 — was adorned in all white, while Bayern Munich played in red with both teams’ jerseys sporting club and sponsor logos, as well as three stripes. The Spain-based squad is expected to wear the eco-friendly jerseys a second time when they face Real Sporting de Gijón on November 26.
Fans of either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich will be able to order their own version of the shirt on the Adidas website starting on November 24. These unique jerseys have a look and feel all of their own and represent Adidas’ commitment to protecting the environment. The company hopes to continue exploring ways they can use these performance fabrics in future products as well.
Soccer fans are not the only ones who can test out the new recycled material, however. Later in November, Adidas will begin selling a new shoe dubbed the UltraBoost Uncaged Adidas x Parley. This footwear is made from 95 percent ocean plastic and five percent recycled polyester. About 7,000 pairs of the shoes will be available to purchase, with plans to expand that number in 2017 when Adidas and Parley for the Oceans ramp up production.
It is encouraging to hear about how environmentally friendly practices are leading to new consumer products. Hopefully, this is a trend that more companies will explore in the future as well.