Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, a group that aims to raise an awareness for our oceans, collaborated earlier this year to create a trendy sneaker which is made solely from ocean waste materials.
There’s nothing worse than strolling down a beautiful beach only to see hoards of plastic bits and bobs latching onto the coastline. Not only is it extremely unattractive, but it’s incredibly damaging.
The shoe born out of this collaboration uses recycled polyester and gill net. Gill nets, otherwise known as ‘ghost nets’, are estimated to be responsible for over 100,000 marine mammal deaths each year. The particular nets used in this design were retrieved by Sea Shepherd, a partner of Parley, after chasing and tracking illegal vessel ships off the west coast of Africa for over 100 days.
Ultimately, the aim of this project is to utilise the power of the consumer, and to do that, Parley believes a mindset of empowerment must be activated through creative industries.
This project gives a promising glimpse into how corporate industries can set a standard of change. The Adidas group intends to totally phase out the use of plastic bags in their retail stores by the end of 2016. They have also enrolled employees in the Parley Ocean school, a program that consists of ocean activism and direct experiential learning, to give their team an understanding of sustainable practices to be applied to daily life as well as their industry.
The shoe itself looks pretty great. Its upper is woven from plastic waste, whilst the 3D printed midsole is made from melted down fishing nets. The shoe utilises the companies’ Futurecraft technology, allowing the midsole to be custom tailored to the soles of the owner’s feet. The concept was born in just 6 days with support from the green chemist John Warner, as well as material innovator Bionic Yarn.
The design is certainly an innovation, with parts of the shoe being produced from a 3D printer. The design aligns with Parley’s aim of synchronizing our economy with the ecosystem of nature.
Partnerships like this collaborating to combat such global problems gives hope to the future of our environment and its relationship with corporate companies. To capture the consumer with products that they use everyday is a vital step of integrated international change, and one that this fashionable footwear succeeds in doing. Immediate action from large companies such as Adidas is certainly a move in the right direction.
forward to a whole new year of sustainable innovations.
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