Adidas has stepped up its sustainability game with the launch of a fully-recyclable running shoe.
The sportswear giant has unveiled ‘Futurecraft.Loop', a 100 per cent recyclable performance shoe that can be returned to the brand, broken down, and used to create... more running shoes.
This closed ‘Loop Creation Process', which aims to see raw materials repurposed again and again, is the latest step in the company's wider strategy for tackling plastic waste.
"What happens to your shoes after you've worn them out?" said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at Adidas, responsible for Global Brands, in a statement. "You throw them away -- except there is no away. There are only landfills and incinerators and ultimately an atmosphere choked with excess carbon, or oceans filled with plastic waste. The next step is to end the concept of 'waste' entirely. Our dream is that you can keep wearing the same shoes over and over again."
The shoe, which has almost a decade of research and development behind it, is much simpler than the typical sports sneaker in that it doesn't feature any glue, meaning it can be easily broken down. It is made from one type of material -- 100 per cent reusable TPU that has been spun to yarn, knitted, molded and clean-fused to a midsole. The design means that, upon being returned to Adidas, the shoes can be washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for the components necessary to make a new pair, leaving nothing to waste.
"Futurecraft is our design and innovation ethos," said Paul Gaudio, SVP Creative Direction & Future at Adidas. "It is about the intersection of art, science, technology, humanity, engineering and craft. It's applying creativity to reimagine the world we wish to see."
The shoe is rolling out as part of a global beta program across major international cities, which will see select creators asked to run in them before returning them to Adidas and sharing their feedback, paving the way for a wider release currently slated for the spring or summer of 2021.
The move is the latest in Adidas's efforts to reduce plastic waste, following on from a footwear concept the brand first introduced with Parley for the Oceans in 2015, which saw performance shoes made using yarns and filaments derived from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gill nets. In 2019, Adidas will produce 11 million pairs of shoes with Ocean Plastic by Parley, incorporating plastic recuperated from the oceans.