More Than Half of Polyester in Adidas’ Sneakers Will Be Recycled This Year

Adidas is set to achieve a major milestone on the sustainability front.

The sportswear giant has announced that more than half of the polyester used in its products this year will come from recycled plastic waste. It also shared plans to use only recycled polyester starting in 2024.

Further, the Three Stripes expects to produce about 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes created with plastic waste that’s collected from beaches and coastal regions this year. (For comparison, it released more than 11 million pairs last year, 5 million in 2018 and 1 million in 2017.)

“The use of recycled plastic in products is part of the company’s efforts to avoid plastic waste and stop the pollution of the world’s oceans,” Adidas wrote in a statement. “The spectrum ranges from using increasingly sustainable materials, waste prevention and new types of take-back programs for used products to climate protection.”

Along with its announcement, the Germany-based athletic brand also doubled down on its existing eco-friendly initiatives. In addition to its use of sustainable materials, Adidas has also continued to work on the development of its first fully recyclable running shoe, the Futurecraft Loop. The sneaker, which is fused together without the need for glue, was tested on 200 athletes last year and is expected to launch in 2021.

What’s more, Adidas intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both its own activities and those of its suppliers by 30% by 2030 as well as reach climate neutrality by 2050. (Since 2016, the athletic brand has not used plastic bags in stores, and it began sourcing only sustainably produced cotton in 2018.)

2019 marked a big year for Adidas’ overarching sustainability goals: In September, it celebrated two decades in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which gauges the social, environmental and corporate standards of the largest 2,500 companies listed in its Global Total Stock Market Index. It was ranked best in its industry in the criteria of brand management; information-cyber security and system availability; environmental policy and management systems; operational eco-efficiency; social reporting; and talent attraction and retention.

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