In 2020, for the first time, more than half of the polyester used in Adidas products will come from recycled plastic waste. From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester. In 2020, the sportswear firm also plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions.
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. The increasing use of recycled materials is just one example of Adidas’ sustainability activities. The spectrum ranges from using increasingly sustainable materials, waste prevention and new types of take-back programmes for used products, to climate protection. In 2020, Adidas will introduce new product categories based on sustainability criteria, the company said in a media statement.
The first fully recyclable running shoe ‘Futurecraft Loop’ has been in the test phase since 2019. The market launch is planned for 2021. Adidas is already working on the development of bio-fabricated materials for sports apparel and presented first prototypes for tennis wear prior to last year’s Wimbledon tournament.
Adidas eliminated plastic bags from its stores in 2016 and will also use recycled packaging to deliver products to stores in the future. Adidas sites are now largely plastic-free. Around 40 tonnes of plastic waste are avoided each year. Since 2019, consumers in the UK have been receiving a voucher for the Adidas online store when they return used but still functional products.
In terms of climate protection, by 2030, Adidas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both its own activities and those of its suppliers by 30 per cent compared to the year 2017. Climate neutrality is on the agenda for 2050. In Germany, the company already sources almost all its electricity from renewable sources.
In the long term, products made from renewable raw materials will also make an important contribution to waste reduction. Adidas and Stella McCartney presented the jointly developed prototype of a tennis dress made of bio-fabricated materials based on cellulose and protein prior to last year’s Wimbledon tournament. In the coming years, Adidas will develop bio-fabricated products for its consumers. Reebok already uses renewable resources, including cotton, corn, algae and natural rubber to produce the Reebok Cotton + Corn and Reebok Forever Floatride Grow shoes.
To establish complete circular recycling processes, Adidas has been testing consumer-friendly solutions for the return of used products since last year. In the UK, the programme Infinite Play allows consumers to return Adidas footwear or apparel to Adidas partner Stuffstr using the Adidas app and to receive a voucher for the company’s online store. The returned products will be resold or, if that is not possible, recycled. At Adidas, the avoidance of plastic waste also includes transportation to consumers. Plastic bags have not been used in Adidas stores since 2016. From 2021 onwards, packaging used to transport products from the manufacturing countries to the store shelves will also be made from recycled materials. At the same time, Adidas is testing a recycling loop for transport packaging in Spain as part of the global innovation platform ‘Fashion for Good’.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)