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Parley, adidas unveil sneakers made from recycled ocean plastic

Parley and adidas announced the sneakers last year and are giving away the first 50 now.

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After ongoing development and research, adidas and Parley have finally unveiled their new sneakers made entirely of ocean plastic trash. The research team involved showcased their design for the shoe last year, and now have officially brought the product to life. As adidas continues to adopt new materials, the inclusion of these sustainable aspects on new products has increased.

“So much work has happened behind the scenes since we launched our partnership with adidas,” stated Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch. “We are creating new standards, new materials and technologies that are so different to those the sporting goods industry is used to.”

Details were not overlooked. The new limited edition shoe integrates zero-waste technology in the shoe’s upper. Primarily made from Parley Ocean Plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets recycled into fiber, the shoe truly implements recycled ocean trash in a cost-effective and meaningful way.

“It is an ongoing challenge, but we achieved the first step,” Gutsch continued. “Now we can replace new plastic with recycled marine plastic debris: Parley Ocean Plastic. We can create footwear and apparel products with it and we are ready to scale it up.”

Parley and adidas have certainly shown their eagerness to scale up their new innovation. Recently, they announced they would hold a contest on Instagram for consumers who value the notion of ridding the planet of ocean trash. In order to enter the contest, users must submit a video of themselves demonstrating how they will abstain from using single-use plastic items. The competition will go on until July 31st and will award fifty pairs to the winners of this special contest.

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“This project triggered a new way for me to work and imagine how my studio could adapt and evolve in the future,” said Alexander Taylor, a London-based shoe designer. “A designer can be the agitator and the agent for change. He must be entrepreneurial in spirit, seeking out collaborators to reach amazing solutions which outperform and offer truly viable alternatives to current methods.”

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With these innovative developments in mind, this new shoe could potentially become a new trend. The design doesn’t lack style as the knitting in the shoe emulates the design of the Primeknit Adidas shoes. The green wave pattern across the uppers is knit from the recycled gill nets while the rest of the upper is created using waste plastic collected around the Maldives. Hopefully in the next five years, Parely (with some help from the government) can rid this chain of islands of plastic trash.

“Knitting in general eliminates waste, because you don’t have to cut out the patterns like on traditional footwear,” said Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group executive board member of global brands. “We use what we need for the shoe and waste nothing.”

The shoe is slated to hit the market in the second half of this year. This release is feasible due to Adidas and Parley’s dedication to transform “technical yarn fibers” into materials usable in today’s clothing products.