Adidas has been pretty successful in its endeavor to turn ocean plastic into awesome-looking sneaks. Last year, 1 million shoes were created from the recycled material—and it turns out that was just the beginning of the company’s commitment to sustainability.
According to TheCurrent Daily, Eric Liedtke, Adidas’ head of global brands, revealed at SXSW that the company is planning to make all of its products from recycled ocean plastic by 2024, with the help of Parley for the Oceans. Every pair of shoes requires the equivalent of 11 plastic bottles to create, TheCurrent Daily reported, so the 450 million pairs Adidas currently produces a year would make a huge dent in the reported 270 million tons of plastic that’s currently in the ocean.
“The growth of plastic just doesn’t stop. It was a great invention, but it was made to never go away, so all that has been made is still floating around the world today. It becomes a real call to arms to fixing that.” —Eric Liedtke, head of global brands at Adidas, said at SXSW
“The growth of plastic just doesn’t stop. It was a great invention, but it was made to never go away, so all that has been made is still floating around the world today,” Liedtke said. “It becomes a real call to arms to fixing that.”
Adidas’ goal is a tall order, but Liedtke said that since the younger generation is so passionate about doing good, it’s a worthwhile business move. “Gen Z wants to give back. They’ve grown up in a world that is highly stressed.… They’re looking for trusted brands they can rely on. There’s a huge opportunity for us to step in,” he said. “Authenticity is going to be core for this. People don’t just buy what you make, they buy what you stand for.”
Liedtke also stressed that this sustainable gesture is not just “philanthropy” but good business as well, which aligns with arguments that the beauty industry can financially flourish without testing products on helpless animals. With initiatives like these, sustainability in beauty and fashion is well on its way to becoming a bona fide trend.
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