Today, at the “Parley Talks” at COP21, adidas and Parley for the Oceans showcased their latest footwear concept, the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole, to demonstrate how the industry can rethink design and contribute to stop ocean plastic pollution.
"World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn't need to be told to do the right thing. The industry can't afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. The 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason to be of what we create," said Eric Liedtke, adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands. "We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems."
The concept shoe — which consists of an upper made with ocean plastic content, unveiled at the UN in June, and a midsole that is 3D-printed using recycled polyester and gill net content — was unveiled at a press conference that preceded a larger event called "Parley for the Oceans x COP21 — Oceans. Climate. Life."
"2015 is our year, the year of the Oceans: The ocean movement successfully brought the cause onto the COP21 agenda in Paris. Protecting life underwater became the 14th development goal of the United Nations," said Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans. "With a framework of political goodwill in place, it is the right moment to transform words into action. Therefore, Parley in Paris is all about updating knowledge, sharing visions, fine-tuning strategies, creating concepts and forging collaborations in order to kickstart change. We are really excited to have adidas supporting us in this journey and showing how you can take concrete steps in the right direction."
adidas’ Director of Sustainability, Alexis Haass, discussed the company’s partnership with Parley for the Oceans last month at SB ’15 London:
- AVOID — The adidas Group has begun phasing out the use of plastic bags in its retail stores; the phase-out will be completed by the end of Q1 2016. And together with its partner COTY, adidas will end the use of plastic microbeads across all its body care products by December 31st, 2015. The company has also stopped the use of plastic bottles for meetings at its headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
- INTERCEPT — In November 2015, a group of 20 employees attended the Parley Ocean School, a unique program that blends ocean activism with experiential learning and activities in a marine environment. Employees helped retrieve plastic debris from coastal areas, learned about the state of the oceans and are now acting as Parley ambassadors. The company is looking at extending this initiative to more employees going forward.
- REDESIGN — Prior to the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole, adidas and Parley for the Oceans celebrated their partnership in June at the United Nations headquarters and showcased the aforementioned, world-first shoe upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.