Adidas and Parley Present Iconic Ocean Plastic Trainers

Adidas and environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans have joined forces to release their first line of trainers with uppers made using plastic recovered from the ocean. Designed by Alexander Taylor, the shoes are made using existing Adidas manufacturing processes, however the synthetic fibres typically used within their shoes are replaced with recycled Parley Ocean Plastic. This environmentally-minded shoe was released to coincide with World Ocean Day 2016.

The launch however is limited to an exclusive 50 pairs that are to be earned rather than purchased. Anyone who aspires to a pair is invited to participate in an Instagram competition by submitting a video showing how individuals can commit to the end of single-use plastic items. The deadline for submissions is end of July 2016 and you can find the details for entering on Adidas social media platforms.

The green wave pattern across the uppers comes from discarded illegal deep-sea gillnets dredged from from oceans and recycled into a fibre. The remaining parts of the upper are made using plastic waste collected from the coastal areas of the Maldives, where Parley are working in collaboration with the government to clean up their aquatic environment. You can watch a video of the shoe’s production process here.

For the shoe’s designer, Alexander Taylor, the project fully embraces the spirit and ability of designers to make our world better. In his words, ‘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.’

The shoes have already become iconic, being first unveiled as a prototype at United Nations Headquarters in New York in July 2015 and the initiative has many high profile supporters including sports star Zinedine Zidane who says, ‘This is an inspiring partnership between Adidas and Parley. What Adidas and Parley is doing, by turning waste into a running shoe, shows that even waste that is harming the planet can be used to create something special.’

In fact, it seems material activism is indeed becoming something of a ‘brand’ in itself. Parley for example also recently collaborated with G-Star RAW and Pharell to produce a line of denim made from recycled plastic you can also check out here.