Adidas on Tuesday said that it will launch new fabrics made using recycled polyester and plastic waste found in water. It further said that it would expand the product lines that use the fabrics. This comes after Adidas shoes made with the Parley for the Oceans initiative turned out to be a success, the sportswear firm added. Adidas had teamed up with Parley in 2015 and then increased the production of shoes made of plastic collected from beaches and coastal areas. The sportswear brand made over 1.1 crore pairs of shoes in 2019. However, the initiative has a long way to go before achieving its goal of making more than 40 crore pairs.
Adidas will continue making shoes with Parley and clothes using polyester and marine waste in 2020. Moreover, it will launch "Primeblue", a fabric which will contain Parley marine waste. This fabric will be used in the sportswear company's existing lines. In total, Adidas will make as many as 1.5 to 2 crore pairs of Parley shoes this year. According to the charity Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which promotes shifting to an economy which uses a circular model to eliminate waste, less than 1% of the material used in clothing is recycled. This accounts for a loss of materials worth over $100 billion worth every year.
Despite recycled polyester costing around 10% more than unused material, Adidas' aim is to lower the price to incentivise customers so that they choose products which promote sustainable development and environmental consciousness. Adidas said that it wants that in 2020, at least 50% of the polyester is used should be recycled. The sportswear company further said that it wants to take this figure up to 100% by 2024. In 2019, Adidas had expected that 46% of the polyester used in its clothing would be recycled, as compared to just 28% of the material used in its shoes.
The fashion industry has been on the receiving end of criticism for the negative environmental impact as according to Oxfam, a charity group, the industry accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. According to Barclays analyst Anushka Challawala, using recycled polyester fibre can have a massive impact on global requirements for energy and resources and Adidas is leading a lot of the change.
Not just Adidas, market leader Nike uses recycled polyester yarn in its Flyknit shoes. It said that its initiative has helped divert over 400 crore plastic bottles from landfills.