This is How Adidas Makes Shoes Out of Plastic Bottles

KC Whitsett
This is How Adidas Makes Shoes Out of Plastic Bottles

The fact that there’s a LOT of plastic ending up in the ocean is no surprise. While consumers are turning to eco-friendly products, like reusable straws and utensils, and bulk-buying food and household products—what about shoes? And what about high performance shoes for athletes?

That’s why Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to form a unique, symbiotic partnership. Parley works to intercept plastic and waste from beaches and coastal communities before it lands into the ocean, and Adidas recycles that plastic into polyester thread to make shoes. Earlier this year, we covered how these new Adidas shoes might help save our oceans. Here’s how:

 

Step by Step

After Parley gathers plastic and waste from beach areas like the Maldives, it is sorted into products that can be recycled into polyester, and those that can’t. The unusable products are shipped to a traditional recycling facility, while the plastic containing polyethylene terephthalate (commonly abbreviated as PET) is saved.

PET is the most common substance of the polyester family and is often used in fibres for textiles and clothing. These PET bottles are 1) crushed, 2) melted down, and 3) finally dehydrated to form little plastic flakes.

Next, the pellets are melted into a filament and spun into a polyester yarn. These Ocean Plastic threads are used typically in jerseys and now in the upper part of shoes. Ocean Plastic has already debuted in sportswear used in college football, baseball, the NHL, the Australian Open, and more.

The Big Picture

In 2019, Adidas estimates 11 million pairs of shoes will be made with recycled ocean plastic, and has the goal to replace all virgin polyester used in their products with recycled polyester by 2024. Adidas and Parley are making history with the first high performance products made from ocean plastic.

You can check out The Parley Shoes by Adidas here.

Image Credit: Adidas