Adidas Launches Shoe Made From Recycled Ocean Plastic

By: Valeria Ramos


©Adidas

With each new season, sustainability in fashion is becoming less of a trend and more of a priority. Adidas is just one of many big names in the industry making moves towards introducing more eco-friendly products to their line. The shoe and sportswear company launched the first-ever 100% recyclable running shoe, made from plastic and waste found in oceans and on beaches. 

This new shoe dubbed the "The Loop," was developed by Futurecraft, and is a step towards Adidas' goal to eliminate waste from their production process. Made out of materials that can be recycled and put into a completely new shoe, the Loop was unveiled last week with the help of Adidas rep Willow Smith.

"Taking plastic waste out of the system is the first step, but we can't stop there," said Eric Liedtke, an executive board member for Adidas. "What happens to your shoes after you've worn them out? You throw them away, except there is no 'away.'"


©Melissa Breyer / The Loop's design process

If you're wondering why this hasn't been done before, it's because creating a 100% recyclable shoe is much easier said than done. The problem with recycling is that it requires the separation of every different material used in a product. Adidas' solution to this was using only a single material for this shoe - thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

TPU is not only reusable, but it also allows for the shoe to be made without the use of adhesives or other chemicals. Instead, this material is spun into yarn, knitted and molded before being fused onto a sole. Once these shoes have been worn to their full potential, they can be returned to Adidas where they would be ground into pellets and melted into material for a brand new pair - zero waste necessary.

The Loop will be released as part of a "global beta program with 200 leading Creators from across the world's major cities." These lucky 200 individuals will test out the running shoes and provide Adidas with feedback for the second generation release in 2021.