Back in 2015, Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to create a shoe upper made entirely from yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from marine plastic waste. Since then, Adidas has produced 11 million pairs of Parley shoes. But taking plastic waste out of the system wasn’t enough for the brand, so last week Adidas revealed that they have pushed their sustainable footwear program one step further and focused on the entire life cycle of the product.
Futurecraft.loop is the first running shoe that is made to be remade thanks to the use of only one material type and no glue. Each component is made from 100% reusable TPU– it’s spun to yarn, knitted, molded, and clean-fused to a Boost midsole using Speedfactory technology.
Once the shoes come to the end of their first life and are returned to Adidas, they are washed, ground to pellets, and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with zero waste and nothing thrown away.
The Futurecraft.loop project is aimed at tackling the problem of plastic waste, enabling a closed loop or circular manufacturing model, where the raw materials can be repurposed again and again. But not just repurposed into a water bottle or a tote, but into another pair of high-performance running shoes.
“Taking plastic waste out of the system is the first step, but we can’t stop there,” said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at adidas, responsible for Global Brands. “What happens to your shoes after you’ve worn them out? You throw them away – except there is no away. There are only landfills and incinerators and ultimately an atmosphere choked with excess carbon, or oceans filled with plastic waste. The next step is to end the concept of “waste” entirely. Our dream is that you can keep wearing the same shoes over and over again.”
The first-generation Futurecraft.loop shoe program is currently in beta, with the hope of launching it to the wider public by Summer 2021.