Putting marine waste to good use, Adidas teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to design running shoes derived from recycled ocean materials.
The next time someone calls your shoes trashy, they may actually be giving you a compliment. In 2015, Adidas crafted the first shoe made almost entirely out of ocean garbage—and their latest boat-shoe-meets-sneaker model (the Terrex Parley Climacool Boat Shoe) might just be the coolest sustainable footwear yet. (What else is in your shoes? Find out: 9 Running Shoes with High-Tech Soles)
Finding inspiration in something most of us are horrified by, Adidas saw the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a pile of trash larger than Texas floating in the middle of the ocean—as an opportunity to help the environment (as well as sneakerheads). Turning ocean junk into useful shoes is just one part of a collaboration with environmental organization Parley for the Oceans, which the brand is a founding member of. It's a way to bring attention to the worsening state of our largest earthly wonders.
The Terrex Boat Shoe features a moisture-wicking, quick-drying knit upper (meaning you can wear socks or go totally bare inside) made with plastic that Parley has plucked from the ocean. And there's plenty where that came from: Recent studies suggest there are more than 40 million pounds of plastic floating in the North Pacific Ocean alone, according to Parley.
The shoe joins a growing category of athletic clothing made from ocean products, like SeaCell fabrics made from seaweed. Environmentally conscious athletic clothing is becoming big business with companies like Atayne, who says they make all their products from 100 percent recycled materials (just like all this Sustainable Fitness Gear for an Eco-Friendly Workout). Reebok also has a compostable shoe in the works, made from corn and cotton.
By the end of 2017, Adidas will have manufactured more than 1 million pairs of shoes using ocean plastic, which equals about 11 million bottles retrieved from coastal areas. However, the use of Parley plastic doesn't stop there! The collection also currently includes a pair of Ultraboost x Parley shoes (as part of the Stella McCartney x Adidas collection) and a pair of slip-on sandals. This summer, Adidas plans to release two long-sleeve graphic shirts and the Terrex Boat DLX Parley, a similar shoe design featuring the same knitted Parley sock upper with a slightly different outsole.
The unisex Terrex Boat Shoe are now available in some stores and will be online at adidas.com for $140 starting on Friday.