Adidas and Parley for the Oceans have marked the fifth anniversary of their partnership, focused on addressing the global plastic crisis and its contribution to marine pollution. The pair has renewed its commitment to fighting marine plastic pollution through eco-innovation and material revolution.
During the next phase of their collaboration, Adidas and Parley will work on developing, testing and implementing new materials to replace plastic for good. Adidas has now joined the Parley Institute for Material Science as a founding partner. The Institute identifies, evaluates and funds material replacements for plastic and other harmful, toxic or exploitative materials.
Parley AIR strategy
The partnership was originally announced at the 2015 Parley ‘Oceans. Climate. Life.’ event at the United Nations in New York, where Cyrill Gutsch, the founder and CEO of Parley, introduced an ambitious vision: to end marine plastic pollution with the strategy called Parley AIR.
This approach is based on three pillars of action: Avoid plastic where possible. Intercept plastic debris from the environment and turn it into ocean plastic, when plastic can’t be avoided. Redesign plastic by inventing new materials.
It was on that occasion that the Adidas and Parley unveiled a concept shoe with an upper made of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea fishing nets – a first for the industry. Since then, the partnership has driven eco-innovation within the industry, creating a global ocean movement through the power of sport.
With Primeblue, the partners jointly developed a high-performance yarn for the sports industry, made with Parley Ocean Plastic. Over the last five years, Adidas has made more than 30 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic.
Phase-out of virgin polyester
In the last five years, Adidas has gradually eliminated virgin polyester from its products and by the end of 2020 more than 50% of all the polyester used in the company’s products will be recycled. These achievements are assisting Adidas to achieve its goal of phasing out virgin polyester in its products by 2024.
To celebrate the anniversary of the partnership, Adidas and Parley have released the Adidas Parley UltraBoost DNA, a shoe that is inspired by the prototype presented in 2015.
“We are not just focused on changing how we do business, we are dedicated to changing how our industry does business,” said James Carnes, Adidas VP brand strategy.
Cyrill Gutsch, CEO and founder of Parley, commented, “Today is the day to look back and evaluate, to dive deep into our consciousness and ask ourselves if we did enough, if we used the time wisely, if we lived up to what we promised ourselves, what we promised our network and the general public. With the scale of the problems we’re up against, it never feels like we’re doing enough, or moving fast enough.
"Looking back, what we’ve achieved together with Adidas feels like a miracle. In the last five years we delivered the proof of concept for our Parley AIR Strategy. Now is the time to drive the Material Revolution like never before. We have 10 years left to end the toxic age we created. The path to survival is to unite as a species and collaborate with nature."