Global Challenge, Global Solutions: Adidas and Parley for the Oceans

Adi­das and Par­ley for the Oceans are re­think­ing design, ma­ter­ial use, and 3D-print­ing in their run­ning shoe made from ocean plastic.

“Global Challenge, Global Solutions” is a series hosted on Climasphere highlighting inspiring, innovative, and creative global solutions to the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the next major climate conference, COP22. These solutions have been provided by members of the Earth To Marrakech coalition, a group of more than 50 media organizations, civil society groups, and businesses from around the world who are raising their voices in a collective call to move from words to action on climate change. Let’s send a message, from Earth To Marrakech: The solutions to climate change are out there, and they’re inspiring. 

3D-Printed Shoe Made from Ocean Plastic Waste


A team of part­ners, in­clud­ing Par­ley for the Oceans and adi­das, has cre­ated an in­nov­at­ive shoe, the up­per part of which is made en­tirely of yarns and fila- ments re­claimed and re­cycled from ocean waste and deep-sea fish­ing nets. Removing more than 72 km of illegally abandoned deep-sea netting, and re­turn­ing thou­sands of il­leg­ally cap­tured tooth­fish and other bycatch to the sea in the pro­cess, Adi­das and Par­ley for the Oceans are turn­ing ocean debris into a valu­able ma­ter­ial for the fash­ion in­dustry.

Since launch­ing the pro­to­type, Adi­das and Par­ley for the Oceans have worked to convert old fishing nets and ocean plastic into fibers used to make a performance shoe. Adi­das and Par­ley are work­ing on a con­sumer-ready range of foot­wear that will hit the mar­ket by the end of 2016.

Launched at COP21, the concept shoe brought at­ten­tion to the is­sues of plastic pol­lu­tion and il­legal fish­ing activ­ity, demon­strat­ing how in­dustry and or­gan­iz­a­tions can work to­gether to cre­ate new sus­tain­able ma­ter­i­als and products and act to com­bat ocean plastic pol­lu­tion.



The solu­tion helps re­pur­pose some of the es­tim­ated 4 to 12 mil­lion met­ric tons of plastic waste that enter the oceans each year.

Re­mov­ing fish­ing nets from the oceans and along coasts helps re­duce plastic pol­lu­tion and dam­age to mar­ine eco­sys­tems, on which coastal com­munit­ies de­pend.

The over­all fin­an­cial dam­age of plastics to mar­ine eco­sys­tems is con­ser­vat­ively es­tim­ated at $13 bil­lion each year.2

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