Every year since 1970 the 22nd April has marked Earth Day, an international series of events that demonstrates collective support for environmental protection. This year it coincided with the Extinction Rebellion demonstrations taking place around London, as well as a speech from 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize-nominee and climate activist Greta Thunberg in the UK Parliament. The urgency around environmental change is apparent, but the question is, what are brands doing about it?
For the last six years, adidas have been developing the technology behind their latest launch, the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP trainer, the first step for the brand to help “get off plastic waste.”
The shoes are made from a single material, virgin thermoplastic polyurethane and are fused together with heat rather than glue. This singularity is the essential quality in the recycling process as it means the shoes can be remade again. There is no separation needed between a variety of fabrics – a normal adidas trainer uses anywhere between 12 and 15 different fabrics - allowing each shoe to be ground down into pellets that can be used in future iterations of the shoes. Zero waste, as the brand claims.
Currently in beta phase, the high performance running shoes are being tested by a group of 200 people who have been asked to run in and treat the shoe roughly, offering up feedback for the next version.
Plastic is a hot topic when it comes to environmental damage and so is the mass production and consumption of textiles. With an initiative like this, adidas are committing to innovating in this space. As they are quick to point out, FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is not the final solution but rather a sustainable option, “a statement of intent.” The brand plans to launch the shoe to the public in spring 2021.
Visit adidas’ website to find out more.