Adidas unveils running shoe made of recycled rubbish taken from the sea


German sportswear brand Adidas has teamed up with Parley for the Oceans, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the perilous situation the world's seas find themselves in, to create a pair of running shoes made from plastic rubbish recovered from the ocean.

Environmentalists have long been warning about the amount of rubbish dumped into the sea, with massive island-sized mounds of plastic bottles and bags floating along at the behest of ocean currents. Parley for the Oceans works to collect disused fishing nets from coastal communities in the Maldives, recycling the plastic into a reusable product. While Parley and Adidas’ work is, for want of a better term, just a drop in the ocean of the drastic change we need to do to turn the tide, it is an admirable look at how sport, fashion and ecology can work together.

Once the nets have been retrieved and cleaned – as it turns out that traps used to capture fish take on a fishy odour – the reclaimed plastic is then ground down and spun into a plastics thread that Adidas sewers can fashion into a working shoe, known as the Adidas X Parley.


Each of the runners’ upper section is made from 16.5 recycled PET water bottles and 13g of the newly-spun recycled thread from the discarded nets.

Only 50 pairs of the Adidas X Parley have been produced, set to be offered as prizes in an online competition. But they’re just the first step for Adidas, which plans to incorporate the plastic thread into other lines of running shoes in the months and years to come.

James Dempsey,

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