Adidas Introduces 100% Recyclable Shoes
“We knew this was a far-reaching vision in every way; technically and even behaviorally,” Sahanga said in the media release. “There were times when it didn't seem like we could get over some of the technical hurdles — now we've made the first leap. ... We're excited to see this first step come to life as part of the beta launch."
From a supply chain view, Adidas is taking a linear process that leads products to landfills at the end of their lifecycle, and turning it into a circular system.
“The biggest obstacle externally certainly was that the idea we had was so radically against the business model of our traditional supply chain. This is how the world is going to change and you have to be part of that change, otherwise your old, traditional business model will not work anymore” Marco Kormann, director of future technology innovation at Adidas said in the YouTube doc.
In 2019, Adidas is positioned to produce 11 million pairs of shoes with Ocean Plastic by Parley.
"Futurecraft is our design and innovation ethos," said Paul Gaudio, senior vice president of creative direction & future at Adidas. “It is about the intersection of art, science, technology, humanity, engineering and craft. It's applying creativity to reimagine the world we wish to see."
According to the company, the first-gen Futurecraft Loop shoe is rolling out as part of a global beta program with 200 leading creators from across the world’s major cities. Adidas will use them to test-drive the shoes, return them and share feedback on their experience ahead of a second-gen drop.The release is part of a wider commercial release slated for spring 2021, according to the aforementioned release.
The company also aims to use only recycled polyester in all of its products by 2024. “I guess we talk about this internally as the beginning of the end of waste,” Gaudio said in the YouTube doc.
Part of the journey ahead for Adidas is not only in the technology and functionality behind the product, but also in getting consumers on board and educating them about why reusable shoes are the future. Adidas has tapped help from entertainer Willow Smith to reach younger audiences. Smith is featured in a promotional video for the new shoes (see below).
The Adidas website also features a virtual journey that visually guides visitors along the process of producing the shoes. The YouTube video also delves into the process and the potential impact the shoes will have.