That’s right, Adidas has partnered with Parley to manufacture and sell only a limited edition of 7,000 pairs of shoes made from ocean-plastic waste. Last year, Adidas had a business team up with Parley, an organization that raises awareness against ocean pollution. Both designed a partially 3D printed shoe made from up-cycled marine plastic waste. The partnership took further fruition when just this year the limited edition Adidas x Parley Silhouette, a running sneaker that featured materials created from ocean waste was released. This paved the way for a further venture when Adidas and Parley announced the release of the ultimate sportswear shoes called the UltraBoost Uncaged Parley. However, unlike the Adidas x Parley Silhouette wherein only 100 pairs were manufactured and given away through an Instagram contest, the new Adidas UltraBoost Uncaged Parley will go on sale next month and will sell for $200. Adidas plans to manufacture only an initial 7,000 pairs to test the selling waters.
If sales are successful, the shoe manufacturing company plans to produce a million more pairs by the end of 2017, and still using ocean-plastic waste. This is the company’s way to willingly take risks with sustainable innovations with emerging technologies as well as indigenous materials that can benefit the environment. Adidas admits that the new shoe is based on its original UltraBoost Uncaged design, one the brand’s most popular running and lifestyle shoes. The difference with the new shoe, obviously, is that its soft prime knit upper build, shoelaces, heel cap, heel webbing, and sock liner are all made from 95 percent ocean plastic waste and other waste materials retrieved by Parley from coastal operations in the Maldives. Meanwhile, the midsole is all from Boost technology by Adidas. It still uses the same foamy material found on all of Adidas’ Yeezys, NMD, and UltraBoost, the flagship running sneaker. The company says it had to develop the Uncaged Parley without compromising on performance, adding that the focus was always to keep every signature element of a running shoe.
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In other words, if you happen to buy a pair of UltraBoost Uncaged Parley, wear it like you would any other running shoe. Don’t let the yarn fibers stop you. According to Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch, “The industry should turn from being the problem to being the solution. We have to invent our way out of this situation, reinvent materials and the business.” Before the release of the new Parley shoes, Parley and Adidas were able to enlist 19 countries from the United Nations to help them combat ocean pollution. It’s the way of Parley and Adidas in raising awareness of how much ocean waste there is now, and if their shoes can somehow dramatically bring down the amount of ocean garbage, then so be it, and they’ve done a good job. When asked what happens when there are no longer ocean wastes to use as materials for shoes, Cyrill Gutsch answered, “Well, we can always search for more plastic and other waste materials inland.”