Adidas creates world’s first shoe upper made entirely of recycled ocean plastic

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At the UNxParley event, Adidas showcased the world’s first ever shoe upper created entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.

According to UNESCO, over 220 million tons of plastic are produced each year and according to an estimation in 2006, every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. This, UNESCO says, causes deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.

To raise awareness about the dire state of oceans specifically with respect to the plastic that end up there as waste, Parley for the Oceans was founded wherein creators, thinkers and leaders come together to raise awareness about the state of the oceans and to collaborate on projects that can protect and conserve them.

Adidas is a founding member of Parley for the Oceans and supports it in its education and communication efforts, as well as its comprehensive Ocean Plastic Program that intends to end plastic pollution of the oceans.

The concept shoe illustrates the direction adidas and Parley for the Oceans are taking, ahead of consumer-ready ocean plastic products being revealed later this year. Parley’s partner organisation Sea Shepherd retrieved the nets after a 110-day expedition tracking an illegal poaching vessel, which culminated off the coast of West Africa.