adidas Converts Ocean Plastic Into 3D-printed Shoes

In parallel to the U.N. COP21 climate change summit, adidas and Parley for the Oceans announced a new collaboration at Parley for the Oceans x COP21 – Oceans. Climate. Life press event at the United Nations in New York: the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe, a concept constructed with ocean plastic content for the upper and a 3D printed midsole using recycled polyester and gill net content.

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adidas and Parley for the Oceans unveiled the new concept as an example of how the shoe industry can use technology to reduce ocean plastic pollution and explore new footwear solutions.

If the the recycled ocean plastic material upper and 3D printed midsole sound familiar, you’re not mistaken. This new Ocean Plastic concept is the technological and material aggregate of an earlier collaboration between adidas and Parley for the Oceans combined with their recently revealed 3D printed shoe, the adidas Futurecraft concept. The synthesis reveals some of adidas’ plans to merge sustainability with technology into their footwear line:

The 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason to be of what we create. We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems. – Eric Liedtke, adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands


Prior to the 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole, adidas and Parley for the Oceans celebrated their partnership in the unique surroundings of the United Nations headquarters and showcased a world first with a shoe upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets.

Additionally, the adidas Group announced they’ve begun phasing out plastic bags from their retail stores, a process that should be completed by the beginning of 2016 in continuation of the company’s sustainability program initiatives.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at