It was back in 2015 adidas announced their intent to turn collected oceanic plastic waste into a polymer to manufacture 3D-printed shoes – a commendable convergence between technology and environmental responsibility. Those plans are now becoming a reality with the announcement of adidas FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, the company’s first generation global beta program release realizing their formative intent to reduce plastic waste.
FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a 100% recyclable performance running shoe designed to close the loop of plastic waste by simplifying the manufacturing process, primarily accomplished by removing a key chemical component traditionally used to make athletic sneakers: glue.
FUTURECRAFT.LOOP shoes are instead made with 100% reusable TPU spun into yarn, knitted, moulded and clean-fused into a BOOST midsole sans glue. Without glue to worry about, adidas is now able to reclaim worn shoes and wash them, then grind the discarded components into pellets to be melted into material to see yet another life as footwear.
Plastic waste gathered from beaches, remote islands and in coastal communities are targeted for sourcing to manufacture the recycled polyester. Adidas not only plans to produce 11 million pairs of shoes with Ocean Plastic by Parley using their up-cycled marine plastic waste, but to use the resource in every product and on every application in their catalog by 2024. For now FUTURECRAFT.LOOP remains a limited endeavor, but a wider commercial release is targeted for Spring/Summer 2021.