It’s not everyday a household name brand in the performance footwear industry announces a 100 percent recyclable shoe, fortunately for conscientious consumers and the planet, adidas has developed the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP performance running shoe, designed to tackle the daily pavement beatings like other shoes across the brand. However, the difference is that instead of heading to landfills with hundreds of thousands of other shoes, the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP can be returned to Adidas where it is broken down and reused to create new performance running shoes.
“Taking plastic waste out of the system is the first step, but we can’t stop there,” said Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at Adidas, responsible for Global Brands. “What happens to your shoes after you’ve worn them out? You throw them away – except there is no away. There are only landfills and incinerators and ultimately an atmosphere choked with excess carbon, or oceans filled with plastic waste. The next step is to end the concept of “waste” entirely. Our dream is that you can keep wearing the same shoes over and over again.”
The process was developed after nearly a decade of research and development focused on changing age-old performance-shoe manufacturing practices. The end goal was to create a shoe that was not only sourced from recycled materials, but was also able to be turned back into another pair, creating a full-loop of manufacturing responsibility. The process involves zero waste.
This dive into sustainable footwear isn’t new territory for the company who partnered with Parley for the Oceans, in 2015 to introduce a footwear concept with an upper made entirely of yarns and filaments that were reclaimed and recycled from plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets in the ocean.
Adidas has made recycling materials a common business practice. In 2019, they plan to manufacture 11 million shoes that contain recycled plastic collected from beaches on remote islands and coastal communities. In fact, the company has looked to the future for some time and is currently working towards a goal of using only recycled polyester for every possible application by 2024.
Under a current beta program, Adidas is sending shoes to participants in several major markets who will use the shoes and provide feedback. The company will use that feedback to create the final version of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, due to hit the market in 2021.
“FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is our first running shoe that is made to be remade. It is a statement of our intent to take responsibility for the entire life of our product; proof that we can build high-performance running shoes that you don’t have to throw away,” said Eric Liedtke.
Images via Adidas