Adidas is doubling down on efforts to reduce waste in its shoe-making business. With the development of what it claims is the first-ever performance footwear “that’s made to be remade.” In regular words, it’s 100% recyclable.
The Loop running shoe is the latest creation from Futurecraft Loop. It is the creative hub launched by Adidas in 2015. It launched with a focus on utilizing cutting-edge technology for innovative footwear designs.
The world’s second largest maker of athletic wear announced its new “Sport Infinity” research project on Thursday. The company will use worn-out cleats. And combine them with scrap materials from other industries to make new cleats.
Adidas began the project in June. It started as an effort to practice what it calls “infinity-recycling.” The aim is to eliminate waste while still giving customers the new gear they want.
Process behind it
Each component of the Futurecraft Loop is made using 100% reusable thermoplastic polyurethane developed by BASF. The highly versatile material is spun to yarn, knitted, molded, and clean-fused to a midsole at the company’s automated Speedfactory facility. The method allows glue to be entirely removed from the manufacturing process. It reduces waste and makes it easier to recycle.
Once the user is done with the shoes, they are returned to Adidas. Where they are washed, ground to pellets. And then it melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes. With zero waste and nothing thrown away.
What happened at launch event
Eric Liedtke, an Adidas executive board member responsible for Global Brands, said the Loop shoe demonstrates how the company wants 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.”
Adidas is no stranger to sustainability innovations. In 2015, the company partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create shoes. Whose uppers were made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed. It was recycled from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets. This year, they will produce 11 million pairs of these wonderfully “trashy” shoes through intercepting plastic waste on beaches, remote islands and in coastal communities.
At the Futurecraft Loop event, Eric Liedtke, said that an “army of innovators” had been working on the new shoe for more than six years. And described how much of a challenge it was. These are performance shoes, afterall, and have many parts that need to best serve the athlete/wearer.
Source – treehugger.com, digitaltrends.com, cnn.com