Dec 8, 2015 | By Kira

Tired of playing the climate action waiting-game, sportswear giant Adidas, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, today revealed a new concept in footwear that combines two cutting-edge technologies: recycled filaments that salvage toxic ocean waste, and their 3D printed Futurecraft 3D midsole, which was first presented just two months ago.

The result is Ocean Plastic, an eco-friendly concept running shoe with a 3D printed midsole made from recycled polyester and discarded plastic gill net content recovered from the sea. The shoe was showcased on the occasion of COP21 with the Parley for the Oceans Network, and effectively demonstrates how the textile and footwear industries of the future can and must re-think their manufacturing processes in order to stop plastic pollution and help put an end to climate change once and for all. In producing this shoe, Adidas is positioning itself at the forefront of a major push for eco-sustainability and technological advancement in fashion and sportswear.

On November 20th, 2015, some of the most influential leaders from around the world gathered in Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, with the goal of achieving a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. While this was a momentous occasion and a major step forward for the sustainability movement, Adidas and Parley for the Oceans alike believe that it is not solely up to politicians to start making a difference. Rather its up to creatives and consumers alike to take action.

“World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need to be told to do the right thing. The industry can't afford to wait for directions any longer,” said Eric Liedtke, adidas Group Executive Board member responsible for Global Brands. “Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. 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.”

The concept running shoe consists of an upper made with ocean plastic waste content, based on a similar running shoe that was also created by Adidas and Parley for the Oceans back in July 2016. The major upgrade in this latest model is the 3D printed Futurecraft 3D midsole, also made with reclaimed ocean waste.

Adidas' previous model for a shoe upper made from recycled ocean waste

In October of this year, Adidas announced a major partnership with 3D printing specialists Materialise to develop the future of performance footwear, Futurecraft 3D. These lattice-like insoles were developed through a combination of 3D printing materials and processes offering unprecedented individualized support and cushioning for athletes. Through customization technology, each 3D printed Futurecraft 3D midsoles represents a flexible, breathable copy of the wearers’ own footprint, matching exact contours and pressure points.

Adidas' FutureCraft 3D series shoe and 3D printed midsole

The Adidas for Parley for the Oceans shoe was presented today in Paris at a press conference ahead of an even bigger event organized together with the UN titled “Parley for the Oceans x COP21 – Oceans. Climate. Life.” Parley for the Oceans is an initiative that encourages creative’s to reprurpose ocean waste that raise awareness of the growing environmental issue.

“2015 is our year, the year of the Oceans: the ocean movement successfully brought the cause onto the COP21 agenda in Paris. Protecting life underwater became the 14th development goal of the United Nations” said founder Cyrill Gutsch. “With a framework of political goodwill in place, it is the right moment to transform words into action. Therefore, Parley in Paris is all about updating knowledge, sharing visions, fine-tuning strategies, creating concepts and forging collaborations in order to kickstart change. We are really excited to have Adidas supporting us in this journey and showing how you can take concrete steps in the right direction.”

In addition to this 3D printed, eco-friendly concept shoe design, Adidas has made further, concrete commitments to put an end to global warming. These include eliminating plastic bags from its stores by early 2016, and eliminating the use of plastic microbeads in their body care products by the end of 2015.

Though both the Futurecraft 3D series and this latest 3D printed Ocean Plastic shoe are still in the concept phase, they represent an exciting direction for the sportswear giant moving forward; a direction that combines pioneering technological design, craftsmanship, 3D printing technology, and above all, a commitment to sustainability.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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