Nov 4, 2016 | By Tess

It’s been a big week for shoes and 3D printing, as just yesterday New Balance released their (extremely) limited edition MS066 sneakers with 3D printed midsoles, and now Adidas has announced their innovative UltraBoost Uncaged Parley sneakers, made almost entirely from recycled ocean plastic and which owe much of their development to 3D printing technologies.

Just a year ago, Adidas teamed up with Parley, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about ocean pollution and plastic waste, to design a shoe that could be made from recycled ocean plastic. The result of that experiment was an impressive footwear specimen, which combined recycled plastic materials and Adidas’ 3D printed Futurecraft midsole. While the shoes marked a step forwards for sustainable footwear, they were not exactly retail ready, and were more significant as a concept shoe.

Now, however, Adidas and Parley have moved forwards once more with the unveiling of their UltraBoost Uncaged Parley sneakers, which go on sale next month and will be retailing for $200 a pair. Initially, Adidas will be releasing 7,000 pairs of the new recycled sneaker, but reportedly hope to have over a million pairs available within the next year or so.

While the new UltraBoost Uncaged Parley does not seem to integrate 3D printed components—we can imagine with the goal of making over a million pairs, 3D printing would not be the ideal manufacturing method—they do still feature a Primeknit upper made almost entirely (95%) of recycled ocean plastic, as well as laces, heel cap, heel webbing, and sock liner also made with recycled materials. In fact, each pair is said to contain up to 11 plastic bottles.

According to Adidas and Parley, most of the recycled materials used in the manufacturing of the new UltraBoost Uncaged Parley sneakers were sourced from the Maldives’ coastal region. And as Adidas’ integration of recycled materials continues to expand, the company has even stated that it hopes to eventually eliminate virgin plastic from its entire supply chain, which would be a huge step for not only the company, but also retail and fashion manufacturing as a whole.

In addition to the new sustainable sneakers, Adidas is also introducing limited edition soccer kits made from recycled ocean materials. If you’re a soccer fan, you might catch a glimpse of them being worn by Bayern Munich or Real Madrid players, at their games on November 5th and November 26th, respectively.

To find out when or where you can get a pair of UltraBoost Uncaged Parley sneakers, developed with the help of 3D printing, you can sign up for an Adidas alert through its website here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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