This year adidas reaches a significant milestone on the road to sustainability: In 2020, for the first time, more than half of the polyester used in adidas products will come from recycled plastic waste. From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester.
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In 2020, adidas also plans to produce a record 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes with plastic waste collected from beaches and coastal regions. Last year, adidas already produced more than eleven million pairs of such shoes.
The use of recycled plastic in products is part of the company’s efforts to avoid plastic waste and stop the pollution of the world’s oceans. The increasing use of recycled materials is just one example of adidas’ sustainability activities. The spectrum ranges from using increasingly sustainable materials, waste prevention and new types of take back programs for used products, to climate protection. In 2020, adidas will introduce new product categories based on sustainability criteria.
In addition to increasing the use of recycled materials in production, adidas is also working on making products easy to recycle with the goal of completely eliminating waste. The first fully recyclable running shoe, “Futurecraft Loop,” is made from a single recyclable material from sole to laces and is fused together without the need for glue.
After an initial test phase with 200 athletes last year, the shoes were returned to adidas and the company recycled them into components for new shoes. This second generation of “Futurecraft Loop” shoes is already back in the testers’ hands. The market launch is planned for 2021.
In the long term, products made from renewable raw materials will also make an important contribution to waste reduction. adidas and Stella McCartney presented the jointly developed prototype of a tennis dress made of bio-fabricated materials based on cellulose and protein prior to last year’s Wimbledon tournament. In the coming years, adidas will develop bio-fabricated products for its consumers. Reebok already uses renewable resources, including cotton, corn, algae and natural rubber to produce the Reebok Cotton + Corn and Reebok Forever Floatride Grow shoes.
Since 2018, adidas has been sourcing 100 percent sustainably produced cotton, mainly from the Better Cotton Initiative.
As a signatory to the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, adidas has committed to reduce both its own and its suppliers’ greenhouse gas emissions compared to 2017 by 30 percent by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To this end, the company will continue to promote the use of renewable energies in the coming years. In Germany, the company already sources almost all its electricity from renewable sources.
For 20 years, adidas has been listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which includes criteria such as corporate governance, risk management and climate protection as well as labor and environmental standards both within the company and at its suppliers.
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A major contribution is made by the strict workplace standards at adidas, which also set binding requirements for suppliers with regard to fair working conditions, appropriate wages, and a safe and environment-friendly working environment. adidas monitors these standards through regular in-house inspections by its own team of experts as well as through independent third-party inspections.
(Source: adidas Group)