adidas’ new performance gear is made entirely from recycled ocean plastic

The sportswear brand continues to lead the way when it comes to futuristic, green product design.

by i-D Staff and Amy Campbell
15 July 2016, 3:12am

As far as ethical design goes, adidas has been doing some pretty admirable stuff of late. In the past year they've phased out the use of plastic bags in stores, removed plastic microbeads from all body care products and committed to reducing their use of virgin plastics. Today the brand's sustainable status climbs another notch, as they introduce the first ever piece of performance clothing made entirely from recycled ocean plastic.

The TERREX Parley Logo Tee is made from yarn fibres extracted from discarded plastic found washed up on shore. While a piece of sports apparel made from plastic seems like a bit of an odd choice, adidas assures consumers the design allows for full freedom of movement when working out. Basically, it's the sweaty environmentalists dream.

adidas joined forces with Parley for the Oceans in April 2015, an organisation that raises awareness of the beauty and fragility of our marine ecosystem. Today's release marks the partnership's second successful attempt at engineering sportswear made from Parley Ocean Plastic, after they released the Ocean Plastic Shoe last month.

This is no token offering, it's drawn some pretty heavy praise. The collaboration will be awarded the 2016 OutDoor Industry Award today, for its innovative and sustainable approach to sportswear. The 12-member judging panel said the shirt won the award because of the "interesting story behind the project that addresses the pollution of seas, which is a major problem."

The award follows on from adidas' admirable score in Greenpeace's recent Detox Catwalk survey. They were one of the only sportswear brands to pass with a respectable grade.

In the past the issue of promoting and implementing sustainable production practices within large-scale companies with enormous supply chains has proved incredibly complex to tackle. But spending time with the folks at Parley for the Oceans is clearly equipping adidas with some pretty good ideas. The amount of plastic debris in the ocean is so large, it could in theory produce enough plastic fibre to manufacture an entire collection of clothes.

The t-shirt will be available for purchase as of Spring Summer 2017. 



Text Amy Campbell
Image via adidas

Parley - for the Oceans
ocean plastic