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Fully recyclable sneakers: Adidas previews the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP

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Adidas strengthens its commitment to tackling plastic waste with the reveal of FUTURECRAFT.LOOP - a 100% recyclable performance running shoe.

Together with Parley for the Oceans, adidas introduced in 2015 the first performance footwear concept with an upper made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed and recycled from marine plastic waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets. In 2019 adidas will produce 11 million pairs of shoes containing recycled ocean plastic through intercepting plastic waste on beaches, remote islands and in coastal communities. adidas is committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists by 2024. Creating products with premium materials by Parley, made from up-cycled marine plastic waste, is the first pillar of adidas’ sustainability strategy.

Adidas went deeper in their sustainability idea and asked themselves: “What happens to your shoes after you wore them?” The answer is clear: You throw your old sneakers away. But of course they still remain on this planet as waste. The idea of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is to create a shoe you can wear over and over again.

FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is our first running shoe that is made to be remade. It is a statement of our intent 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.
— Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member at Adidas
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The FUTURECRAFT.LOOP project is aimed at tackling the problem of plastic waste, enabling a “closed loop” or circular manufacturing model, where the raw materials can be repurposed again and again. But not just repurposed into a water bottle or a tote, but into another pair of high-performance running shoes.

The importance of sustainability in the fashion and sportswear industry is rising and adidas seem to set a changing point with their LOOP technology.

But how does it work?

Sports footwear typically include complex material mixes and component gluing - resulting in a shoe which can only be downcycled. After close to a decade of research and development alongside leading material development, manufacturing and recycling partners across Asia, Europe and North America, adidas has found a way to change the process. 

FUTURECRAFT.LOOP is a transformative approach to designing performance shoes that are made to be remade from the outset, by using one material type and no glue. Each component is made from 100% reusable TPU - it’s spun to yarn, knitted, moulded and clean-fused to a BOOST midsole using adidas SPEEDFACTORY technology. 

Once the shoes come to the end of their first life and are returned to adidas – they are washed, ground to pellets and melted into material for components for a new pair of shoes, with zero waste and nothing thrown away. Each generation is designed to meet the adidas sports performance standard, without compromise.

What are your thoughts about adidas’ approach to sustainability? Let us know below this article and on Instagram