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Shoe Made From Recycled Ocean Trash Pops Up in Time for Summer

Adidas teams up with Parley for the Oceans to create a new line made from colorful sea garbage.

As a rule I’m skeptical of big brands “going green,” but it seems adidas might just be on to something. Recently the sporty retail giant teamed up with Parley for the Oceans—an idealistic group of “creators, thinkers and leaders” attempting to re-purpose the ocean’s overwhelming amount of trash into reusable material—for a mystery project. Monday at the United Nations the brand unveiled their collaboration: the world's first ever shoe upper made solely from harvested ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. The nets were retrieved after a 110-day expedition by Parley partner organization Sea Shepherd, where they tracked an illegal poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa.


The crew from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society stands in front of their haul.

For scale.

From net to sneaker.

The prototype is just the first in a yet-to-be-released line of consumer-ready ocean-plastic products the brand will launch later this year. The brand’s UN presentation came as part of a broader summit on climate change titled “Oceans. Climate. Life.,” convened by the President of the General Assembly. During the event environmentalists, creatives, scientists, and entrepreneurs gave impassioned briefs on the dire state of our oceans and climate change fears, as Parley collaborators presented their plans, inventions, and possible solutions.

“At Parley for the Oceans, we want to establish the oceans as a fundamental part of the debate around climate change,” Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, told the crowd. “Our objective is to boost public awareness and to inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans. We are extremely proud that Adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool.”

Stay tuned to adidas and GOOD for more info on the collaboration, coming soon.

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