adidas building towards a sustainable business

    adidas Golf introduced their first Parley golf footwear last season, a TOUR360XT golf shoe made with a fully recycled upper, produced from plastic reclaimed from the sea. But that is a literal first drop in the ocean as the adidas group aim for 100% sustainability.

    This year adidas reached a significant milestone on the road to sustainability: In 2020, for the first time, more than half of the polyester used across the whole of adidas will come from recycled plastic waste. From 2024 onwards, the company is committed to using only recycled polyester.

    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.

    From 2024 onwards, adidas will use only recycled polyester in every product and on every application where a solution exists. This year the share will already exceed 50 percent for the first time.

    In 2020, adidas will produce 15 to 20 million pairs of shoes using recycled plastic waste from beaches and coastal regions. Last year, the figure was more than eleven million pairs, compared to five million in 2018 and one million in 2017.

    adidas is already working on the development of bio-fabricated materials for sports apparel and presented first prototypes for tennis wear prior to last year’s Wimbledon tournament.

    Avoiding plastic on the route to consumers: adidas eliminated plastic bags from its stores in 2016 and will also use recycled packaging to deliver products to stores in the future.

    Plastic-free locations: adidas sites are now largely plastic-free. Around 40 tonnes of plastic waste are avoided each year.

    Since 2019, consumers in the UK have been receiving a voucher for the adidas online store when they return used but still functional products.

    Since 2018, adidas has been sourcing 100 percent sustainably produced cotton, mainly from the Better Cotton Initiative.

    2021 onwards, packaging used to transport products from the manufacturing countries to the store shelves will also be made from recycled materials.

    Two new sustainable performance fabrics have been introduced by adidas this year.

    PRIMEBLUE, a performance fabric which contains Parley Ocean Plastic, is now included in some of the brand’s most iconic and visible performance products like Ultraboost 20 and in the uniforms of some of the biggest leagues and teams in the world.

    PRIMEGREEN, a performance fabric which contains no virgin plastic, will be available later this year and will also be featured in key competitive products. Both performance fabrics will play a significant role in adidas reaching more than 50% total volume of recycled polyester at the end of 2020 and its commitment to end plastic waste.

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.