Adidas Just Unveiled the First 100% Recyclable Shoe

The fashion industry has quickly become one of the most wasteful ones, using up countless tons of water to produce single garments that eventually end up polluting the oceans. In fact, according to Sustain Your Style, 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textiles treatment and dying; 1.5 trillion liters of water are used by the fashion industry every year and 85% of human-made debris on shorelines are microfibers. Fast fashion brands like Forever 21, Missguided and Fashion Nova are some of the most wasteful, as their products are produced in countries with loose environmental and water quality standards. This means the water used to produce the clothes, which is unclean and toxic, is then dumped back into rivers creating more pollution.

This has created a trend of sustainable fashion that everyone seems to be moving towards with more and more organic brands popping up, and big fashion brands following suit in creating eco-friendly initiatives.

Adidas is the most recent brand to commit to an environmentally conscious campaign, teaming up with representative Willow Smith to unveil the first ever 100% recyclable running shoe: the Futurecraft Loop.

The shoe is made up of plastics collected from the ocean and beaches, meaning that once the shoe is ready to be thrown away, it can actually be shredded up and turned into a new shoe. This is the first step into circularity—hence the shoe being named The Loop—and eliminating plastic from their shoe production.

This project is six years in the making, proving that making a recyclable shoe isn’t as easy as it sounds. To make sure the shoe can be recycled it is made entirely of one material: thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). When shoes are made of several materials, which they usually are, those materials need to be split up as they can’t all be recycled at a single time. So, constructing a shoe out of a singular material allows it to be recycled at once and remade continuously. TPU also allows for the shoe to be made without the use of adhesives.

Futurecraft Loop is currently in beta and won't be released until 2021. Currently, 200 creators are testing the shoes to provide Adidas with feedback. 

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