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Adidas partnered with Parley for the Oceans to present the first ever shoe made using Parley Ocean Plastic. Parley is an organization that brings together creators and thought leaders to raise awareness and, ultimately, end destruction of the earth’s oceans. For Adidas’ this impact-focused initiative is a solution to two goals: to launch a successful cause marketing campaign and to launch a new product that is different from all the rest.

Parley finds this plastic waste during interceptions of clean up networks and illegal gillnets recovered from the high seas by Sea Shepherd Global during Operation Icefish, a record-breaking mission to protect sea life in the Southern Ocean. This concept was created using 3D printers using two types of recycled plastic: PET, which is used in water bottles, and nylon from gill net. Currently, it takes 16.5 old bottles and 13 grams of plastic gill nets to create a single upper of one shoe in a pair.

The shoe, not ready to hit the shelves just yet, was unveiled the concept during the “Parley for the Oceans x COP21 – Oceans. Climate. Life.” With over a year of prototyping and research, on June 7, 2016, Adidas has released 50 pairs that now match the standards as the rest of their athletic wear. A mere release of 50 pairs of shoes shows how difficult it is to spin ocean trash into high-performance fibers.

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In wake of the COP21 agenda in Paris, this set the platform for Parley to push the movement to the public. In a statement made by Parley for the Oceans very own Founder, Cyrill Gutsch stated, “2015 is our year, the year of the Oceans: the ocean movement successfully brought the cause onto the COP21 agenda in Paris. Protecting life underwater became the 14th development goal of the United Nations. With a framework of political goodwill in place, it is the right moment to transform words into action. Therefore, Parley in Paris is all about updating knowledge, sharing visions, fine-tuning strategies, creating concepts and forging collaborations in order to kick start change.”

For Adidas, this is one of many initiatives they are taking to shed light on the disastrous state of the oceans. Adidas has also pledged to phase out the use of plastic bags in their own retail stores. In addition, Adidas has also stopped the use of plastic microbeads across all its body care products as of December 31, 2015.

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