Does the thought of micro-plastic in the ocean keep you up at night? Do you worry about the expansion of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or the other gyres currently clogging up with human detritus?
If so, the new running shoe from Adidas might just pique your interests. Why? They used some of the best 3D printers on the market to transform plastic ocean waste into something that comfortably fits your foot.
The New Ocean Plastic
The new shoe was designed and developed jointly between Adidas and Parley for the Oceans. The shoe is named “Ocean Plastic”, and that moniker is pretty apt considering the fact that the midsole is 3D printed using waste pulled out of the ocean.
For the moment, Ocean Plastic is just a concept running shoe. However, it does offer a look at an innovative way that we might be able to not only limit the destruction to ocean ecosystems, but turn that waste into something useful.
Even if the shoe never moves beyond the concept stage, it should serve to raise awareness of a serious threat to all life on the planet (when the oceans go, everything else goes, too).
The midsole was created from polyester and discarded plastic gill net that was actually recovered from the ocean (there are numerous teams attempting to at least limit the growth of our contamination in the oceans, although it will take a significant global concerted effort to begin reversing the process).
The shoe is part of a statement being made by both Adidas and Parley for the Oceans that it is not the sole responsibility of politicians to enact measures to prevent pollution and environmental damage. It’s ultimately the responsibility of businesses around the world, as well as consumers who patronize those businesses.
“World leaders forging an agreement is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need to be told to do the right thing,” explained Eric Liedtke, Adidas’ head of global brands. “The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer.
Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. The 3D-printed Ocean Plastic shoe midsole stands for how we can set new industry standards if we start questioning the reason to be of what we create.
We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems.”
The shoe features a number of components made from toxic materials pulled from the oceans. The upper is made from plastic ocean waste, as is the midsole.
While it’s not 100% manufactured from waste material, it’s a huge step in the right direction. It’s also a bold statement, showing that not only can manufacturers be responsible, but that it’s simpler to do so than many believe.