Be honest – how many times have you chosen a drink in a plastic bottle over one that is in a glass bottle because it was cheaper and lighter? It is undeniable that plastic has made our lives more convenient, but at what cost? We are using so much plastic that approximately 6.4 million tons of plastic make its way into our oceans annually, and this threatens the survival of marine lives. As engineers are hard at work to find ways to clean up our oceans, companies are looking for innovative ways to reuse marine litter.

In April 2015, Adidas announced its partnership with Parley for the Oceans to help clean the ocean. As part of its pledge, Adidas would be phasing out the use of plastic bags in all its retail stores. Three months later, Adidas unveiled a pair of prototype running shoes made entirely from repurposed marine litter. 

To produce these shoes, designer Alexander Taylor worked alongside green chemists and eco-textile companies to reconstruct two marine trash: plastic and gillnets. Adidas turned to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to source these basic materials. The result – stylish kicks that you would have never expected to come out of a pile of garbage.

The upper structure of the shoes is made of fibres made from reclaimed plastic. It serves as a canvas to knit repurposed threads from the green gillnets. The fact that Adidas decided to knit the shoes was also purposeful – cutting out patterns would cause material waste. What more would excite an eco-friendly fashionista?

Adidas has plans to launch a plastic-based product line probably towards the end of this year, but it is unclear if the shoes will be part of the line. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and put away some money, just in case it will!