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Brief Published: 18 Jan 2019

Adidas Recycles Trainers into Rugs in Designer Collaboration

Adidas x Simone Post

Brand leaders are exploring pioneering initiatives to curb problematic waste streams and publicly strengthen their sustainability agendas. Front-runner Adidas has collaborated with Dutch designer Simone Post on a creative test case for transforming worn-out athletic footwear into rugs.

The designer created the strong and pliable prototypes using rubber pellets – a raw material made from ground-down unwearable Adidas shoes, produced by Germany-based international solutions provider I:CO.

The granulates were sorted into black and white hues and compressed into bold stripe designs, reminiscent of Adidas’ three distinctive stripes. Up close, the two tones are made up of complex shades, showcasing the variety of colours from the original footwear. 

I:CO collects used clothing, shoes and other textiles from its partners around the world, working to sort, reuse or recycle materials to achieve maximum reutilisation. It uses a pioneering system that enables all shoe types to be disassembled into components and then broken down into usable secondary raw materials, such as rubber, leather or foam.

As consumers become increasingly concerned with environmental harm caused by mass-production across industries, visible sustainability efforts from brands are vital. Working and innovating with recycling plants is a shrewd and resourceful way to address abundant waste streams. Another example is Dutch start-up Ecobirdy, which recycles plastic toys into children’s furniture. Read more here.

For more on recycling initiatives in the fashion industry, see A Sustainable Journey.

We also profiled a number of brands’ sustainability initiatives (including Adidas) in Plastic Pledge: How Big Brands Are Addressing Sustainability.

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