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Brief Published: 1 May 2019

Made to be Remade: Adidas' 100% Recyclable Running Shoe

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Adidas Futurecraft.Loop

Adidas takes a step closer to closed-loop production with its new 100% recyclable performance running shoe. Made entirely from one material with no glue, the pioneering Futurecraft.Loop can be broken down and reused to create new shoes with zero waste.

Typically, sports footwear is made from complex material mixes and component gluing which make it difficult to recycle. Obsolete shoes are often discarded as waste and end up in landfill or incinerators. To address this waste stream, the new shoe is made to be remade; it uses an innovative circular manufacturing model where raw materials can be repeatedly repurposed.

Each component is produced in reusable thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which is spun into yarn, knitted, moulded and then clean-fused to a midsole. At the end of their life, the shoes are returned to Adidas where they are washed, ground to pellets, melted back into the raw material, and ready to become a new pair of high-performance shoes. 

Described as a global beta program, the first generation shoe will be given to 200 leading Creators Club members who will test, return the shoes and share feedback ahead of the second-generation drop. The insights will be used to shape the wider release due in Spring/Summer 2021.

Futurecraft.Loop is part of Adidas’ wider commitment to tackle the problem of plastic waste; the project sees the brand taking responsibility for the entire life of its products to eliminate waste altogether. As the negative impacts of overproduction and overconsumption become clearer, brands should take note of this pragmatic yet transformative approach – a circular future requires collaboration and participation from everyone.

See Adidas Recycles Trainers into Rugs for another potential recycling initiative from the brand, and The New Plastics Roadmap for the latest plastic innovations.

For more on leveraging product longevity and eliminating waste in manufacturing processes, look out for Towards Our Sustainable Future – our macro trend publishing on Thursday 6th June.

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