Adidas are known as a global brand who strive to take that next step into the future of sportswear and it shows in their products. With plastics estimated to make up almost 80% of the total debris in the world’s oceans, it was high time for powerful companies such as Adidas to sit up and make waves in our future global sustainability. And they did just that. They have not only managed to create the first jersey to be made completely out of recycled ocean plastic but have begun a ground-breaking partnership with ocean conservation group Parley for the Oceans.
As a brand, Adidas are at the forefront of taking on the key issues which affect our world today and as a sportswear brand with global influence have to take responsibility for activating the industry to create awareness and drive innovation. This is why they have decided to work closely with groups such as Parley and also with their material suppliers to reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible. Synthetic fibres, in particular have been reported to contribute largely to environmental pollution but are still widely used in the sportswear industry due to their elasticity and comfort benefits.
Nevertheless, brands such as Adidas have sought to use more sustainable materials such as recycled polyester in order to improve their environmental footprint without affecting the high performance of their products. This drive for sustainability can be seen as early as in 2014 when Adidas used around 11 million yards of recycled polyester which is equivalent to 7 million Adidas t-shirts.
Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso perfectly summarised Adidas’s main goal by stating “It’s no longer about raising awareness, it’s about taking action”. Together Adidas and Parley for the Oceans are tackling the global issue of our oceans being polluted with plastic waste with their strategic priority ‘We value water’. This began with the launch of three special edition ranges of their well-known shoes, UltraBoost. However, unlike their usual footwear, the Adidas x Parley collection made headlines because they were made from 100% recycled plastic, which made Adidas one step closer to their goal to eradicate ocean pollution.
Recently Adidas have been at it again, with the launch of their ground-breaking up-cycled football kits. “This represents another step on the journey of Adidas and Parley for the Oceans,” said Eric Liedtke, Adidas’ group executive board member responsible for Global Brands. “We have not only managed to make footwear from recycled ocean plastic, but have also created the first jersey coming 100% out of the ocean.”
These environmentally friendly jerseys have been specially created for two of their biggest teams, 12 times UEFA Champions League front-runners, Real Madrid and 5 times UEFA Champions League winners, Bayern Munich. Both team kits are officially supplied by Adidas and will be representing the brands’ eco-innovative jerseys on a global scale. Talk about another step on the journey Adidas!
“With every second breath we take coming from our oceans, it’s really important that we do what we can do to safeguard them”, said Xabi Alonso. Bayern Munich’s jersey will be representing their infamous all red football kit with sponsors T-Mobile branded on the front, whereas Real Madrid’s kit, although following a similar approach, will be sporting an entirely white kit with their well-known Fly Emirates logo branding.
However, unlike conventional Adidas kits these will be produced with 100% up-cycled polyester and it does not stop there. All the club crests and sponsor logos for both teams will be made with water-based eco-friendly prints and will have “For the oceans” alongside the Adidas and Parley logos proudly printed on them, just to add that little extra awareness. When asked about the subject, Eric Liedtke said “our ultimate ambition is to eliminate virgin plastic from our supply chain”.
Of course, if like us, you sadly aren’t members of the Bayern Munich or Real Madrid football teams do not worry, as Adidas are also making both team jerseys available for public sale for a classic up-cycled price of £64.95!
By Paige Hall