Sustainability - Sports

adidas aims at ending plastic waste

By Editorial Team
4 min read

Plastic waste is a problem that has reached a point of no return. Every person on the planet corresponds to a ton of plastic and nearly 80% is waste that is causing wreaking havoc in the oceans around the world.

As a big company, adidas has contributed significantly to the problem. Which is why its actions must be equally as big. The brand is committed to ELIMINATE PLASTIC WASTE through innovation and partnerships.

Adidas aims at ending plastic waste

As a big company, adidas has contributed significantly to the problem. Which is why its actions must be equally as big. The brand is committed to ELIMINATE PLASTIC WASTE through innovation and partnerships.

«We are not just focused on changing how we do business; we are dedicated to radically change how our industry does business»

James Corner, VP Brand Strategy

A path started in 2012

Since 2012 adidas has been creating new products and processes with partners dedicated to sustainability, such as Parley for the Oceans, Stella McCartney and the U.S. International Space Station.

After introducing a single shoe to the United Nations in 2015, the long-term eco-innovation partnership with Parley for the Oceans will lead to the production of over 15 million pairs of shoes produced with Parley Ocean Plastic®.

Primeblu e Primegreen

This year will also mark the launch of the performance fabrics PRIMEBLUE and PRIME-GREEN, two new sustainable technologies in which 100% of the polyester used is recycled.


It is a high-performance fabric, which contains Parley Ocean Plastic®. It is now included in some of adidas’ most iconic and visible high-performance products, such as Ultraboost 20, and in the uniforms of some of the biggest leagues and teams in the world.


It is a high-performance fabric that doesn’t contain virgin plastic. It will be available by the end of the year. Both performance fabrics will play a significant role in adidas reaching over 50% of the total volume of recycled polyester at the end of 2020 and its commitment to END PLASTIC WASTE.

Three loop strategy

adidas’ commitment comes to life through a Three Loop Strategy, which focuses the brand’s efforts on creating three categories of sustainable products:

  1. Recycled Loop – Made from recycled materials: supported by the introduction of PRIMEBLUE and PRIMEGREEN high performance products.
  2. Circular Loop – Made to Be Remade: products whose life cycles continue after each use, such as the Futurecraft Loop running shoe.
  3. Bionic Loop – Made with Nature: adidas’ ambition to create a future where every adidas product can have more lives and then return to nature.

As an original sports brand, adidas continues to create only the best products for its athletes and these sustainable products are no exception. All of these more sustainable products meet or exceed all of adidas’ elite performance standards.


Over the next decade, the brand is committed to doing even more for END PLASTIC WASTE.

  • 2020: more than 50% of all polyester used by adidas in products will be recycled.
  • 2021: adidas will work with adidas’ major US sports partners (MLS, NHL, USA Volleyball and Power 5 NCAA) to move to more sustainable uniforms.
  • 2024: adidas will use only recycled polyester in all adidas products, helped by the introduction of PRIMEBLUE and PRIMEGREEN high performance fabrics where 100% of the polyester used is recycled.
  • 2030: adidas will reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 30 percent (compared to 2017) as part of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
  • 2050: Achieve climate neutrality. In Germany, the company already uses almost all of its electricity from renewable sources.

«We believe that through sport we have the power to change life and we are committed to creating that change. Since 1998, we have developed and introduced innovations to end plastic waste. Our commitment to eliminate the use of virgin polyester in our products by 2024 helps us move even closer to a more sustainable and circular society».

James Carnes, VP Brand Strategy

New circular business

adidas’ products and processes will be part of a new circular business model that includes extending a product’s life through rental, repair or trade, transforming it into new products and finally returning to nature. Using materials that can be recycled several times, developed from natural resources or made from cells and proteins in a laboratory.

4 min read

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