In a bid to end pollution of the world’s oceans, Adidas has partnered with Parley for the Oceans to create a prototype for a sustainable new shoe made almost entirely from recycled garbage and illegal gill nets pulled up from the ocean. “It’s a fishing net that was spanning the bottom of the sea like a wall, and killing pretty much every fish passing by,” says Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans. “They confiscated this net, and we’re bringing it back to life.”
Collecting the plastic trash required to assemble the shoe proved to be an arduous task spanning the course of a 110 day expedition to track an illegal poaching vessel off the coast of West Africa. It is the green fishing nets collected during that voyage that can be seen reflected in the design of the shoe. In an additional effort to not only recycle ocean waste, but to help eliminate it, a chemist with Parley for the Oceans is making headway on a plastic alternative that should disintegrate if thrown out into nature.
“That’s the ultimate vision, but it’s a moonshot,” he says. “Right now it’s far away. So we do what we can. That means we’re going out there and cleaning up as much as we can. Every piece of plastic that we collect, every single piece, can save a bird, a turtle, even a whale.”