Sustainable Materials and Processes

We are committed to steadily increasing the use of more sustainable materials in our production, products and stores. We push toward sustainable innovation and continue to drive toward closed-loop recycling systems.

Synthetic fibers are widely used in our industry due to their unique performance properties such as elasticity, light weight, and high durability. We are aware that products made out of synthetic fibers can cause negative environmental impact during their use phase and acknowledge microfiber pollution as a complex challenge for our industry – one we are proactively addressing. We have established a cross-functional working group and closely collaborate with our suppliers and research institutes to raise awareness for the issue and drive joint solutions toward a global testing standard. adidas is co-founder of the Microfibre Consortium (TMC), which is operational as of 2019, and among others develops tools to minimize shedding and release of microfibers into the environment, for example via a testing method that enables us to obtain results about the shedding potential of our materials.

Sustainable cotton

adidas has steadily increased the sourcing of cotton according to the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) throughout the last years and already managed to source 100% by the end of 2018. Also in 2019, we continued to source all cotton globally as sustainable cotton. The BCI aims to reduce the use of pesticides, promotes efficient water use, crop rotation and fair working conditions, and strives to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

Sustainable cotton sourced


Recycled polyester

Using more recycled polyester is yet another way we seek to improve our environmental footprint while still making high- for the athlete. Polyester is the most single-used material in adidas products and, by 2024, we aim to replace all virgin polyester with recycled polyester in all products where a solution exists. We set clear internal milestones for product creation teams and have seen great progress throughout the last seasons. In 2019, 50% of all polyester used for our apparel and footwear ranges was already recycled polyester. Moreover, almost two thirds of the polyester used for our apparel range for the spring/summer season 2020 was recycled polyester.

Share of recycled polyester


Parley Ocean Plastic

Since 2015, adidas has partnered up with , and uses as an eco-innovative replacement for virgin plastic. We continued to roll out Parley Ocean Plastic across key categories and were able to exceed our target for 2019, with more than eleven million pairs of shoes and almost three million pieces of apparel made containing Parley Ocean Plastic. To facilitate the growing demand for Parley Ocean Plastic and other sustainable materials, we have built a dedicated sourcing operation with the aim to ensure a steady and transparent supply chain. We expanded our sourcing countries for ocean plastic and developed a code of conduct specific to the collection and processing of plastic that is now applied by our partners. In 2019, our focus was to further expand the audit scope to lower tiers of the plastic supply chain. In addition, we used our expertise to upskill Parley for the Oceans to optimize their own policies and procedures. see ADIDAS BRAND STRATEGY, see global operations, see Innovation,

Shoes containing Parley Ocean Plastic

>11 m

Waste and packaging

We are committed to reducing our plastic footprint globally and are proud of the success we have seen in recent years, such as the phase-out of plastic bags in our own retail stores globally in 2016 and the elimination of single-use plastics across the majority of adidas locations worldwide as of 2018. Where the use of plastics – for example in transport packaging – is still unavoidable, adidas is relying on counterbalancing measures and promoting sustainable alternatives. For example, in 2018, the company supported the global innovation platform Fashion for Good with a donation of € 1.5 million which also enables us to explore innovative recycling processes for polybags as well as the development of infrastructure for used polybags. In addition, the company aims to reduce virgin plastic, with the goal to transition to the use of 100% by 2021.

Circular business solutions

adidas takes responsibility for the entire life cycle of a product and follows a clear game plan for moving toward a circular business model. Throughout 2019, we successfully showcased proof-of-concept products against circular and regenerative loops by presenting our first fully recyclable and biodegradable products. Futurecraft Loop is our first 100% recyclable performance shoe made entirely from one material (TPU), using no glue or solvent. Other prototype concepts include the adidas by Stella McCartney Infinite Hoodie and the adidas by Stella McCartney Biofabric Tennis Dress. In addition, adidas is exploring infrastructure for product bring-back and recycling, with partners and governmental bodies. see adidas brand strategy, see Innovation,

Sustainable Cotton

For adidas, sustainable cotton means certified organic cotton or any other form of sustainably produced cotton that is currently available or might be in future, and Better Cotton.

Performance Products

In the sporting goods industry, performance products relate to technical footwear and apparel used primarily in sports.

Parley for the Oceans

Parley for the Oceans is an environmental organization and global collaboration network. Founded in 2012, Parley aims to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans, and to inspire and empower diverse groups such as pacesetting companies, brands, organizations, governments, artists, designers, scientists, innovators and environmentalists in the exploration of new ways of creating, thinking and living on our finite, blue planet.

Parley Ocean Plastic

Parley Ocean Plastic is a material created from upcycled plastic waste that was intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before reaching the ocean. Parley for the Oceans works with its partners to collect, sort and transport the recovered raw material (mainly PET bottles) to our supplier who produces the yarn, which is legally trademarked. It is used as a replacement for virgin plastic in the making of adidas x Parley products.

Recycled LDPE Polybags

A type of product transport packaging made of recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE) that offers a more sustainable option to virgin plastic polybags, as they have a lower environmental footprint than conventional bags and most alternatives. Recycled LDPE polybags meet our quality and performance standards to effectively protect our products during shipping and handling, are available globally and can be recycled via existing waste streams.

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