Amidst upcoming Nike and Air Jordan releases 2019, adidas and Parley for the Oceans have designed a 100% recyclable performance running shoe. For a while now, adidas has been working with Parley for the Oceans to minimize plastic waste in the oceans. Back in 2015, they introduced the world’s shoe having uppers completely made up of recycled ocean gillnets and plastic. 50 pairs of concept and each pair could only be acquired via participation in an Instagram-based competition. In 2019, adidas is aiming to use Ocean Plastic in the production of “11 million pairs of shoes” and by 2024, they will be using “only recycled polyester” in all products.
The FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, adidas’ new performance running shoe, is their next step towards sustainability because it truly is 100% recyclable. It is a fact that shoes do eventually get thrown away at some point or another, for whatever reason. They usually end up in either incinerators or landfills polluting the air with carbon, or in the form of plastic waste in oceans. With the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP, adidas is taking responsibility for the “entire life” of their product. Despite being a high-performance running shoe, the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP will not have to be thrown away. Hence, its name is a reference to the “circular manufacturing model” or “closed loop” that adidas has created.
Instead of putting together complex materials using component gluing, adidas has changed the manufacturing processing with the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP. So, instead of being downcycled, it can be recycled. The FUTURECRAFT.LOOP has knitted uppers entirely made up of TPU material, which was first spun into yarn. The knitted TPU yarn was then molded and then adidas used a SPEEDFACTORY technology to clean-fuse them to BOOST midsoles, also made up of TPU. Those who end up buying the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP can eventually return the shoes back to adidas once they are no longer wearable. They will then be melted down back to TPU, which can be used for further manufacturing.
The only caveat is that as of now, just 200 pairs of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP have been produced. However, only leading “Creators” from all major cities will be receiving a pair each via adidas’ global beta program. They will be running in the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP and providing feedback upon returning their pairs. The actual, “second-gen” release of the FUTURECRAFT.LOOP will apparently take place in Spring/Summer 2021, which means they will not be among this year’s upcoming Nike and Air Jordan releases 2019.