Adidas creates 3D printed trainers from recycled ocean rubbish

After introducing a prototype for a new trainer made almost entirely from recycled ocean rubbish earlier this year, Adidas has unveiled a further development which uses 3D printing to create a midsole comprised of recycled polyester and gillnets.

The initial design was announced in June as part of a partnership between the sports label and Parley for the Oceans - an organisation that aims to end pollution of the world’s oceans - at the United Nations. The upper trainer is made entirely of yarns and filaments reclaimed from illegal deep-sea gillnets and other ocean waste and it is hoped the prototype will help to raise awareness about ocean pollution.

Speaking at the recent Paris Climate Conference, Adidas Executive Board member Eric Liedtke said, "The industry can’t afford to wait for directions any longer. Together with the network of Parley for the Oceans, we have started taking action and creating new sustainable materials and innovations for athletes. We want to bring everyone from the industry to the table and create sustainable solutions for big global problems.” 

Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch said: "At Parley for the Oceans, we want to establish the oceans as a fundamental part of the debate around climate change.

"Our objective is to boost public awareness and to inspire new collaborations that can contribute to protect and preserve the oceans. We are extremely proud that adidas is joining us in this mission and is putting its creative force behind this partnership to show that it is possible to turn ocean plastic into something cool."

Although it has not been made clear if or when the shoe will go on sale, Adidas has taken a number of other steps to reduce its impact on the environment. These include a ban on plastic water bottles at the brand's headquarters, a promise to phase out plastic bags in stores by the end of 2016 and to stop using plastic microbeads in its body care products by December 31, 2015.

Plastic and other rubbish being dumped is considered one of the biggest threats to the world’s oceans. Boat International has teamed up with ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation to launch The Ocean Awards, to celebrate those who are saving the ocean. There will be 12 different categories with the winners being announced in February’s edition of Boat International. 

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