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The Three Loop Strategy: adidas’ Plan To Help End Plastic Waste

As we know, we have a problem: the plastic that is clogging up our oceans, killing wildlife, and poisonously seeping into everything we consume. With innovation, we have the means to help end plastic waste and eventually reach our goal of becoming a fully circular company. To help us get there, we’ve got a plan.

The Three Loop Strategy Explained

Loop 1 - Recycled Loop: Made with recycled materials:

We are committed to making products with recycled materials. In 2015, we partnered with Parley for the Oceans. From this partnership, we’ve already made strides we never thought possible, like creating more than 30 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic.

2020 also marked the launch of Primeblue and Primegreen. Primeblue is a high-performance yarn containing 50% Parley Ocean Plastic. The yarn is now included in some of our most iconic performance products, including the Ultraboost 21, and is already being worn by members of some of the biggest teams in the world. Primegreen, which will feature in our products henceforth, is a series of high-performance fabrics containing a minimum of 40% recycled content.

Loop 2 - Circular loop: Made to be remade:

When one bit of plastic has fulfilled its purpose, it must be remade to fulfill another. Our attitude is that the end of one thing equates to the beginning of the next, and that our products’ lives can be extended by remaking them into new products. In order to do this successfully, we will continue to make products that can be remade so that adidas wearers will be able to buy products, wear them till they’re worn out, and then return them so they can be made into something new.

From April 2021, the revolutionary UltraBOOST DNA LOOP will be available to buy. This high-performance running shoe has been made from a single material with zero glue, so that when it’s been worn out, it can be returned to us and remade into a new pair.


Loop 3 - Regenerative loop: Made with nature:

The third and final loop represents our ultimate goal: for our products to be made with renewable resources and natural processes − so if any of them do end up back in the environment, there will be minimal harm to it. To achieve this, we will either make the products with natural materials, or create new materials using cells and proteins that can be returned to nature.

The Three Loop Strategy will help us bring about real change and achieve our goals, as will our collaborations. Our partnership with Parley for the Oceans has led us to create sportswear using recycled plastic waste, while our work with Stella McCartney has led to more sustainable design solutions. The future is bright, but there’s no resting on laurels over here − our work remains steadfast in order to reach our end goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

7 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

This is not just our fight. It’s everyone’s. Which means you can join us on the journey and make a difference, even if it’s just a small difference. Everyday, you can implement small changes to your routine to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a better future for our planet. Here are a few examples of what you can do.

1. Drive smart or not at all

Cars emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which contributes to air pollution. As much as you can, wean yourself off of driving a car to get from A to B and consider other options, such as walking, cycling, public transport or carpooling. If you’re short on options and need to use a car, be mindful of your driving by:

  • Planning your journey ahead to avoid getting stuck in traffic
  • Avoiding short journeys as much as possible
  • Keeping sharp acceleration at a minimum
  • Not breaking abruptly
  • Removing heavy things from your car
  • Switching your engine off as often as you can for as long as you can during your journey

2. Consume mindfully

Meat production accounts for a substantial amount of the world’s total carbon emissions, red meat in particular being the main culprit. If you can’t cut out red meat, you can reduce the amount you eat. You can also reduce your dietary carbon footprint by eating more locally produced, organic fruits and vegetables. When it comes to food production, travel, packaging, and processing all contribute to CO2 emissions, so it’s always preferable to buy fresh, seasonal and local produce. Go a step further by growing your own − it can’t get any more local than home.

3. Turn them off

If you’re not using something, remember to turn it off. In addition to lights, any device that is plugged in and switched on at the source is using up energy, so remember to turn those off too.

4. Switch to renewable energy

If you have the option, choose an energy supplier that supplies renewable energy to your home to make it more sustainable.

5. Use less water

Heating up more water than needed contributes to an unnecessary amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Take less showers for a shorter amount of time if you can, and be conscious of your water usage with small actions, such as turning off the tap while you’re brushing your teeth and only boiling as much water as you need when cooking or making a hot drink.

6. Offset your usage

Consider offsetting harmful actions (like flying) by calculating the emissions and supporting a project or offset scheme to make up for them.

7. Spread the word

One of our goals is to build awareness, and inspire others to help solve the problem. By building awareness, we can educate ourselves and others about the consequences of our choices and realise that small things can go a long way.

There are so many ways you can contribute to a better future for our planet. 2020 was an eye-opening year for us all and, while the world has faced so many challenges, the changes we have been forced to make have been beneficial for our planet. 

Hopefully this inspires us all to continue to take action and make better choices for the future together. Together, we can create change and make a difference. And this is just the beginning.