Trash to Trainers

Trash to Trainers

6 July, 2015
Recycled Plastic Shoes
Parley for the Oceans teams up with Adidas to make trainers from ocean debris
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Adidas has teamed up with Ecozine partner Parley for the Oceans to create the world’s first shoe-upper made from recycled ocean plastic. The groundbreaking footwear was unveiled at Parley's ‘Oceans. Climate. Life.’ talks in New York, hosted by the United Nations on June 30.
 
One of the deadliest problems for our oceans is the monumental amount of plastic litter floating into its ecosystem. Locally, Hong Kong Cleanup is doing its bit by mobilising millions of volunteers to clean up coatlines and waterways, and now these efforts are complimented by Sea Shepherd and Parley for the Oceans collaborating to collect some of the 8 million metric tonnes of plastic debris that enter the ocean yearly, and turn it into wearable items. Something of value.
 
The concept shoe is another step in Parley’s chain of partnerships for consumer-ready ocean plastics products. The materials used for this specific model were a blend of recycled ocean waste and illegal deep-sea gillnets used by poachers, which were recovered by Sea Shepherd on a 110-day expedition tracking an illegal poaching vessel which culminated off the coast of West Africa.
 
Ecozine's current cover star Pharrell Williams’ G-Star Raw for the Oceans clothing line also features items made entirely of recycled ocean plastic, and was another result of a joint endeavour with Parley for the Oceans. Now Adidas' contribution opens the door further to a future of teens adorned in recycled plastics - think fishnet tights, only way cooler.
 
“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,” says Cyril Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans and Ecozine contributor (you can find his perspective piece on P107 of the current issue).
 
This move not only brings ocean pollution to front of climate change debate, but also the front of the catwalk. What’s exceptionally positive about it is that it shows man’s ability to streamline sustainability into increasingly creative channels. What begins as an illegal poaching tool, culminates in clothing.
 

By: Louis de Tilly-Blaru
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