Adidas trials recyclable trainer as part of its drive “to end plastic waste”

Good News Notes:

Adidas has started a public trial of its endlessly recyclable UltraBOOST DNA LOOP trainer, created as part of the sportswear company’s drive to conform to the principles of the circular economy.

The UltraBOOST DNA LOOP trainers have been designed by Adidas so that they can be recycled at the end of their life and remade into new trainers.

The trainers will now be tested by 1,500 runners to determine how the company’s Made to be Remade system of selling and returning will be launched commercially next year.

‘We believe we have to design the product of the future now – but we can’t get there alone,’ said James Carnes, vice president of brand strategy at Adidas.

‘Through this release, we hope to learn more about how to include the most important element of the process – behaviour – to shape how we reuse these materials in an endless loop as part of Adidas’s wider commitment to end plastic waste.’

‘Importantly, the whole concept of ‘Made to be Remade’ will only work if we can complete the loop, and we don’t control every part of that process,’ continued Carnes.

‘The return of the shoes is the most crucial factor in making this a success so the specially created digital experience for this release is designed to test and refine the process we have before we take this out to the wider world.’

Each UltraBOOST DNA LOOP trainer is entirely made from one material – Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) – and is assembled using heat rather than glue.

This means that they can be returned to Adidas once they are worn out and remade into new trainers. Adidas first trialled the trainers in 2019 and this public trial, which is open to its Creators Club members, will focus on how the commercial launch will work.

‘In April 2019, 200 runners around the world were involved in the first, closed trial of the process, taking possession of Gen 1 UltraBOOST DNA LOOP running shoes, wearing them and then returning them to Adidas to be reborn,’ said Carnes.

‘In November 2019, the first Gen 2 UltraBOOST DNA LOOP running shoes were produced and included material recycled from the Gen 1 pairs,’ continued Carnes.”

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